March 5, 2019
On the 8th March we celebrate International Women’s Day, (don’t worry, there is an International Men’s Day later in the year!) The month of March sees a lot of attention paid to women’s rights, health issues, lifestyle and history. For many women, all this added focus can highlight their own concerns even more.
A quick internet search of ‘what do women worry about?’ brings up a long list of articles with many and varied topics. General anxiety, fear of poverty, aging, loneliness, the family, weight gain, self-esteem … the list goes on. Just a quick glance at the NHS website shows the sorts of health questions that can worry women. In today’s connected world we are bombarded with advice on what to do and what not to do. Are we good enough, wearing the right make up and following the most ‘in’ yoga routine at 3am? The pressure is on!
At the same time many women have to take on the personal role of a warrior looking after the family, colleagues, business, the shopping, family finances and at the end of a very long list, look after herself. Is it all possible? No wonder many women feel they are worriers and not warriors!
Maybe we can’t solve everything in one day, but perhaps we can aim to become a Wellness Wonder Women, if you start from a strong foundation of optimum health, many of the other tasks and fears can lessen or be managed.
if you start from a strong foundation of optimum health, many of the other tasks and fears can lessen or be managed.
Firstly, let’s be realistic. There are some things that are never going to change, we are going to age and go through various life changes from puberty to the menopause. So, if we can’t change it, why not accept it and make it the best it can be? Yes, there are health issues associated with all stages of life, but why not aim to keep your body and mind in good shape so that you cope better?
Data suggests that most supplements aimed at men, are bought by women. No, these are not for themselves, they are bought for partners and family members, the same for children’s supplements. Many women will sort out the family and put their own nutritional needs at the end of the list. Just imagine if she put her nutritional health first? Many women today are the main breadwinner for the family, the one that everyone relies on. Shouldn’t she be looking after herself first? If she is healthy, won’t that make it easier for her to support everyone else?
It is great to set yourself daily goals and tasks, but if they are too big or too much, we face the impact of not being able to tick it off the list and say it is done. It can be useful to break the tasks down and have just two main tasks for a day. Then add to that one task that is non-negotiable, one thing that you must and will do every day. Make it small and you will achieve it, how about making it a simple task of taking supplements, even just one?
It can be helpful to sit with a pad and a pen and write down all the stuff buzzing in your head
It can be helpful to sit with a pad and a pen and write down all the stuff buzzing in your head, especially your health worries. Is it stress or a premenstrual issue? Is it aging and the menopause? Are you afraid that if there is a bug going around, your immune system is not good enough to cope? Then the added fear of if you are ill, how are the family and/or your team at work going to cope?
Prioritise. You cannot solve a condition that has been neglected for a long time, in one day. But you can take some very positive steps to rebalancing your system and achieving long term health goals. Do it one day, one week and one month at a time. Tell yourself you are going to take your supplements every day for one month. You will soon find it is a new habit and we all know habits are hard to break …
Anxiety is one of the top health issues that affect women, how can we help overcome this with nutrition? One of the best supplements for the nervous system is a B complex. The B vitamins are needed for proper functioning of the nervous system, they support normal psychological function and are needed for the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. They are water soluble vitamins, so we need to take them every day. What a great way to start on your journey to wellness.
When looking for a B complex it is worth considering the forms of the nutrients. They are short lived in the body, so help the process along by using a B complex with the nutrients in their active forms. This will mean that they are ‘ready to go’ in the body and will be absorbed and utilised far more readily. They can be added to a general nutritional programme or as your first supplement.
For many women, hormonal health issues are the biggest problem. From premenstrual problems such as weight gain, skin break outs and menstrual pain, through to pregnancy and then the menopause, it may feel as if you are lurching from one set of hormonal imbalances to the next. If you have unusual or long-term symptoms, it is always a good idea to see your GP and get them checked out. You can also build a nutritional programme to support you through all the stages and changes.
What is one of the key benefits of a good night’s sleep? You instantly feel better quipped to face the day.
Along with a B Complex, another important nutrient for so many women is Magnesium. This mineral works well with the B vitamins and taken in the right form, can get into the system quickly and effectively. It is a very relaxing mineral and many users find that taken in the evening, it will help them get a good night’s sleep. What is one of the key benefits of a good night’s sleep? You instantly feel better quipped to face the day.
Borage Oil is a source of the essential fatty acid Gamma Linolenic Acid, (GLA.) GLA plays a role in hormone balance and also dry skin conditions. Being more concentrated in GLA than evening primrose oil, you can take fewer capsules. Something that is helpful if you are building a regime of more than one supplement.
Many women are advised to take an iron supplement either if they experience heavy periods or during pregnancy. Iron has a bad reputation as being a supplement that can cause constipation and stomach cramps. Look for an iron supplement that contains vitamin C to aid absorption and has iron in an absorbable form such as ferric pyrophosphate and lactoferrin.
If you prefer a herbal approach, a number of herbs such as Chasteberry also known as Agnus castus, Rhodiola and Ashwaganda have been used by women to help support hormonal balance.
If you are approaching the menopause and are looking to help detoxify excess hormones and create a natural balance, look for supplements containing Calcium D-Glucarate and DIM along with Choline which supports liver function. Adding this to a borage oil supplement can make a nice nutritional foundation. Soy isoflavones provide natural oestrogenic properties, many women find they use them during the menopause as a natural alternative.
Aging is going to happen; our cells will deteriorate or not replace so easily. Babies have smooth, soft, plump skin thanks to a substance called hyaluronic acid. This diminishes as we age, and our skin can become less smooth and taught. Hyaluronic acid as a supplement, can help maintain good skin elasticity and texture. When looking for a hyaluronic acid supplement, look for a vegan source one as many are derived from rooster combs!
Look at your diet and freshen it up as Spring arrives, get outside for ten minutes of daylight or a 30 minute brisk walk. Fresh air and daylight can have a massive impact on your mental and physical health. Investigate mindfulness and giving yourself a few moments head space a day. Maybe find a local women’s network whether it be the Women’s Institute or a business network for women. You might be amazed at just how much support you get from the occasional meet up or mentoring. They can also be a great way for you to share your skills and support other women.
It isn’t simple becoming a Wellness Wonder Woman, but simple steps can start you on the journey from worrier to warrior. Why not use the motivation of International Women’s Day and all the increased information that will get exposure this month, to start building your health goals? Your body, your mind and your tribe that depend on you, will all be thanking you.Back to Blog