Being a woman is a challenge in many ways. Our body has internal mechanisms that undergo transformations due to hormonal effects that completely change our way of feeling and living life. Far from the stereotypes that exist and that have been modified over time when a 50-year-old woman was considered in many cases as someone who enters an older adult process, today we have learned that this is a wrong concept as women in their 50s continue to lead active lives. So why do we need to talk about the best vitamins for women over 50?
A woman’s body after 50 years needs to compensate for and replace the minerals, vitamins, and essential elements that the body cannot produce and absorb sufficiently at this stage in order to stay healthy. This is the time in which the woman must rediscover how to feel her body and therefore dedicate the necessary care to stay active, young, and happy. It is not a matter of age only, it is the spirit that characterizes us that will definitively mark our natural aging process. Feeling old is not the same as being old. The concept of aging itself has changed and today we can see many women over 70 years of age with a vitality that exceeds that of some women who are in their 30s.
Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs to function normally and stay healthy. It is highly recommended that you get these substances from the food you eat.
The amount of the best vitamins and minerals needed daily to meet the needs of nearly all healthy people, as determined by the Food and Nutrition Board of Institute of Medicine, based on your sex, age, and physical condition. (Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Here are the best vitamins for women over 50 and the RDA.
Vitamin A Beta Carotene
They help with healthy vision, bone, and tissue growth and they regulate our immune system. Although taking beta carotene in supplements is not recommended because it can increase the risk of lung cancer. You can get it by consuming carrots (one small carrot provides about 1.8 mg), sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe, liver, and fortified milk. RDA for >50 years is 700 mcg.
Vitamin B-3 Niacin
It helps your body convert food to energy. Three ounces of tuna (canned in water) has 11 mg. Lean meats, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, and peanut butter also contain niacin. RDA for >50 years is 14 mg.
It is needed to help your body use protein from red blood cells and maintain brain function. One medium banana contains about 0.4 mg. Also, fortified and enriched grains, whole-grain products, fish, soybeans, nuts, and peas contain vitamin B-6. RDA for >50 years is 1.5 mg.
Vitamin B-9 Folate/Folic Acid
It is important in the formation of red blood cells and for healthy cell growth and function. Half a cup (4 ounces) of cooked spinach contains 130 mcg of folate. Also, citrus juices, fruits, beans, nuts, liver, dark green leafy vegetables, and fortified bread and cereals contain folate. RDA for >50 years is 400 mcg.
It plays an essential role in red blood cell formation and nerve function. Many older adults are at risk of deficiency because, with age, it can be harder to absorb B-12 from animal foods. Three ounces of salmon contains about 5 mcg. Also meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, and fortified cereals contain Vitamin B-12. RDA for >50 years is 2.4 mcg.
It is an antioxidant that maintains healthy tissue and helps the body absorb iron. One medium orange has about 70 mg. Also, citrus juices and fruits, berries, tomatoes, potatoes, green and red peppers, broccoli, and spinach contain Vitamin C. RDA for >50 years is 75 mg.
It helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral that’s responsible for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin because your skin produces it after being exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It may reduce the risk of developing muscle pain and weakness, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases. One cup (8 ounces) of fortified milk contains 1 mg. Also, fatty fish (such as salmon and sardines), and fortified cereals contain Vitamin D. RDA for >50 -70 years is 15 mg.
It is an antioxidant that protects red blood cells and may play a role in immune function. Recent research has found that taking 400 UI/day or more of vitamin E may pose health risks and should be avoided. One ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts) has more than 7 mg. Vegetable oils, wheat germ, whole grain products, avocados also contain Vitamin E. RDA for >50 years is 15 mg.
Older adults are at increased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture. Vitamin K is involved in homeostasis (blood clotting) and bone metabolism. ½ cup of collard greens contains 530 mcg. Broccoli, soybeans, okra, carrots, pumpkin, edamame, also contain Vitamin K. RDA for >50 years is 90 mcg.
It may reduce the risk of developing age-related cataracts. Additionally, riboflavin deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women. Three ounces of pan fried beef liver contains 2.9 mg. Fortified breakfast cereals, instant oats also contain riboflavin. RDA for >50 years is 1.1 mg.
It is important for strong teeth and bones. It’s also needed for your heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly. Calcium and Vitamin D are taken in combination to help treat osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (osteopenia). One cup (8 ounces) of milk contains 300 mg. Dairy products, calcium fortified cereals, and juices, greens (spinach, bok choy, collards), broccoli, edamame, and fish eaten with their bones (salmon and sardine) also contain calcium. RDA for >50 years is 1200 mcg.
It plays an essential role in delivering oxygen to the body via the bloodstream. It also has many muscular and metabolic functions. Three ounces of beef, pork, lamb, or veal contains 2-3 mg of iron. Whole-grain products, beans, peas, and dark green leafy vegetables also contain iron. RDA for >50 years is 8 mg.
It helps maintain normal heart rhythm and the immune system and muscle function. However, in large doses, magnesium supplements can cause abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. One cup of cooked spinach has 160 mg. Nuts, whole-grains products, and dark green vegetables also contain magnesium. RDA for >50 years is 320 mg.
It is an electrolyte that is critical to the function of nerve and muscle cells, including those in your heart. However, don’t take potassium supplements unless your doctor recommends them. One medium banana has 422 mg and one medium baked potato (with skin) contains 926 mg. Citrus fruits, apples, apricots, tomatoes, spinach, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, beans, peas, and almonds also contain potassium. RDA for >50 years is 4.7 mg.
It has antioxidant properties, which help your body fight off illnesses. It also helps maintain the immune system and regulate thyroid function. One slice of whole-grain bread contains 10 mcg. Milk, poultry, fish, seafood, and Brazil nuts also contain selenium. RDA for >50 years is 55 mcg.
It helps regulate appetite, stress level, and sense of taste and smell. It also has antioxidant properties and plays an essential role in the immune system. Three ounces of lean sirloin contains 5mg. Meat, liver, milk, oysters, whole-grain products, and fortified cereals also contain zinc. RDA for >50 years is 8 mg.
If you don’t eat the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, you may benefit from a multivitamin that contains a variety of essential nutrients. Multivitamins can also be helpful if you are a strict vegetarian, eat a diet that’s limited because of food allergies or intolerance, or have a disease or condition that’s doesn’t allow you to digest or absorb nutrients properly.
If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, or other illnesses, health experts still say it’s best to focus on eating a balanced diet that’s high in vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Yet if your diet is lacking or you have trouble digesting or absorbing vitamins because of your age or certain health conditions, a multivitamin can help you avoid developing any deficiencies that might affect your health. When in doubt, it’s always best to talk with your doctor about what supplements might be best for you and to avoid taking excessive doses.