We believe women should feel supported in their health at every age. We asked a trusted list of experts for their advice and recommendations for every stage of a woman’s life.
Young women in their teens
Tips from BANT Registered Nutritionist Charlotte Faure Green
My top tip for parents concerned about their teen's mental health would be to ensure they’re getting a protein-packed breakfast before they leave the house. Pairing proteins with carbs balances blood sugar. When sugary or starchy foods are consumed without protein they’re broken down into glucose more quickly, creating a blood sugar spike. When the inevitable blood sugar dip occurs it can spike cortisol, making us feel anxious. Many teens will grab a coffee on the way into college and on an empty stomach this can rapidly activate the adrenal glands to create more stress hormones. A protein-based breakfast can help slow the rate at which they absorb the caffeine and mitigate that stress response for a calmer day.
If your teen isn't getting enough omega-3 rich oily fish in their diet, a simple supplement like Bare Biology's Mindful Omega-3 Capsules is a sure way to meet their daily need for ultimate brain health. For restful sleep and circadian rhythm regulation, taking a magnesium glycinate supplement at night may be useful. In the winter months, ensure that your teen's vitamin D levels are optimal, this can be tested with GP if concerned.
Women in their 20s
Tips from Qualified Integrative Health Practitioner Paula Benedi
Invest in a good quality water filter. I never drink tap water! Unfortunately our 'safe' drinking water has been shown to contain harmful chemicals including endocrine disruptors. Many of these can act as xenoestrogens and mess up your hormones by causing estrogen dominance. Think PMS symptoms, decreased sex drive, mood swings, hormonal weight gain, painful periods, infertility and hormonal acne. I make sure to filter my drinking water with a Berkey filter or drink water from a glass bottle (plastic if I have no other choice) if I'm on the go.
Bare Biology’s Life & Soul Daily Omega-3 Capsules - Important for not only skin health but needed for every single cell in our body to function normally.
Synergised Daily Essential Formula - This all-in-one powder provides everything you want from a multivitamin and more - including 28g of organic pea protein, detox nutrients, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Vitamin D - Something we all lack in the UK, yet something we are all desperately in need of for immunity, skin and general health!
Women in their 30s
Tips from Hormone Nutritionist Hannah Alderson
Looking after your nervous system is one of the best things you can do for your hormonal health. As we move through our 30s progesterone levels start to naturally drop which means there can be a sense of higher perceived stress as progesterone has a wonderfully calming effect. If your stress levels are high, this will further impact your progesterone as your body uses progesterone to make cortisol, via the ‘cortisol steal’ it will prioritise making your stress hormone over progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone.
My advice would be to start to form positive habits during these years to help your nervous system feel safe which will help reduce circulating cortisol. I find walking in nature, dancing and breathwork really helpful. Focus on foods high in magnesium, B6 and omega-3. This will build the foundations to navigate the perimenopause shift that is to come in your 40s.
I would suggest supplementing with omega-3 and also around 500mg of magnesium glycinate in the evening.
Women in their 40s
Tips from Integrative Hypnotherapist Malminder Gill
During perimenopause, which for the majority of women occurs in their forties, it’s crucial to maintain mental wellness. If you’re prone to anxiety and panic attacks, here are my recommendations.
A simple breathing technique, such as inhaling through the nose for the count of seven and exhaling through the mouth for the count of eleven, can help alleviate anxiety and panic by helping the body to relax. If you notice that your anxiety persists, you should seek professional support.
I recommend Bare Biology’s Omega-3 and a high-quality multivitamin at my practice where I specialise in anxiety treatments.
Women in their 50s
Tips from Registered Nutritional Therapist Kate Fisk DipCNM, mBANT, mANP, rCNHC
Aim to have at least four alcohol-free nights a week. If our liver is busy processing what we're drinking, it won't be efficient at breaking down the hormones that have done their job. If we don’t eliminate spent hormones they can re-enter our circulation, making our perimenopausal symptoms worse. Not only that, alcohol plays havoc with our blood sugar levels, disturbing sleep.
My most used supplement for women in their fifties is actually a food: flax seeds. These tiny seeds provide an impressive amount of omega-3 oil alpha-linoleic acid and decent amounts of essential minerals and vitamins. In addition, they’re the richest plant source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that helps to balance oestrogen levels naturally. Particularly useful if you're going through perimenopause. I also recommend flaxseeds to support healthy bowel movements which is crucial for removing toxins and spent hormones!
Grind flax seeds before you use them. Start with just a teaspoon a day, building up to two tablespoons. Try adding them to smoothies and bullet-proof coffee, sprinkled on salads or cooked vegetables with a bit of butter.
Women in their 60s
Tips from Specialist Menopause Nutritionist Emma Bardwell
Women over 60 need to be focusing on maintaining bone density - it’s never too late to work on building bone and mitigating loss. Eat calcium rich foods like dairy, broccoli, fortified plant milks and tofu. Get plenty of magnesium through foods like green leafy vegetables, edamame beans, avocados, apricots, cashew nuts and bananas. I also recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Weight bearing exercise is crucial for bones, muscle mass, blood glucose regulation, mental health as well as memory and focus.
In 2022, a meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials reported that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation slightly increased bone mineral density - interestingly the results were more pronounced in postmenopausal women.
Women in their 70s+
Tips from Nutritional Therapist & Clinical Director BSc (Hons) DipNT Phoebe Libeling
I was once very firmly put in my place by a client when I referred to her increasing age as ‘getting older’. She replied with her fiery and familiar wit that she was not old, she was in fact gold. I have coined her wonderful witticism and continue to use it today.
Ageing is merely a lessening of efficiency. We also go through a significant hormonal evolution in the menopause which creates a new internal landscape to the one we have lived with up to that point in time.
A key action of our reproductive hormones is to support the function of the nervous system which is why many will suffer with anxiety, disturbed sleep and irritability after the menopausal transition.
Supplemental omega-3 in addition to magnesium and zinc in glycinate forms are hugely beneficial for nervous system function as well as supporting memory, sleep quality and immune function. They also support skin elasticity too which is always a good thing!
For muscles, tendons, cartilage and the elastic fibres that make up the skin we want to ensure good dietary protein intake, and add supplemental collagen + vitamin C.