Getting proper vitamins in a daily recommended intake (DRI) is necessary for one’s overall health. Sure, adequate food sources should come first. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that one’s body could not produce all the micronutrients we need and take them solely from whole foods.
Hence, as prescribed by doctors, some women, depending on different cases, may need to take nutritional supplements. If you are one of many ladies out there, who are not getting all the crucial nutrients you need from your diet, this article will help you a lot. The following are some of the essential micronutrients women should get from nutritional supplements.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reported that more than 40% of American citizens do not have enough calcium taken from their meals. Meaning, some women are losing bone density earlier.
Ideally, women should build better bone density while they are in their 20s since they will lose some of it in later years. Researches show that ladies at 20s, even other adults, should take 1000 milligrams of calcium each day.
Calcium is typically taken from milk, but it can also be gained from other dairy products like yogurt and cheese, calcium-fortified cereals and orange juices, leafy greens like kale or broccoli, beans and lentils, nuts like almonds and nut butter, and salmon.
If you are not taking enough calcium from your diet, consider taking calcium supplements. Also, Johnathan Valdez —a registered dietician and the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson— recommended taking calcium citrate. This form can optimize bioavailability that can lessen symptoms for people who are dealing with absorption issues.
In general, calcium is essential to women since they are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men. Calcium is needed by all women at late 20s and older than 30, as well as menopausal and postmenopausal women (bone loss accelerates as the body produces less estrogen during menopause).
In general, vitamin D helps in calcium absorption. If there is not enough Vitamin D, there will be an increase in the possibility of bone and back pain, as well as bone and hair loss, which are all common to women as they age. Also, vitamin D supports optimal immune functions, so not having enough of it will cause you to get sick easily.
The National Institutes of Health recommended that children of 1-13 years of age, and adults including pregnant and breastfeeding women between the ages of 19-70 should get 600 IU of Vitamin D per day. Adults with ages 70 and above should have 800 IU.
Being in the sunlight for 15 minutes will easily provide a person with enough Vitamin D. However, the reality is that there are many reasons why having vitamin D is hard, such as living in wintery areas with little sunlight, staying indoors, working at night while asleep during the day or sunscreen application that blocks vitamin D synthesis.
Further, aside from sunlight, fatty fish, egg yolks and fortified foods, this vitamin is hard to gain from food, especially when someone’s kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to their active forms in one’s body. Taking supplements is the last resort.
There are two forms of Vitamin D found in supplements, and even in other fortified foods. One is D2 or ergocalciferol, and the other is D3 cholecalciferol. Both are helpful in increasing vitamin D in your blood.
Vitamin D is needed by women who do not regularly intake milk and other dairy foods, women who do not receive much sunlight, women over 50 years old as their bodies are less efficient in absorbing vitamin D, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women to promote the baby’s healthy development.
Iron increases the number of red blood cells in one’s body and keeps blood healthier. This mineral is vital for women, especially for those who have heavy menstrual bleeding and other pregnant women.
It is recommended for women between 19-50 years of age to have 18 mg of iron every day, while women, as prescribed by doctors, need to have 27 mg daily. For those women having the age of 51 or older, it is suggested to have 8 mg of iron each day.
Not having enough iron will lead to anemia. To prevent it, take iron from both plant and animal sources. Heme iron or iron from animal sources include eggs, fish, and meat; while, nonheme iron or iron from plant sources include dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Commonly, iron from animal sources is easy to gain than that from plant sources. Combining nonheme iron with foods that are rich in Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, strawberries, yellow, green or red peppers, can improve iron absorption, though.
B vitamins include many water-soluble nutrients like B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin, B5 or pantothenic acid, B6 or pyridoxine, B12 or cobalamin, and B12 or biotin. All of these are taken from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
B Vitamins has twelve different purposes as supplementation, specifically to the following medical conditions including use of ethanol and medications, atrophic gastritis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic pancreatitis, gastric bypass surgery, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, intestinal fish tapeworms, pernicious anemia, and veganism.
Vitamins B6 and B12 can reduce the risks of heart diseases for women by keeping homocysteine levels low. Having a high level of homocysteine—a natural amino acid— increases heart attacks. Biotin also supports healthy hair.
Vitamin B-12 is also needed by women who burn calories daily and women who are older than 50 years old as it is hard for them to absorb this nutrient from food. A multivitamin supplement should at least provide 50-100% of daily Vitamin B-12 value.
A healthy lifestyle includes focusing on dietary improvement. Regularly intaking a generous amount of essential nutrients helps to support one’s health and the normal functioning of one’s body in a myriad of ways.
A long-time entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and Columbia Business School Alum, Kenny has built his career around creating high-quality, reader-focused digital brands.