Vitamins and Minerals for Women
Top 11 supplements for women
As a woman, it is important that you take good care of your health, on the inside and out. The top way you can do this is by ensuring you are giving your body all the nutrients it needs. The following vitamins and minerals are especially important for women to have. If you prefer to listen click here.
The first important nutrient you need if you are a woman, is calcium. Calcium is of course important for everyone as it builds strong bones and is important for muscles and nerves however after the age of 30, bone growth slows, and more bone is lost than gained.
It is recommended that we find calcium in leafy greens such kale, spinach, and broccoli, as well as tofu, fish and bone broth
In order to maximize the calcium that you are either eating or supplementing with you will also want to take Vitamin D, as it helps your body absorb calcium. Foods that are rich in Vitamin D such are oily fish-salmon, sardines, mackerel, egg yolks, milk, and yogurt. If you are on a vegan diet, go for mushrooms, oranges and fortified orange juice. You can also take a vitamin D supplement each day if you don’t feel you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from your diet. There’s one easy way to make sure you’re getting enough: go outside. Your body produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight — 10 to 15 minutes of exposure three times per week will do. Side note- the darker your skin tones the longer you will have to stay out in order for the sun to penetrate the higher pigmentation levels.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps the body make protein for healthy bones and can help the body reduce the amount of calcium it excretes.
You want to have more vitamin A in your diet to help with your vision and general health. You can get more vitamin A through your diet with foods like cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, liver, and beans.
There are supplements that have a blend of ADK in them and supplements that have a blend of calcium, D, and K in them
You should also be sure you are getting enough folate in your diet. Folate, or folic acid, is another nutrient that is great for people of all genders, but particularly if you are a woman of childbearing age. Folic acid is needed to help your baby grow healthy and strong, helping to reduce the risk of spinal cord problems, which are linked to a folic acid deficiency. Many prenatal vitamins will contain the minimum required amount of folic acid, but you might also be asked to take another supplement. If you are a woman that is not currently pregnant, you can get your folate from foods like green beans, potatoes, broccoli, and brown rice.
Magnesium is a type of nutrient that helps your physical and mental health. A deficiency of magnesium has been linked to high blood pressure, dizziness, PMS symptoms, and muscle cramps. You can get more magnesium in your diet through healthy foods like nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, oat bran and wheat germ. If you don’t think you are getting enough magnesium, try taking a supplement each day. 310–320 mg per day for women
Make sure you are eating foods that provide enough vitamin C. This is a great antioxidant that helps with chronic disease, anti-aging as it helps with collagen formation, it boosts immune function, and it helps in the maintenance of all body tissue. It also plays a role in the maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes.
Among the vitamins you need to take each day for physical and mental health, B complex vitamins are often at the top of the list. There is not just one B vitamin, but a combination of 8 different ones you should try to get through food sources or with supplements. Here is more information about the B complex vitamins and why they are important.
Types of B Complex Vitamins
First of all, there are 8 B complex vitamins in total. This is why you won’t just be told to take a B vitamin, but either specific ones, or a complex supplement that includes all of the most essential ones. Here is a rundown of the different vitamins included:
B1 – Thiamine
B2 – Riboflavin
B3 – Niacin
B5 – Pantothenic Acid
B6 – Pyridoxine
B7 – Biotin
B9 – Folic Acid
B12 – Cobalimin
Benefits of B Complex Vitamins
The reason B complex vitamins are often recommended is because of everything they can do for you. They encompass many health benefits, both for your physical and mental health. Specific B vitamins help with different things, like folic acid being good for your baby’s health when you are pregnant, and biotin being excellent for your skin and hair. In general, B complex vitamin supplements are great for PMS symptoms, heart disease, brain health, mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, increasing energy, and many more things.
How to get Them Through Food Sources
The good news is that while you can definitely take B vitamins or combination B complex vitamins for these benefits, you can also get many of them through natural food sources. This means if you eat a healthy diet, you might already be getting all the nutrients you need. In general, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean poultry and fish will get you what you need. There are some specific foods for certain types of B vitamins. For example, dairy products contain a good amount of B2, while your fish, nuts, and legumes are great for B3.
Try to aim for a combination of foods in your diet in order to get all the B complex vitamins you need.
Those omega-3 fatty acids that you hear about are really important for both physical and mental health. Not having enough healthy fats like fish oil often leads to anxiety and depression, not to mention the toll it takes on your physical health. If you want more omega-3s, you can look for a superfood like fish oil. This comes from oily, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. If you don’t enjoy eating fish, you can also get it from different types of nuts and some veggies.
Pre and Probiotics
Pre-biotic are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. The most common example is in the gastrointestinal tract, where prebiotics can alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome. You need prebiotics in your diet for the probiotics to feed off of. Most prebiotics are fiber of some sort.
Examples of prebiotics
- Chicory Root. Chicory root is an extraordinary source of prebiotic fiber inulin.
- Onions are immune-boosting foods rich in fructans.
- Whole oats are rich in beta-glucan fibers and resistant starch and are a great source of prebiotics.
- Wheat Bran.
- Dandelion Greens.
- Jerusalem Artichoke.
Yogurt is the most classic example of a probiotic. But there are plenty of other probiotic foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, and fermented cheese and there are many great probiotic supplements that you can purchase if you are not into fermented foods that much.
Zinc is essential for helping your bodies immune system as it plays a role in the development of your T-Cells and in blood clotting.
Women 19 years and older need eight milligrams of zinc daily, a pregnant woman needs 11 milligrams, and a breastfeeding woman needs 12 milligrams
Foods that that have good levels of zinc in them are nuts, seeds and legumes