The Big 3-0
Supplements to Help Women Thrive in Their 30s
There are a range of supplements that can help women stay fit and healthy as they age. In their 20s, women need a multivitamin to fill the gaps in their diet, calcium to ensure strong bones for decades to come, vitamins C and D to bolster the immune system and B vitamins for energy, nerve health and mood. As women move into their 30s, all of those supplements are still important, but there are several others that can be added for optimal health.
Folic acid is the most essential of the B vitamins for women in their 30s, especially those who plan on having children. Folate facilitates DNA replication and brain development and protects babies from spinal cord defects and premature birth. But, if you wait until after you conceive to boost your folate levels, it can be too late, as long before a positive pregnancy test, neurological cells are already reproducing to build your baby’s brain and spine. Women who someday plan to become pregnant should aim for 400 to 800 milligrams of folate per day. Folate is found in dark, leafy greens, beans, nuts, oranges and bananas. Vitamins B6 and B12 are found in highest concentration in animal proteins, so if you’re a vegetarian, supplementing is even more important.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it protects your cells from damage by neutralizing free radicals that can weaken and break down healthy cells. It is essential for the functioning of the immune system and for healthy eyes and skin. In fact, vitamin E can help to keep your skin hydrated and protected from sun damage and can even ward off the formation of fine lines. It is difficult to overdose on food-based vitamin E, but it is possible that you aren’t getting enough. Aim for at least 15 milligrams to reduce the signs of aging and strengthen the immune system. Some excellent sources of vitamin E are sunflower seeds (7.4 milligrams per ounce), almonds (6.8 milligrams per ounce) and hazelnuts (4.3 milligrams per ounce).
Because of the over-consumption of processed foods that block the absorption of magnesium and the depletion of magnesium in our soil, up to 90% of Americans are magnesium-deficient. While magnesium plays a role in the health of people of all ages, it is especially important for women. During pregnancy, magnesium helps build and repair tissue and can alleviate leg cramps. It reduces the risk of osteoporosis and the incidence of migraines. And it can naturally relieve the symptoms of PMS and regulate blood pressure. Magnesium also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body and brain relax, which can help you get better sleep. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 320 milligrams for women, but because most people only absorb 30 to 40% of the magnesium they consume, it’s a good idea to aim for more than the RDI. Foods such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, black beans and avocado are all high in magnesium, but if those foods don’t tantalize your taste buds, a supplement is also a good idea.