The jury may still be out on Calcium – but logic and the doctors both concur on the fact that it is still an extremely important mineral for women aged 40 and above. What we normally hear is that children and growing adolescents have the greatest need for it since their bones are still growing. But if the doctors are to be believed, women in their middle age also have a genuine need for both the mineral as well as the important Vitamin D required for its proper absorption! So the question that arises is… Why are Calcium and Vitamin D important for women after 40? We’re trying to answer the question, as well as look into how women can get more of it here:
Why be careful about vitamin D and calcium in the diet?
As women reach middle age, menopause is one of the biggest health issues they face. And while menopause or the hormonal imbalance itself has nothing to do with Calcium, there is a big reason for needing it though.
Firstly, as women hit menopause, the levels of estrogen in the body start to fall. This leads to often unexplained weight gain. It also leads to bone degeneration. The bones lose out on essential calcium and start to weaken. And therefore the body has greater need of calcium intake.
On the other hand, menopause is also known to affect digestion, with there being a marked lowering of stomach acids. This means that even as your food is digested, it isn’t properly digested. And in this context, it should be noted that the calcium in your food isn’t absorbed too efficiently.
The result is not just declining bone health but also a worsening of the PMS related swings that most people hate about menopause. Therefore, it would seem that ensuring you are getting Vitamin D and Calcium in your daily diet is essential. And that brings us to the next question…
What are the recommended daily doses?
The recommended doses are for an individual in a day. And they can be split any which way you like throughout the day. However, keep in mind that you may not want to start on supplementing just yet before consulting your physician – after all too much calcium isn’t good either!
The recommended daily requirements are as follows:
- Calcium – 1000 mg
- Vitamin D – 600 IU
And now let’s check out…
Where can you get the necessary vitamins and minerals?
You can always get it from the food you eat. There are many natural sources rich in Calcium as well as Vitamin D. We are listing a few here…
- A walk in the sun (though not between 10 am and 2 pm, and never without sunscreen and preferably with a hat)
- Vitamin D fortified foods
- Yogurt or milk
- Romaine lettuce
As for how much of what to eat – a dietician would be your best source of information. However, as you know, you can never really have too much of these things – so start to work them into your daily meals.
And now a final question…
Are supplements necessary?
Many women will be asking this question – or even its inverse – ‘Can I use supplements instead?’
Yes – supplements can be had – as with women that age, the foods and the exercise recommended may sometimes be a little difficult to manage. Supplementation, along with balanced meals may be a good idea. As for the calcium, aim to have 2 tablets a day – each of 500 mg dosage. The vitamin D however, can be had in a single dose – anything between 600 and 1000 IU is fine.
You must have now understood why Calcium and Vitamin D are important for women after 40… As you can see they are very closely linked with a number of aspects of your health. So do not take the matter lightly and remedy your diet today!