Written by: Marian Alonso-Cortés (dietist-nutritionist) Publication date: May, 2023
At each stage of a woman's life, from adolescence to menopause, her nutritional needs change and are closely linked to the hormonal changes that occur.
Discover how to focus your attention on what your body needs to stay healthy.
Adolescence: Strengthening growth and hormone balance
During adolescence, the body undergoes significant changes in sexual maturity, growth in height and weight, body distribution (muscle mass, fat mass, bone mass), and psychological changes.
These changes mean your body burns more energy and has specific nutritional needs in terms of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
For example, to compensate for menstrual losses, it is important to ensure an adequate iron supply. Moreover, calcium is essential for the growth of bone mass. Because these changes involve burning more energy, the body also needs vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help metabolism.
Adulthood: Striking a balance between a busy lifestyle and health
Adulthood covers a period where juggling family, home and work can be a challenge.
Very often, we don’t have enough time to eat a balanced diet and lead the healthy lifestyle to which we all aspire.
Physical and mental exhaustion requires compensating for the nutrients necessary to get energy (B-complex vitamins and iron), reduce tiredness and fatigue (with magnesium and vitamin C), and maintain a normal functioning of the nervous system (with biotin, niacin, magnesium, amongst others).
In addition, stress increases oxidative damage, so boosting our bodies with minerals such as copper, manganese, selenium, zinc and vitamins such as E and C helps.
Don’t forget to consider adaptogenic plants* such as Schisandra chinensis, Withania somnífera, and Rhodiola Rosacea for managing stress.
Menopause: Coping with hormonal changes and their associated symptoms
Menopause is one of the stages that causes the greatest number of changes in a woman’s body, and usually occurs at around the age of 50. It marks a stage of major hormonal changes in a woman’s body.
During menopause, there is a reduction in the female sex hormones, oestrogens and progesterone, which influence the menstrual cycle, weight, skin, mucous membranes, bone mass and cardiovascular health.
Symptoms can vary from woman to woman, particularly depending on the age at which menopause starts. The most common symptoms are hot flushes, mood swings, reduced energy, loss of libido and difficulty sleeping.
During this time, it’s vital to ensure you consume essential nutrients such as:
- Calcium and magnesium: for the maintenance of bones and normal muscle function.
- Vitamin A: for the maintenance of normal mucous membranes.
- Biotin, niacin and zinc: for the maintenance of the skin in normal conditions.
Don't forget that supporting your immune system is very important, not only during menopause, but also in the time leading up to menopause. Copper, iron, vitamin D, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin C contribute to its normal functioning.
Nutritional supplements for each stage of your life:
Some key plants and ingredients for women are found in the products:
- 4LifeTransform Woman L-citrulline, common evening primrose seed extract (Oenothera biennis) and purslane herb extract (Portulaca oleracea).
- Belle Vie grape seed extract (Vitis vinifera L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and flax seed extract (Linum usitatissimum L.).
- RiteStart, which helps complement nutritional needs at every stage of a woman’s life thanks to its high vitamin, mineral, essential fatty acid and plant extract content and the exclusive 4Life Tri-Factor formula.
- Renuvo, contains rhaponticum root extract, which improves the body’s adaptation to extreme and stressful situations. It also contains Schisandra fruit extract, which can improve our ability to adapt to stress.
Body changes throughout the different stages of a woman's life are inevitable, but a proper lifestyle - including a balanced diet combined with nutritional supplements, exercise, rest, relaxation and a positive attitude - can go a long way to improve the quality of life.
*Natural plant-based substances that regulate bodily functions and strengthen organic systems compromised by stress. This definition is provided by SEFIT (Sociedad Española de Fitoterapia, the Spanish Society of Herbal Medicine).