This content is by Nina Price, LAc. Nina Price is a licensed acupuncturist, master herbalist, author, speaker, teacher and radio personality who helps women achieve midlife success. An MBA by training, Nina is a former Silicon Valley high-tech marketing executive who—after an action-packed 20 years in the computer industry—traded in her high-stress lifestyle for a healthier one. Today, she is a board-certified healthcare professional and success coach on a mission to help high-powered women heal themselves and enjoy “Midlife Without Crisis”. For more information about Nina, visit her website: www.midlifewithoutcrisis.com
Supplements for Health During and After Menopause
At midlife most women need to be taking supplements.
I recommend a good multi- vitamin. Personally I like the ones that address specific problems you have in addition to providing basic nutrition. You may need probiotic support, immune support, breast support or antioxidants. Why not have them be a part of your vitamin? Some women find it convenient to drink all their supplements in a protein shake first thing in the morning. Find what works for you and do it consistently.
Probiotics are important especially when you’re taking antibiotics or if you’ve taken plenty of antibiotics during the course of your life. Probiotics replenish beneficial gut flora, on which many of us are short. When taking probiotics I recommend taking them before bed, and first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also get some probiotics naturally from fermented foods like fresh sauerkraut, miso, kefir and kombucha.
Antioxidants clean up your cells. Specifically antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and prevent their damaging effects. This is especially important to prevent the most common diseases of aging (i.e. cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis). Antioxidants help to protect against two of the primary causes of aging and disease in humans: a poor diet and genetic influences. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is key, as are antioxidant supplements. Be sure that you’re getting plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene and Selenium as well as CoenzymeQ10, Alpha-lipoic acid and N-acetylcysteine, to promote glutathione production. Antioxidants are also important for your skin and now are available in topical skin care products.
If you work with lots of people or children who tend to get sick it’s a good idea to support your immune system. A good immune tonic includes the herb astragalus and one or two varieties of mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, and maitake.
Omega 3s are really important. Many women can benefit from taking at least 1000mg of Omega-3’s daily. Omegas benefit the brain, the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, they are good for fighting inflammation, and they are very beneficial for depression.
It’s important to get your Omega-3s using part supplementation, part diet. There are lots and lots of good omega supplements, both vegetarian and fish oil. There are even algae-based omegas. Make sure you are comfortable with and knowledgeable about the product you buy. The more reputable companies will say that they’ve tested for mercury. Look for a label saying that each batch is third-party tested for mercury, dioxins, PCBs, lead, etc.
Preserving bone strength and bone mass is important for women especially after menopause when women tend to lose bone mass rapidly. Make sure that you’re taking enough calcium: 1000mg daily with 500 mg of Magnesium.
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