Our bodies change as we age. The nutrients required by a thirty-five year old woman are not the same nutrients required by a fifty-five year old woman. Perimenopausal and menopausal women require some specific nutrients to maintain optimum health.
Even if a woman eats a wide variety of healthy foods during this time, she may still be missing some essential nutrients. The reason is because her body has shifted and the nutrients she believes she needs may not address the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. Let’s take a look at some symptoms and see how two important nutrients - calcium and vitamin D - work in tandem to ease those symptoms.
A lack of adequate calcium in the body can lead to reduced bone density. When your body doesn’t get enough calcium, it will take the calcium from the bones in your body. This can lead to bone loss and, eventually, osteoporosis.
Other problems, such as restlessness, anxiety, and disturbed sleep patterns may also be the result of a calcium deficiency. Begin building your calcium reserves by eating several of these foods daily.
- Plain yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Salmon or Sardines
- Collard Greens
Of course, along with adding calcium rich foods to your diet, taking a calcium supplement is an excellent way to ensure you are getting the right amount. The recommended amount of calcium for perimenopausal and menopausal women until the age of 55 is 1200 mg per day. After 55, it is often recommended to boost the dosage to 1500 mg per day. Our body tends to absorb less calcium as we age. The extra calcium can ease the symptoms of menopause and protect against bone loss.
It’s important to know that calcium cannot be absorbed by the body without vitamin D. It doesn't matter how much calcium you take, if you don’t pair it with enough vitamin D, the calcium will not be absorbed properly. Most calcium supplements are now paired with vitamin D, but be sure to look before you buy.
Along with helping to absorb calcium to maintain bone health, vitamin D can also combat mood swings, even fighting off depression. Vitamin D is also known to help with memory and overall cognitive performance.
One of the easiest, and best, ways to get enough vitamin D is to go outside. The sun works with your body to produce vitamin D through the skin. Just exposing your skin to sunlight 15 minutes