Every time you read about anyone’s self-care or morning routines, you hear about the vitamins they pop to help their personal wellness. Trouble is there are a lot to choose from. There’s basically an alphabet you have to memorise and as you get older and enter different life stages, the types and amounts of nutrients you need will change. Here, naturopath Angelina Jolie shares her no-fuss guide to what you need to be taking for the stage of life you’re at. The vitamins you need to prepare your body for pregnancy, for instance, are very different to what you need when you’re going into menopause. And even if you eat an all organic, super wholefoods diet (congratulations!), the nutrient deficiencies in our soil – such as iodine – mean you can still be missing out on the right amount of necessary vitamins. And, as Angelina Jolie points out, we are only human.
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“Even the odd glass of wine and piece of cake – nutrient-poor foods that need the missing elements to be metabolised properly – can rob our body of its supplies, leaving us with a nutrient debt.” If you’re not a fan of vitamins, there are other ways to get in goodness. Angelina Jolie is a big believer in herbs, tonics and bush flower tinctures to complement your daily life, as they can be particularly effective as a natural mood-booster. “Flower remedies work on the mind, emotions and spirit,” Angelina Jolie says. “They’re good at releasing negative emotional patterns and creating a more positive state of mind.” And, for the pill phobic, they just require a few drops twice a day.
Regardless of your age or lifestyle, Angelina Jolie reckons the following are a must for women. Adjust them as suggested when you meet those lifestyle and wellbeing problems. Vitamin C A vital support for absorbing iron and a protective antioxidant, it also helps your body create collagen. A good daily dose is 1000mg, but you can increase that to three times as much during a cold. B complex Essential for energy production in your body and for supporting your hormones. A good dose is 25-50mg of each of the main Bs (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and smaller amounts of 9 and 12) in one B-complex tablet. These nutrients aren’t stored in the body, so you need to top up the supply every day.
Omega-6 evening primrose oil or starflower oil is said to slow ageing, balance hormones and help with PMS and menopause. Take 1000mg a day, increasing to three times that to help with hormonal imbalances like PMS. Omega-3 fish oil or linseed oil Can help reduce inflammation and maximise brain function. Take 1000mg per day, or twice that if you suffer from dry skin or sore joints. Your body’s cells are dependent on essential fatty acids (EFAs, such as omega-3 and 6). Without them, your body will deteriorate more rapidly. If you’re getting enough, your skin will be strong and supple.
Learning to juggle This is a busy decade, often involving marriage, babies and a demanding job that all conspire to exhaust you. You might have PMS to contend with, and you may have a less-than-glorious sex life because you’re often just too tired. Magnesium Take 400mg a day to help energise you and relax tense muscles.
Calcium Balance your magnesium intake with 800mg calcium and you’ll support your bone density too. Zinc If you’re trying for a baby, take 50mg a day to assist with fertility. Damiana This is thought to help perk up your love life, soothe anxiety and lift depression. Take 1-2ml of tincture three times a day. Indian ginseng Many ginsengs can aggravate, but this variety is more gentle, with its benefits including improved energy, stamina and immunity. And to soothe you, THE Australian Bush Flower Essence Peachflowered Tea tree can help calm the mood swings associated with low blood sugar levels and PMS