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5 Key Nutrients For Women Over 50

over 50 nutrition

5 Key Nutrients For Women Over 50

5 Key Nutrients For Women Over 50

Getting the correct nutrients such as vitamins and minerals is key for health. There are some which are more important as we age.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, but vitamin D is really a hormone that is involved in over 2000 reactions in your body, meaning it is fundamental to health and wellness.

What does vitamin D do?

  • Plays a role in calcium absorption and bone health
  • Production of steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen
  • Keeps immune system healthy
  • Manages appetite by raising leptin levels. Leptin is the ‘I’m full hormone’
  • Muscle function
  • Cardiovascular function, healthy lungs and anti-asthma
  • Brain development and mental health
  • Has anti-cancer properties

One common symptom of low vitamin D is pain. Many people go to their doctor for aches and pains or ‘bone ache’. If they are an older patient they  get told its ‘wear and tear’ or ‘arthritis’ or just ‘old age’.  Vitamin D is also needed to produce estrogen which is important for peri or post menopausal women as low estrogen can affect mood, sleep, metabolism and bone health.

The best form of vitamin D is from the sun and If you need to take a supplement make sure it is Vitamin D3 not D2. As we age our skin gets less efficient at making vitamin D

Co-Enzyme Q10 or Co-Q10

What does CoQ10 Do? 

Levels of CoQ10 in most tissues have been found to decrease with age, which is after 40. CoQ10 a small molecule located widely in cell membranes and functions as an electron carrier in the mitochondrial electron transport chain which is vital for making energy for cells. Brain cells, heart cells and eyes need a lot of energy. Co Q10 is very important for keeping these organs healthy.

CoQ10 protects cells against free radicals which damage cells and promote aging. Co Q10  reduces the activation of NF-κB which triggers inflammation. Inflammation causes a whole host of problems from pain, weight gain, brain fog, worsening of autoimmune conditions, thyroid issues and cardiovascular disease. Co Q10 can lower inflammation 

Taking statins lower C0-Q10 levels, so people on statins should take a Co-Q10 supplement

Co-Q10 can be found in found in organ meats like liver and heart. 

Vitamin K2

What Does Vitamin K2 Do?

  • Vitamin K2 activates proteins responsible for sending calcium and phosphorus salts into bones and teeth and different proteins that move calcium out of soft tissues, like arteries and muscles, where it can be harmful. Think of limescale building up in your pipes. Calcium is part of what blocks arteries, along with other molecules associated with inflammation.
  • Low vitamin K2 not low calcium is a major factor in osteoporosis (brittle bones) than affects women after the menopause. There are other factors but vitamin K2 is usually neglected
  • Low levels of vitamin K2 are associated with over 50% increase in heart disease and there is a lot of research to support this now.
  • The brain contains one of the highest amounts of vitamin K2, where it is involved in making the myelin sheath of nerve cells, which contributes to learning capacity. The myelin sheath becomes damaged in multiple sclerosis (MS) so a K2 supplement is key, but it has to be with the right form of K2

These important functions of vitamin K2 protect us against dental cavities, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and many other common ailments.

Where Does Vitamin K2 Come From?

Our gut bacteria (if they are healthy) can make a small amount of vitamin K2 and this varies from person to person. Humans can’t convert much  K1 to K2, cows and other grazing animals can convert K1 to K2.

Vitamin K2 is found in grass-fed butter, cheese, brie,  blue cheese, goose fat, egg yolks, caviar, meat (particularly turkey) 

Natto a Japanese food that is fermented soybeans has naturally occurring Vitamin K2, but natto contains the MK7 from of Vitamin K2 and the animal form MK4 is far better. 

Or you can purchase a vitamin K2 supplement but it must be in the MK4 form and in  a fat matrix or an oil otherwise it is a waste of money

Magnesium

What Does Magnesium Do?

Magnesium is the body’s “master mineral” that participates in 300 critical reactions in your body, including detoxification, sleep, relaxation, energy production, muscle function… EVEN digestion
Due to poor quality soil and this poor quality food many people are deficient in magnesium and a study in the US found 70% of people were deficient in magnesium

There are over 8 different forms of magnesium

  • Magnesium Chelate is especially important for muscle building, recovery, and health.
  • Magnesium Citrate helps with constipation, kidney stones  and the effects of obesity.
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate is most often used to treat symptoms of too much stomach acid such as stomach upset, heartburn, and acid indigestion.
  • Magnesium Malate is thought to be the most bioavailable form (found naturally in fruits, giving them “tart taste.”). It can help with migraines, chronic pain, and depression.
  • Magnesium L-Threonate (MgT), is important for the brain because it can improve learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory.
  • Magnesium Taurate is best for your heart.
  • Magnesium Orotate can cross the blood brain barrier so stabilises mood, but it also  helps your heart, and it enhances recovery, energy, and performance.
  • Magnesium Sulphate is found in epsom salts and can be absorbed through the skin

Foods containing high amounts of magnesium include very dark chocolate,  cocoa and avocados. 

Collagen

Collagen is key for healthy joints and skin elasticity. Collagen contains a lot of the amino acid glycine, which has a calming effect on the mind and the gut.  There are several different types of collagen and your body likes to make its own, so you need to give it the building blocks.

The best way to get collagen is by making things like oxtail soup, bone broth or chicken soup that uses the whole carcass. If you do not like these kinds of foods you can buy collagen powder and the dose is 10-15g a day.

Thank you for reading

 

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