This post: A look at the best supplements for women over 40, where to buy them, and how to work them in your diet, budget, + lifestyle.
If you’re looking for the best supplements for women over 40, this post is for you. Whether you’ve taken supplements all your life or you’re just getting started, this article will give you some helpful tips + recommendations for supporting your body’s unique needs in this season.
Here’s a peek at everything covered in this article:
- Important Vitamins, Minerals, + Nutrients
- How To Get It All In Every Day
- Best Supplements for Women Over 40
- Recommended Reading + Resources Cited
The following vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are important for people of all ages + genders, but supplementation becomes especially important as we age. Let’s dive into the top nutritional needs in women over 40.
As you read, please keep in mind: while I’m an avid reader + student of health, I am not a practitioner, nurse, or doctor. I love researching + sharing information with other women, but what I write is meant for educational purposes only – never to diagnose or treat health issues. My hope is to inspire you as a steward of your own wellness! Always consult your doctor or a licensed naturopath with any specific health concerns or needs.
Important Vitamins, Minerals, + Nutrients
Research points to these top nine nutritional needs becoming greater after the age of 40: Vitamin B12, Calcium, Collagen, Vitamin D3, Iodine, Magnesium, Omega-3s, Potassium, and Probiotics.
Click the name of each nutrient to learn more.
This water soluble vitamin is naturally found in animal products – fish, liver, red meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy. Vitamin B12 plays many important roles in our bodies, most notably the development of brain, nerve, and blood cells. A deficiency of this vitamin may manifest itself as fatigue + anemia, common complaints of many women. The recommended daily dose for women (ages 14 years + older) is 2.4 micrograms.
The importance of this trace mineral cannot be overstated! In short, calcium is both vital for a healthy body + widely available in many food sources (think dairy products, winter squash, canned sardines + salmon with bones, almonds, leafy greens). Unfortunately, the bioavailability of calcium often makes it difficult for our bodies to break down + absorb. Whenever a deficiency occurs, our bodies will automatically leech the needed calcium from storage in our bones. Over time + without proper supplementation, deficiency can lead to bone loss. Women are more prone to this than men, due to the onset of menopause; for this reason, calcium supplementation is important for girls + women. The recommended daily dose of calcium for women (ages 19 – 50) is 1,000 IU.
Collagen has risen to center stage over the years, especially among beauty + wellness gurus. This protein, which is naturally found only in animal flesh + is produced by our own bodies, is renown for its role in keeping our skin tight + smooth. As is the case with other nutrients, our bodies make less + less of this protein as we age – resulting in sagging jowls, wrinkles, and the dreaded “turkey neck.” Collagen supplements are available in many forms, and include everything from pills + tablets to powder + gummies.
Vitamin D3 is both a fat soluble nutrient + a hormone produced by our bodies. Nicknamed “the sunshine vitamin,” this vital nutrient naturally occurs in very few foods + is best absorbed by the sun. This vitamin plays key roles in our body’s absorption of calcium + phosphorus, reduction of inflammation + infection, and helps protect against age-related changes as we grow older. Supplementation is typically the best way to make sure we’re getting enough of this important nutrient. The recommended dose is 4,000 IU daily of vitamin D3.
This trace mineral is directly related to one of the key glands regulating women’s health – the thyroid. In short, iodine regulates our metabolism. More specifically, this mineral is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, thyroxine + triiodothyronine. Without sufficient iodine, these hormones do not work properly + can lead to either an under-active (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid gland. Iodine cannot be produced by our bodies + must be ingested through foods or supplements. One of the best sources of iodine is seaweed.
Like its sister mineral, calcium, magnesium is responsible for a variety of key functions within our bodies – including regulating our heartbeat, building strong bones, and calming our nervous system. Magnesium is found in plant foods like legumes; almonds, nuts; seeds; brown rice + oats; cooked spinach + chard; bananas; raisins; dark chocolate (at least 70%); and dairy products like milk + yogurt. When supplementing magnesium, look for readily absorbable forms – magnesium oxide + sulfate, vs. citrate or chloride. The recommended daily allowance for adult women (ages 19 – 51) is 310 – 320 micrograms.
Omega-3 fats are considered “essential fats,” which simply means that the body does not produce them but must have them. Thankfully, omega-3s aren’t terribly hard to come by – they’re available in a pretty wide variety of food within the Western diet. Our most notable food sources include wild caught fish; leafy vegetables; nuts (especially walnuts); avocados; flax seeds; seaweed + spirulina. Sufficient amounts of omega-3 fats are known to prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation in the body, and lower high blood pressure.
Often referred to as an electrolyte, potassium is in fact a trace mineral. In addition to supporting normal blood pressure within the body, potassium’s main role is to help regulate fluid levels inside our cells. Potassium food sources include a wide variety of fruits + vegetables (including dried fruits, like raisins + apricots; potatoes; winter squash; oranges; canteloupe; coconut water; bananas; avocados; and tomatoes), dairy + plant milks; beans + lentils; yogurt; chicken, and salmon. Most health sources recommend a daily potassium intake of 2,600 micrograms for women (aged 19 and older).
Good bacteria (microbiota) are essential for strong immunity, healthy digestion, and even the production of vitamins (like B12) within the body. As we age, our bodies produce less + less good bacteria. The natural process of aging, as well as other conditions (such as leaky gut, stress, or over use of medicines or antibiotics) can create a need for probiotic supplementation.
How To Get It All In Every Day
After taking a look at (+ hopefully reading through) the list above, you’re likely wondering the same thing I was – How in the world do I get all those supplements into my body every day?!
This is an ongoing process for me, since I have to tweak my daily supplementation every few years as I age. But here are three practical ideas for making sure you’re getting those best supplements for women over 40 inside your body!
#1 Find a high quality multivitamin supplement.
I don’t know about you, but I dislike having to take handfuls of supplements every day. I’m willing to take a few different supplements, but I max out pretty quickly.
Instead of trying to figure out what doses to take of twenty different vitamins, I’ve landed on one supplement system that combines many (if not most) of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed on a daily basis. This is the nutrition product I’ve been using for years. It’s actually a three step nutrition system, which includes
- water soluble vitamins + minerals (in two small capsules, taken every morning on an empty stomach)
- fat soluble vitamins + minerals, plus enzymes + probiotics (taken as a daily protein shake)
- immune boosting, inflammation reducing herbs (via a “patch” worn on the skin)
I’ve tried a variety of nutrition brands over the years, but this system is really the only multivitamin supplement I’ve ever taken that produced noticeable results in my health. You can get more details + a full list of the ingredients here, here, and here.
#2 Fill in the gaps with specific supplements.
This nutrition system takes care of about 90% of my daily supplementation needs. But now that I’m in my 40s, I find that a few areas need extra, daily support: hormones, collagen intake, hair + skin health, and sleep + stress support.
Below are the other supplements I take on a daily basis, in addition to my core nutrition. You’ll notice that I combine as many nutrient-rich products as I can in order to streamline my supplements + budget.
- Calcium: Mineral Care Extract, from Mountain Rose Herbs (this tincture is rich in herbal calcium + magnesium, besides many other vitamins + minerals); one dropperful daily.
- For Hair + Skin: I’m blessed with a head full of thick hair in my 40s, but I do struggle with early greying + increasingly dry hair + skin. I’m currently using the Gro Ageless system from Vegamour, which includes a daily hair serum + supplements (two gel capsules). It’s basically hair nutrition + I really like the product so far (I’ll write a review once I’ve been using it longer).
- Hormone Support: I’ve recently started taking MacaLife for Perimenopause by Femmenessence, as recommended by my homeopath. Within a few weeks, I noticed improvements with my monthly cycle, moods, and PMS. I take the recommended two capsules daily.
- Magnesium: Mineral Care Extract (see above).
- Omega -3s: Spirulina Capsules, from Mountain Rose Herbs (rich in both omega-3s + iodine); one capsule daily.
#3 Focus on food sources, too.
While supplements are helpful + often necessary, food sources are arguably the best form of nutrition.
Here are ten ways to focus on getting those best supplements for women over 40 through diet + lifestyle.
- Get outside every day. Not only does outdoor activity support mental + physical health, it also gives a much needed boost of vitamin D – the “sunshine vitamin.” Some doctors recommend spending ten to 15 minutes a day in the sunshine without the use of sunscreen (which can lower vitamin D absorption).
- Add a morning shake to your menu. This is the easiest way for me to get my day started with enough protein, probiotics, and enzymes. I use this protein powder, mixed with unsweetened almond milk. Sometimes I add frozen fruit or fresh greens; but even without anything extra, I know I’m getting tons of healthful nutrients + a big boost of protein at the beginning of every day.
- Drink mineral water. Adding a cup or two of mineral water to your daily liquid intake can boost your calcium intake by quite a bit. My favorite mineral water brands are Perrier Carbonated Mineral Water + S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Water.
- Eat wild caught fish every week. This is something I’m working on, as my family doesn’t really care for fish. Wild caught tuna + salmon are especially high in omega-3 fats, and weekly servings reduce the need for supplementation.
- Eat fermented foods. This is a lost art in Western culture – which likely explains our modern issues with poor gut health. Keeping kefir, kombucha, and fermented vegetables on hand is a simple way to boost your regular probiotic + enzyme intake (without having to take supplements).
- Snack on seaweed. No, I’m not kidding (but I wish I were!). Seaweed is one of the foods richest in iodine – a mineral in high demand for thyroid health. I’m working on this step + recently added spirulina capsules to my daily supplementation. Here’s a helpful article: “7 Ways to Eat More Seaweed (and Why You Should).”
- Work topical supplements into your beauty routine. Our skin is highly absorbent, which means its an excellent means of supplementing our bodies with life-giving ingredients! (This is the reason why clean beauty products are so important.) To nourish my hair, I gently massage this hair serum into my scalp every morning. I’ve been searching high + low for a nutritious skin product + finally found this serum, by Danielle Collins, for my face. If you already have a daily beauty routine, make it count toward getting more healthful ingredients into your body!
- Opt for organic foods as often as possible. While I’m not a food purist, I do try to buy organic foods whenever I can. And by “organic food,” I don’t mean breaking the budget buying pricy organic pop tarts + other processed foods. (Although I do buy those too, sometimes.) For optimal nutritional value, shop for certified organic fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy products.
- Spike your smoothies, soups, and coffee with collagen. This is a trick I Iearned from the gals over at Trim Healthy Mama (THM). While I don’t eat the THM way, I have adopted several healthy habits from the lifestyle – most notably, adding a spoonful of collagen to just about everything. I’m a loyal customer of THM’s pure, Integral Collagen powder. Using it in my cooking on a regular basis benefits my body (+ my family’s bodies), and saves me the trouble of having to buy + take additional supplements. (But if I was going to supplement, I would totally take these collagen gummies.)
- Make friends with whole foods. The simple habit of eating nutritious, whole foods every day cannot be overstated. A few slices of avocados on sprouted toast with a slather of grass fed butter; a handful of walnuts for a snack; a cup of green or oloong tea in the afternoon; a pot of homemade stew in the slow cooker, or a fresh green salad for lunch. A whole foods lifestyle shouldn’t be complicated or even expensive, but it can make a life great difference in our health as we age.
Best Supplements for Women Over 40
So let’s recap: As we age, we need a daily intake of Vitamin B12, Calcium, Collagen, Vitamin D3, Iodine, Magnesium, Omega-3s, Potassium, and Probiotics. Focusing on food sources supports our chances of getting enough of these life-giving nutrients. But supplementation plays an important role!
I’ve already mentioned each of the supplements I personally take, but let’s summarize each product here:
#1 Daily Core Nutrition
This is the 3-step nutrition system I take every day – capsules, protein shake, and a vitamin “patch.” This system covers my daily vitamins, prebiotics, probiotics + enzymes.
#2 MacaLife for Perimenopause
This herbal hormone support by by Femmenessence has made a huge difference in my monthly cycles, moods, sleep, etc.
#3 Mineral Care Extract
This herbal tincture is another product I take from Mountain Rose Herbs. I love this extract because it’s rich in plant derived vitamins + minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin D.
#4 Spirulina Capsules
I take these spirulina capsules from Mountain Rose Herbs on a daily basis. This product boosts my Omega-3 + iodine intake.
#5 Vegamour Hair Nutrition
The Vegamour brand is my go to for keeping my hair healthy as it ages. I use the Gro Ageless hair serum + take these capsules every day. (I also love this brand’s lash + brow serums and shampoo.)
For me, these five products comprise the best nutritional supplements I can take in my 40s. I’m a loyal customer of these brands + never miss a day taking my supplements. The results? The ability to live a vibrant, active life as a busy wife + mom in my 40s. (Healthy hair + skin, weight management, and happy moods are a big plus!)
Have questions about any of the products I mentioned in this article? Drop me an email + I’ll be happy to chat with you. Remember, I’m not an expert + I can’t give medical advice. But I’m always happy to share what I’m learning.
Below is a list of resources + articles I referenced in writing this article. I encourage you to do your own research as you navigate your health + nutritional needs.
Recommended Reading + Resources Cited:
- 7 Foods Women Over 40 Should Eat
- 16 Omega-3 Foods Your Body Needs Now
- Calcium Deficiency: Are Supplements the Answer?
- Everything You Need to Know About Magnesium, Perimenopause, and Menopause
- Fish Oil Benefits, Dosage, and Side Effects
- The Microbiome
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Vitamin B12
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Calcium
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Collagen
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Vitamin D
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Iodine
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Magnesium
- Nutrition Source by Harvard: Potassium
- Omega Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution
- Prolonging Healthy Aging: Longevity Vitamins and Proteins
- What You Need To Know About the Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Women
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Are you a woman in your 40s, or almost 40? Have you noticed your health needs changing a bit as you age? Are you currently taking any supplements? Drop a comment + let me know.
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2 thoughts on “Best Supplements for Women Over 40 (+ How To Actually Take Them Every Day)”
Great tips! Esther
Thank you, Esther! xo