According to research, our 50’s are the most optimistic time of our lives(1). But for many women, this incredibly inspiring decade coincides with a major physical transition that begins when we're around 45. It only makes sense that as our bodies go through the different phases of life, our nutrient needs change too. These are the 10 nutrients that should be front of mind - and our plant-based meal shake contains all these nutrients and many more, to effortlessly support healthy ageing from within.Shop Now
1. Vitamin D
With food not being a good source of vitamin D and our skin’s capacity to make it decreasing as we age, it is not surprising that 1 in 5 people in the UK have low vitamin D status. Peri-menopause sees our oestrogen levels begin to decline which has a knock-on effect of Vitamin D declining also. The importance of adequate vitamin D supplementation in some form cannot be overstated for women over 45: it is a key player in calcium absorption, bone health, immune health and muscle function. Full Stop uses vegan friendly and highly bioavailable D3 from lichen.
2. Omega 3's
Omega-3 fatty acids have many beneficial effects on the body, and are especially important as we age. They are essential for: making happy, balanced hormones; improving mood, memory, anxiety and reducing inflammation (2) and reducing the incidence and severity of menopause symptoms. Full Stop contains flax seeds which are one of the richest sources of Omega 3 Alpha Linoleic Acid. Flax seeds are brilliant as they contain antioxidants and are considered the best source of lignans, a phytoestrogen that mimics naturally occurring oestrogen that have been clinically proven to reduce menopausal symptoms and help the body hang on to its oestrogen levels (2).
3. Vitamin K2
You may or may not know that oestrogen is actually a key player in bone health - basically, it helps our bones absorb all the calcium we get through our diets. The problem is, when oestrogen levels dip throughout menopause, we need something else to pick up the slack. Calcium helper nutrients vitamins D3 and K2 are very important for this as they support bone health and re-mineralization. Studies of post-menopausal women found that taking Vitamin K2, specifically in the form of Menaquinone-7 (which Full Stop uses), along with D3 and calcium prevents bone loss and deterioration by maintaining better bone architecture compared to women who only took vitamin D and calcium (4).
Magnesium is a key player in bone maintenance and development, working closely with calcium and vitamin D. Not only does magnesium help keep calcium out of the soft tissues and in the bones, but numerous studies have found that it is positively associated with improved hip bone health (5) and it is essential to the efficient metabolism of Vitamin D (6). Beyond that, magnesium helps out with cell division, muscle health and supporting the nervous system including mood and helping us cope with stress, sleep, energy levels and supporting our adrenals.
5. Vitamin E
As an antioxidant, vitamin E supports the fight against oxidative stress - this means that it helps fight cell-damaging free radicals in the body. It may also help reduce inflammation in the body. Research has shown vitamin E helps ease stress, reduces oxidative stress, and may help reduce your risk of depression.
6. Vitamin B12
B12 is essential to a bunch of different functions in the body, including supporting brain health, metabolism, red blood cell formation, and normal cell division. And since B12 also supports energy-yielding metabolism, shortfalls can manifest as sluggishness and brain fog - which are commonly experienced in menopause. Full Stop uses methylcobalamin - the most bioavailable form of B12.
7. Folic Acid
Folic acid has been shown to reduce the severity of menopause symptoms including hot flushes (7). But more importantly, folic acid has an effect on mood and cognitive function, where deficiency leads to ageing brain processes, increased risk of alzheimers and vascular dementia (8). Folic acid has been found to improve mental performance and memory in people over 50 (9) and led to significant reduction in homocysteine - a blood chemical linked to both heart disease and dementia (9). And since folic acid also supports red blood cell health, protein metabolism, and the neurotransmitters in our brain, it’s important that we are getting adequate amounts as we age.
A woman’s calcium needs increase with age as a result of hormonal changes that happen during menopause, which can affect bone health. Absorption of calcium is key - which is why researchers highlight the importance of D3, K2 and magnesium to increasing calcium absorption and improved bone quality, density and health.
In our 40’s, the body starts to lose muscle mass at a rate of 1-2% per year. While this might not sound like a lot, the side effects are not so pleasant: weakness, fatigue and vulnerability to injury. Older women tend to sit more and exercise less. That compounds a natural aging process called sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass. By the time women near 80 years, they may have lost as much as half of their skeletal muscle mass. Eating enough protein reduces the impact of that muscle wasting.
Good quality fats are crucial and should be consumed at each meal to help maintain hormone synthesis - think extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. This includes Omega 3 essential fatty acids, found in fish, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Little known fact: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are known as “sex steroid hormones” and all of them are built upon a backbone of cholesterol. We absolutely need to have adequate intake of healthy fats in order to make our hormones.
The Bottom Line
Women face a major transition around the age of 45 which can have a huge impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Health and vibrancy start from within, and it need not add extra stress to our lives to ensure our needs are being met. Full Stop is an all-in-one superfood meal shake providing all of the nutrients your body needs to thrive - including the 10 listed here.
1. Schwaba, T., Robins, R. W., Sanghavi, P. H., & Bleidorn, W. (2019). Optimism Development Across Adulthood and Associations With Positive and Negative Life Events. *Social Psychological and Personality Science.
2. Jay K. Udani MD, Donald J. Brown ND, Maria Olivia C. Tan MS & Mary Hardy MD (2013) Pharmacokinetics and Bioavailability of Plant Lignan 7-Hydroxymatairesinol and Effects on Serum Enterolactone and Clinical Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women: A Single-Blinded, Parallel, Dose-Comparison Study, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32:6, 428-435.
3. Jennifer D Brooks, Wendy E Ward, Jacqueline E Lewis, John Hilditch, Leslie Nickell, Evelyn Wong, Lilian U Thompson, Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 79, Issue 2, February 2004, Pages 318–325.
4. Rønn, S. H., Harsløf, T., Pedersen, S. B., & Langdahl, B. L. (2016). Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) prevents age-related deterioration of trabecular bone microarchitecture at the tibia in postmenopausal women, European Journal of Endocrinology, 175(6), 541-549.
5. Farsinejad-Marj M, Saneei P, Esmaillzadeh A. Dietary magnesium intake, bone mineral density. . . . A systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporosis Int 2016;27(4):1389-1399.
6. Uwitonze A, Razzaque M. Role of magnesium in vitamin D activation and function. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2018;118(3):181-189.
7. Bani S, Hasanpour S, Farzad Rik L, Hasankhani H, Sharami SH. The effect of folic Acid on menopausal hot flashes: a randomized clinical trial. J Caring Sci. 2013;2(2):131-140.
8. Reynolds EH. Folic acid, ageing, depression, and dementia. BMJ. 2002;324(7352):1512-1515.
9. Durga J, van Boxtel MPJ, Schouten EG et al. Effect of 3-year folic acid supplementation on cognitive function in older adults in the FACIT trial: a randomised, double blind, controlled trial. Lancet. 2007; 369: 208-216