There are multiple roles that a woman has to juggle with – a mother, a wife, a career woman. There is also the social stress of having to look good and maintain a slim figure. It is not surprising that when a women reaches her 40s-50s, she will be suffering from burn-out and to make matters worse, having to suffer from declining hormones causing hot flushes, poor sleep and mood swings.
In celebration of International Women’s Day in March, I would like to salute all the wonderful women out there and also share my top 5 nutritional supplements that would keep a woman functioning optimally – to maintain an optimal immune system, an optimal hormone balance and to look good both inside and out.
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin but also a hormone by itself. Dietary sources come from fatty fishes, fish oils, eggs and dairy products. It can also be obtained from sun exposure but often times when we are indoors we lack Vitamin D absorption from the sun. It is important for maintaining a healthy immune system, and is also important for building healthy bones and a healthy cardiovascular system. Studies have also show vitamin D in women to be protective against breast cancer. (Ref: Shaukat N, Jaleel F, Moosa FA, Qureshi NA. Association between Vitamin D deficiency and Breast Cancer. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(3):645-649. doi:10.12669/pjms.333.11753)
Recommended dosage for adult women is 4000-6000 i.u daily depending on weight and health.
2. Broccoli sprout extract
A number of studies have shown that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower can be beneficial to your health. Researchers have isolated a key component of broccoli called sulforaphane, which may have many protective properties, including stimulating enzymes in the body. Sulforaphanes enhances the liver’s detoxification capacity, helps fight oxidative stress and provides antioxidant support. For the women, sulforaphanes provide an important pathway for detoxification of estrogen in the liver as overaccumulation of estrogen in the body can also lead to problems like breast and ovarian cysts, fibroids and endometriosis etc.
3. Collagen
Which women doesn’t want better skin? Collagen is the answer to maintaining tight and firm skin, especially pertinent when we reach the age of 40s-50s with declining hormones causing the skin to lose its elasticity and to sag. In addition, collagen helps maintain healthy joint function by maintaining the integrity of your cartilage, which protects your joints. It is also an important nutrient for maintaining good bone density as bones are made up of collagen.
4. Glutathione
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in cells. It’s comprised largely of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine. Glutathione is depleted when the liver has lots of oxidative stress from poor diet and nutrition or alcohol drinking which can lead to problems like fatty liver disease. It can also decline with age. Improving glutathione levels helps our body fight against oxidative stress and also enhances our liver’s ability to detoxify toxins from our environment.
5. Probiotic
Many women suffer from gut issues like frequent bloating and constipation often from stress or poor diet and lack of water intake. Maintaining a healthy gut is important for our immune system, keeps our mood and brain in balance, and proper bowel movements is important to help excrete estrogen from out body. Take a good probiotic to maintain good bowel flora and maintain a healthy immune system in the gut.
So these are the top 5 nutritional supplements I would like to share with all the wonderful women out there to help maintain optimal health from 5 areas: boosting your immunity, keeping hormone balance, enhancing detoxification, maintain a healthy gut and good skin health.