A woman’s body sometimes requires a little extra care and attention to keep it in great condition. And one of the best ways to care for your body is with healthful nutrients. Here’s a quick guide to the nutrients that deliver proven benefits for women to enhance wellness so you can play, work and exercise well into your golden years.
Aging doesn’t have to mean dementia that robs you of cherished memories or cognitive impairment that slows your thinking and restricts your independence. But maintaining a strong memory and robust mental performance as you age requires a healthy brain.
Omega-3 fish oil.
Omega-3 fish oil helps to support a healthy brain. It also helps enhance mental performance and healthy moods and behavior.
Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. It occurs when blood vessels thicken and become rigid over time, eventually restricting the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. This can lead to heart failure or heart attack.
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring compound that exists in high concentrations in the cardiac muscle. Clinical research has shown that taking nutrients with CoQ10 can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Digestive health symptoms could include abdominal pain, swelling, cramping, diarrhea and constipation. Perhaps due to natural hormone fluctuations, women are more likely than men to suffer from poor digestive health.
Technically, probiotics arent nutrients, but they contain billions of good bacteria that normally live in your intestinal tract. Taking probiotics can help balance and calm an agitated gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics may also reduce the likelihood of constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.
Urinary Tract Health
Bacterial infections in the urinary tract affect more than 50 percent of all women at some point in their lives. Symptoms include an increased need to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, fever, chills and nausea.
Glucosamine and chondroitin.
These two natural compounds are found within the joints and appear to help form and repair cartilage. Clinical research has shown that glucosamine and chondroitin taken together support joint comfort and mobility, while a study from the American College of Rheumatology revealed that chondroitin alone may reduce joint discomfort in the hands
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an elevated force of blood rushing through vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. Blood pressure normally rises and falls during the day, but if the pressure remains high, damage can occur to arteries, kidneys, eyes and other areas.
This mineral may help to regulate other essential elements, such as potassium, sodium and calcium. In studies, taking magnesium nutrients reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and many physicians now recognize the importance of magnesium for a circulatory system that functions well.
Painful inflammation in the joints is due to the breakdown of cushioning cartilage. This condition often worsens with age. Women suffer from poor joint health to a greater extent than men, accounting for 64 percent of all doctors office visits for the treatment of the condition.
Glucosamine and chondroitin.
These two natural compounds are found within the joints and appear to help form and repair cartilage. Clinical research has shown that glucosamine and chondroitin taken together support joint comfort and mobility, while a study from the American College of Rheumatology revealed that chondroitin alone may reduce joint discomfort in the hands.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease that causes bones to become brittle and fragile, increasing the risk of fractures, spinal deformities and stooped posture. Sixty-eight percent of patients are women, who commonly develop signs of osteoporosis after menopause.
Calcium and vitamin D.
When a woman does not get enough calcium through diet or taking nutrients, the body borrows calcium for other needs from the bones. Over a lifetime, this can lead to a decrease in bone density. In combination with a balanced diet, adding calcium to your nutrient regimen provides enough of this important mineral for all the body’s systems. Women should also consider taking vitamin D, which increases the absorption of calcium.
Dr. Andrew Myers is an expert in nutrition and preventive medicine.