Vitamins That Support Women’s Health : Vitamins are essential elements that support good health. Women can stay healthy by including the right combination of vitamins in their diet. There are plenty of vitamins that one can consider when planning a balanced diet, but most women don’t know which ones to take as supplements or directly as food.
Today, the PureHealth Research team presents a selection of essential vitamins necessary for a sustainable, refined, and active lifestyle.
There are at least six vital vitamins a woman must have to lead a balanced life full of energy, health, and happiness.
Vitamin A: The Immunity Booster
- Function: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient responsible for the development and proper functioning of the eyes, skin, and immune system.
- Importance: Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining good eyesight. According to various research, this vitamin can also prevent the adverse effects of some carcinogens and improve the immune system.
- Sources: Leafy green vegetables and orange or yellow vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots are excellent sources of vitamin A. Fulfill your dietary requirements by including tomatoes, citrus fruits, dairy products, fish, liver, and cereals fortified with vitamin A in your meals. To fill in any gaps in the diet, one can consider artificial sources such as multivitamins and stand-alone supplements.
- Daily intake: For pregnant women, the daily recommended amount of the vitamin is 770 mcg. Those who are lactating can take up to 1,300 mcg.
- Who needs it: Individuals with immune system disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can reap the benefits of vitamin A. It increases the production of white blood cells that work as the body’s natural barrier against infection, and this boosts the immune system.
B Vitamins: The Energy Supplier
- Function: B vitamins are a group of water-soluble nutrients that help increase the body’s natural energy level. Some essential B vitamins are thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12), and biotin. Each of these has a distinct aspect in sustaining women’s health.
- Importance: B vitamins are the energy givers that help an active woman who burns more than 2,000 calories daily meet her physiological needs. Regardless of her activity level, B vitamins are essential to keep up the fuel level in the body.
Vitamins B12 and B6 reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping homocysteine levels low. The raised amounts of these amino acids can cause stroke, blood clots, and heart attacks. Vitamins B1 and B2 help convert food into energy. Individually, B1 shows neurological benefits, whereas B2 promotes good eyesight. In addition, biotin is long known to help women maintain healthy hair.
- Sources: Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are rich natural sources of B vitamins. However, cobalamin, or the B12 vitamin, is exclusively present in meat, fish, and dairy products.
- Daily intake: A well-balanced diet should consist of lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Contrarily, if you take multivitamin supplements as your primary source of B vitamins, ensure that they provide at least more than half the daily recommended amount of this nutrient.
- Who needs it: Adult women need B vitamins the most, especially those who exercise regularly and burn a significant amount of calories daily. Women above 50 should take a supplement as aging hinders the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food.
Vitamin D: For Healthy Bones
- Function: When we expose ourselves to sunlight, our skin synthesizes fat-soluble vitamin D. This vitamin effectively improves bone health. You can find vitamin D in two forms: D2 or ergocalciferol and D3 or cholecalciferol. Doctors recommend the usage of any multivitamin that includes both.
- Importance: Vitamin D increases calcium absorption in our bodies. There is no other nutrient like this when it comes to maintaining healthy and well-developed bones. In recent studies, researchers have found vitamin D to be wholesome for women’s health. It also prevents certain diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Sources: Dairy products such as milk, butter, and ghee are natural sources of this vitamin, often referred to as D-fortified foods.
- Daily intake: At least 500 IU or 12.5 mcg of vitamin D daily is enough for pre-menopausal women. Postmenopausal or older women need to increase their dosage to 800 IU or 20 mcg daily. However, more than 2,000 IU or 50 mcg can create complications and side effects.
- Who needs it: All women need vitamin D in their bodies, especially those who don’t get much exposure to sunlight or rarely consume dairy. The ingestion of healthy amounts of this vitamin by pregnant or lactating women can encourage the baby’s healthy development. Additionally, women over 50 must take supplements as their bodies become less efficient at processing this nutrient.
Vitamin C: The Natural Healer
Vitamin C is essential in healing wounds and making new red blood corpuscles (RBCs). RBCs are responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. This vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid, boosts norepinephrine levels in the brain, making you feel alert and increasing your concentration. Those under constant work stress or anxious for personal reasons must take vitamin C supplements, as physical stress can significantly decrease ascorbic acid levels. Tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, and kiwi fruits are natural and the best sources of vitamin C in the diet.
Vitamin E: The Antioxidant
Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, keeps the body’s cells healthy. Related to a group of compounds named tocotrienols, this vitamin can hinder the aging process by slowing down oxidation in the body. Foods rich in vitamin E are hazelnuts, peanut butter, safflower oil, wheat germ, cod-liver oil, sunflower seeds, and corn oil.
Vitamin K: For Blood Clotting
Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, helps keep bones strong and prevents profuse bleeding in older women by speeding up blood clotting. The best natural sources of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables, broccoli, alfalfa, soybean oil, and fish oil.
At the end of the day, meeting the daily requirement of vitamins from foods is far better than depending on artificial supplements. However, if you are above 50 or have a striking nutritional gap, consider supplements because they are the best way to fulfill your dietary needs. Talk to your doctor before choosing supplements to avoid taking them in excessive amounts. Too much of anything can be bad for you!
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