10 Essential Vitamins Every Woman Needs

June 23

As women, our bodies need vitamins and minerals that are different than a man’s. Ideally, we would get these essential vitamins through the food that we consume on a daily basis. However, in this fast-paced world and the modern woman’s schedule, we’re lucky if we eat at all, never mind making sure our body is getting what it needs to function. {+}

That’s why it’s crucial that in addition to trying to eat healthy, you add at least a women’s daily multivitamin to your routine. However, all multivitamins are not created equal so it’s important that you take a few minutes in the vitamin aisle of your grocery store to pick a multivitamin that has at least the recommended amounts of the following vitamins and minerals.

1. Folic Acid. Folic acid has been thought to help prevent certain diseases and conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, depression, cancer, and memory loss. It also supports normal cell growth and helps prevent anemia, something many younger women suffer from. Folic acid is extremely important for pregnant women and should be a part of your prenatal vitamins. Recommended dosage for women is 400 mcg and pregnant women should take at least 600 mcg. You can also boost your folic acid count naturally by eating dark leafy greens and orange juice.

2. Vitamin K. This vitamin is often missing from a multivitamin so check your labels carefully. Recommended daily dosage is 90 mcg. Most multivitamins don’t come close to this number however. Vitamin K is essential for strong bones, healthy blood clotting, and can also reduce your risk of heart disease. You can naturally get your Vitamin K from eating dark leafy greens such as swiss chard, spinach, kale, and broccoli.

3. Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin for a healthy immune system. It also helps produce hormones and brain chemicals. It has been known to reduce depression, heart disease, and memory loss and also can help maintain your blood sugar levels. Pregnant women can use Vitamin B6 to help with morning sickness. 2 mg is all that is recommended and most multivitamins contain this vitamin. It can be found naturally in fortified cereals, beans, poultry, and fish.

4. Calcium. It’s no surprise that calcium makes our list. Its role in keeping your bones healthy and strong and preventing osteoporosis is well known. However, calcium also provides your body with many other additional benefits. These include lowering your risk of high blood pressure, and even colon cancer. Women can also reduce the effects of PMS and even help you lose weight! Check your multivitamin and make sure you are getting the proper amounts of calcium. You may need to buy a vitamin supplement just for calcium. Women ages 19 to 50 should take 1,000 mg of calcium and women over 50 need 1,200 mg. a day. You can also boost your calcium intake by eating leafy greens, dairy, and juice.

5. Vitamin A. Vitamin A, also known as beta carotene, is essential for a healthy immune system by helping to fight off infections and also plays a vital role in your eye health by promoting a healthy lining of the eye. It can also contribute to healthy bones and teeth. Up to 5,000 IU is an acceptable dosage. You can also find Vitamin A in whole eggs, liver, milk, fortified cereals, and dark fruits and vegetables such as carrots and apricots.

6. Vitamin D. While we all know that calcium can strengthen our bones, what most people don’t realize is our bodies can’t properly absorb calcium without Vitamin D. Vitamin D can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain forms of cancer. This vitamin can also help reduce your PMS symptoms and protect your vision. You can get Vitamin D naturally from fortified milk, salmon, and egg yolks. 400 IU is the recommended dosage.

7. Vitamin E. Healthy hair and skin come from sufficient amounts of Vitamin E. It’s no coincidence that this vitamin is found in a lot of moisturizers and shampoos. Its anti-aging properties have been used for years because of its ability to fight cell damage. It can also help prevent heart disease, cataracts, memory loss, and certain types of cancer. Vitamin E occurs naturally in wheat germ, most nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds and peanuts, and spinach. The recommended dosage of Vitamin E is 30 IU.

8. Vitamin B12. Another essential vitamin in the B family, Vitamin B12 can help prevent heart disease, memory loss, and anemia. It has also been proven to help with depression and can help maintain nerve and brain functions. The recommended daily dosage is 6 mcg and can be found naturally in poultry, some lean meats, eggs, milk, and shellfish.

9. Vitamin C. Known as an immunity booster, Vitamin C has many health benefits including helping you heal faster, promoting tissue growth, and reducing your risk for certain kinds of cancer, heart disease, and tissue damage. 60 mg is the recommended daily dosage, but you can also try to eat any kind of citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, brussel sprouts and peppers.

10. Omega-3 Fats. Omega-3 fats are the kind so good fat that you hear so much about. We’re encouraged to eat foods rich in these kind of fats such as fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts. However, most people don’t get enough of their Omega 3s. This is one supplement you won’t find in your multivitamin, and require you to take a separate supplement. Fish oil or flax seed oil supplements are great options. Omega-3s can reduce your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and bone loss, memory loss, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

Taking a multivitamin made especially for women is a great start to getting the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay fit and healthy. By keeping these 10 essential vitamins and minerals in mind as well as the daily dosages, you should be able to find all the vitamin supplements you need.

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~ Karen Ficarelli

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One Comment

  1. Women should get their daily calcium needs. This nutritious food which could be considered are fruits, milk which rich in calcium good for bones and muscles and mos importantly are vegetables. Prevent eating fatty foods which adds up your fats and cholesterol.

  2. Toronto fitness on 06/24/2010 at 8:21 pm

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