Life Begins at 40

Supplements to Help Women Keep their 40s Fabulous

Ladies, it took you 40 years to look this good, and with a little help, you can also feel better than ever! There is a whole host of supplements that can help women optimize their health as they age. In their 20s, women can benefit from a multivitamin to fill the gaps in their diet, calcium to ensure strong bones for decades to come, vitamins C and D to help bolster the immune system and B vitamins for energy, nerve health and mood. In their 30s, women who plan to have children should add folic acid to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. They need antioxidants like vitamin E to help neutralize free radicals and protect healthy cells, magnesium for strong bones and healthy sleep, and iron for energy, immune function and the production of red blood cells that oxygenate the body. Though that daily vitamin container might seem filled to the brim, there are still several other supplements that can help women stay fit and healthy as they take their 40s by storm.

Fish Oil

Most women don’t consume even the suggested amount of one to two servings a week of cold water, fatty, oily fish – think four ounces of herring, tuna, sardines or mackerel - to take in the suggested amount of omega 3 fatty acids. A fish oil supplement is the perfect way to help fill that void. Omega-3s can enhance muscle recovery in athletes’ post-workout. They support healthy joint tissue and lubrication, which can alleviate that achiness you feel first thing in the morning or post-exercise. Proper Omega-3 levels also encourage the skin to hold water, which leads to softer, plumper skin, and support healthy brain function. The National Institutes of Health established an Omega-3 Adequate Intake of 1,100 mg per day for adult women, however nutritionists like Jenn Gargiulo, RDN, CSSD, recommend 3000 mg of fish oil per day. Gargiulo also points out a fish oil supplement does not have to be taken with food.


Collagen makes up tendons, ligaments, skin, muscles and bones, but as we age, our ability to produce collagen declines. After the age of 20, we produce 1% less collagen each year. Collagen supplements give your body the raw materials it needs to create more collagen on its own. However, it is noteworthy that collagen cannot be synthesized if it is not part of a balanced diet, or if you don’t consume an adequate amount of vitamin C.

“In the absence of sufficient calories or protein, collagen is not going to do all the things you want it to do,” says nutritionist Jenn Gargiulo, RDN, CSSD. “If you’re not eating well, the collagen will just be used as calories and energy.” Collagen supports healthy skin hydration and elasticity and healthy nails. It supports healthy bone mineral density and muscle mass. And, collagen powder is easy to take, as it mixes completely and undetectably into water, coffee, juice and smoothies.


Turmeric is a cousin of the ginger root, and curcumin is its most active constituent. It is curcumin that gives the spice its golden color, and it is an antioxidant that has been shown to help support heart, immune, brain, joint and whole-body health. Turmeric is used prolifically in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, so it’s easy to incorporate into your own recipes. However, if you’re not so adventurous in the kitchen, it can be taken in capsule form and is often incorporated into joint-support formulas. In active women and athletes, turmeric may help support a healthy inflammatory response to exercise. Its properties support a healthy digestive system, along with supporting healthy cholesterol levels. Turmeric, however, is difficult to absorb and must be taken with fat for optimal absorption into the bloodstream; it’s no coincidence that creamy, golden-yellow turmeric lattes can now be found on menus at coffee shops and juice bars across the country, because the fat content of the whole milk or coconut milk used to make lattes facilitates the absorption of turmeric.