Wrinkles, grey hairs and age spots are a natural part of aging. And while most women will fret about the cosmetic changes that occur with age, hosts of internal changes are also taking place. Without a basic understanding of the effects of aging, women remain unprepared to protect their bodies and consume the right foods and supplements to maintain the best possible health. The following are some recommended vitamins and herbs for aging women.
Vitamin D for Aging Women
Coupled with calcium, vitamin D helps nourish an aging woman’s bones. Since bone loss occurs more rapidly during menopause, it’s vital to consume more calcium and vitamin D at this stage of life. Vitamin D and calcium deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, also known as the brittle bone disease. The National Institutes of Health recommends women consume 600 IU of vitamin D daily and around 1000 mg of calcium. Women older than 50 need more calcium: approximately 1200 mg daily. A healthy diet containing lots of milk, yogurt and dairy is also essential, as is natural sunlight because it triggers vitamin D synthesis.
Antioxidant vitamins have cosmetic and physical benefits for aging women. Because antioxidants help counteract oxidative damage caused by free radicals, these vitamins can help reduce the risk of illness and disease. By lessening cell destruction, antioxidant vitamins can help decrease the appearance of aging on skin. Commonly used antioxidant vitamins are C, E, beta-carotene and selenium. Vitamin E in particular is said to provide relief from mild hot flashes in some women, although dosages exceeding 400 IU may be unsafe, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Herbs for Aging Women
Whether for memory enhancement, increased energy, or as a treatment for hot flashes, numerous herbs are helpful for women in their later years. The following are some of the most widely used:
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Black Cohosh
- Wild Yam Chaste Tree
- Dong Quai
- Evening Primrose Oil
Talk to a trusted professional for dosage and safety information. You can also view products from Nature’s Sunshine for Women’s Health.
Aside from using supplements, aging women can look and feel their best by practicing yoga, using massage therapy, as well as aromatherapy and dietary interventions. Because hot flashes and night sweats can interrupt sleep in menopausal women, avoiding caffeine and using herbal teas such chamomile can help women get adequate rest.References: National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Calcium; National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin D; MayoClinic.com: Menopause