Do you have a cupboard or a drawer that contains unfinished or out of date packets of supplements? Supplements that you heard of or read somewhere would be good for this and that? How much money have you wasted? The supplement industry is a multi-billion pound industry (not quite as big as Big Pharma!) that can prey on your fears. If you take any supplement you should know exactly why and how it will work for YOU, i.e. they should be ‘purposeful’.
As a naturopathic nutritionist and health coach I wholly recommend getting your body into balance naturally addressing nutrition and lifestyle, adding in supplements only when absolutely necessary for additional support.
Please remember, not all supplements are:
Minerals in particular interact with each other, they are inter-connected, and taking any in excess can upset the balance of others, creating more problems than could potentially solve. They may also interact with prescription medication.
There is an incredible number of research papers around supplementation. There are many, many people encouraging you to buy their products as the single one thing you are missing that will cure all ills. PLEASE don’t be taken in by these promises. With a good hormone and health promoting diet, and a healthy gut to allow for absorption of nutrients and excretion of waste, you really shouldn’t have to consider much more than I’ve mentioned below …. maybe just the occasional pro-biotic, especially following a course of antibiotics.
Probiotics aside, here’s a list of basic supplements that can help with the energy, brain fog, hot flushes AND reduce the severity and frequency of other symptoms.
1. Magnesium, the calming mineral, supports hormones and general health in many ways, including:
Recommended maximum dose: 400mg/day
Found naturally in almonds, avocado, bananas, beans, broccoli, cashew nuts, salmon, mackerel, leafy green veggies, seeds and whole grains. So do include plenty of these in your diet for maximum benefit.
Deficiencies include nausea, poor sleep, fatigue, and weakness. Also muscle contractions and cramps, mood swings, abnormal heart rhythms
2. Multivit/mineral (if you’re not menstruating check that it’s not high in iron). You may be wondering why I suggest this if you are having a hormone happy and health giving diet? Simply because the good multi-vit/mineral ‘bridges the nutrition gap’. By that I mean that the nutrients in our soils have been vastly reduced due to farming methods post World War II. The 1992 Earth Summit Report found that mineral depletion of the soil is over 76%. You would have to eat 4 carrots today to get the same level of magnesium found in 1 carrot in 1940.
Natural foods with variation and colour will help provide the broad range of nutrients needed, and combat the signs of aging.
3. Vitamin D (with calcium, magnesium and vitamin K if you’re concerned about bone health). In the western hemisphere it’s not unusual for the population to be deficient in Vitamin D, especially in the older age groups.
Deficiencies include fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle aches or cramps, plus mood changes, low immunity. Very similar to magnesium, and so often confused with menopause symptoms. Your doctor will be able to take a simple blood test to ascertain you levels if you’re struggling with any of these symptoms and no underlying cause.
Recommended dose: I recommend everyone take a maintenance dose Vitamin D supplement especially through October to May in the UK, maximum 4000iu/day, (100mcg).
Natural foods for Vitamin D include salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Red meat, liver and egg yolks.
4. Omega 3. If I were to recommend a supplement for everyone it would be a good Omega 3 supplement! These essential fats are the building blocks for more balanced hormones, reducing symptoms and helping manage stress. Click HERE for more information.
Natural foods for Omega 3 are oily fish, for example salmon, trout, mackerel, nuts and seeds, grass fed meat and eggs. Chia seeds and ground linseeds are particularly high in Omega 3. Add these to smoothies or sprinkle of foods throughout the day.
Recommended dose for an Omega 3 fish oil containing the acids EPA and DHA is 1000mg/day. ALWAYS take WITH food. There can be an unpleasant after taste it not.
5. Maca root powder is an adaptogenic herb that I find to be the most effective in helping to reduce physical and emotional symptoms of menopause. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that counteract stress in the body, stress being the greatest contributor to the severity and frequency of menopausal symptoms. Available in powder or capsule form, it’s personal preference, always ensure you purchase organic and sourced in Peru to ensure the quality.
Recommended dose: as directed on the packaging of capsules, and 1 x tsp to 1 x tbsp / day for the powder. Add to smoothies, sprinkle or mix with other foods.
Combine this with other adaptogenic herbs and nutrients and you’ll have a power house helping combat symptoms.
I have recommended some safe dosages above, but these can differ from person to person, so please do check with someone who is trained in supplementation, particularly if you are taking prescription drugs. It really is vitally important to find out what is right for YOU and not add to your discarded selection in that cupboard or drawer!
And if you’re thinking “I already have a good diet getting a broad range of nutrients”, please be aware that over farming of our soils has led to a natural depletion of nutrients, particularly post WWII. For example, you would have to eat 4 times as many carrots today to get the same level of magnesium.
If you’d like to have a chat with me about supplementation, how it could work for you, simply apply using this form:
I look forward to speaking to you soon!
A full hysterectomy in her 30’s led nutritional therapist and health coach Clare on an amazing adventure exploring the many opportunities available to manage her enforced menopause and create long-term health.
Clare prefers the natural approach, and qualifying in nutritional therapy gave her the confidence to come off HRT, take back control of her life and health, and look forward to living the best half of her life free of prescription drugs. Understanding the importance of creating harmony of health of both body and mind through menopause and beyond, she’s now on a mission to inspire, educate and empower other women, too.
Click HERE to find out more about how Clare shares her years of exploring, experience and knowledge through 1:1 consultations and online programmes, and where you can request a FREE 30 minute consultation with Clare to discuss any personal menopause/health concerns you may have.
Your invitation to your FREE 9 day guide to Staying Slim, Strong & Sane through Menopause & BeyondAccess Here