- Menopause actually affects which nutrients you need and how much of them you need.
- Your body needs less iron post-menopause, because you’re not getting a period.
- Your body needs more carotenoids post-menopause, supporting functions that tend to degrade with age.
As women, our bodies are constantly changing, and our nutrient needs are changing with them. Menopause marks a pronounced shift, and our needs before and after are different. Here’s everything you need to know.
After menopause, you need less iron
It probably comes as no surprise that you need a lot of iron during the menstruating portion of your life. During your period, you lose almost 1 mg of iron per day. So it makes sense that when you’re no longer getting your period, you just don’t need as much.
The average woman between 18-50 needs about 18 mg per day, 10 mg of which you normally get from foods like lean meats, spinach, eggs, and beans. After menopause, your need drops to 8 mg per day, which means that Ritual would supply your full daily value of iron. If you don’t already ingest iron from food, this would be fine, but the reality is that your diet is probably already satisfying your iron needs.
But you also need more of other things
After menopause, you need more carotenoids—the whole lot of them including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and astaxanthin. Carotenoids have a very powerful antioxidant function in the body, helping everything from vision to the immune system, both of which can degrade as we age. Carotenoids are abundant in healthy veggies so you can either load up on all the colors of the rainbow or take a mixed carotenoid supplement. Just make sure it’s a balanced mix of many different carotenoids. High doses of any single carotenoid won’t help much; it’s the cocktail that counts. Polyphenols like the ones found in green tea are also important as you age; there’s currently no great way to supplement polyphenols other than eating an abundance of healthy foods. Load up on tea, apples, onions, and cherries. Even better? A nightly glass of red wine has a wealth of polyphenols.
Always check with your doctor
It’s always best to talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement.