14 Essential Nutritional Supplements Every Woman Needs

Do you have perfect eating habits? Yeah, me neither. Is your busy life stopping you from getting all your dietary-nutrients? Then having multivitamin supplements must have crossed your mind at some point. 

Nutritional deficits have more debilitating effects on women than men. But supplements can bridge dietary deficiencies and make you feel like Superwoman. 

Today we’re discussing essential nutritional supplements every woman needs. Have you heard about coenzyme Q10? What about probiotics? We’re discussing all that and more. 

Do you shy away from eating spinach and beetroot? 

Then iron supplements might be a simple solution. You can call it cliche but nutritionists have harped on the importance of this mineral for years.

 Iron helps in the formation of red blood cells that help to transport oxygen to vital organs. The recommended daily dose of iron is 18 mg per day and increases to 27 mg during pregnancy. Since women lose a lot of blood every month through menstruation, it makes reaching this target difficult. Studies show women lose up to 1.6 mg of iron per day during their period. Childbirth and lactation also come with a lot of iron loss. 

Iron supplements can prevent iron deficiency anemia, improve your stamina, and decrease your chances of brain fog, brittle nails, and thin hair. 

Do you see no improvement despite taking regular iron supplements? 

Your body probably needs Vitamin C. It will improve iron absorption and give you maximum benefits. Apart from that, Vitamin C can help build strong bones and teeth. Its antioxidant power can protect you from the common cold and flu as well as cancer. 

Women over 19 years of age require 75 mg of Vitamin C to boost their immune system. But if you’re pregnant you should get 85 mg. Vitamin C requirement also increases up to 120 mg during lactation. Vitamin C can offer anti-aging benefits for your skin as well. 

As long as we’re on the topic of radiant skin, there is one more important supplement…

We are talking about collagen.

It’s definitely the fountain of youth! Collagen is gaining a lot of praise from the beauty community because of its unbelievable results. As you age your body starts losing this protein from the skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles. Focus on taking 3-10 grams of collagen per day. Continue it for a couple of months to see improvement in skin elasticity and hydration. 

Apart from the pill form, collagen supplements are also available in a powder that you can blend into your smoothies and make them convenient to use. This protein is not just a beauty enhancer. Collagen helps you to fight arthritis, repairs joints, and ligaments bones, and relaxes your gut too.

Did you finish your glass of milk this morning? 

No? Do you begin your day with lots of caffeine instead? Well, studies show higher caffeine consumption is related to decreased calcium absorption and bone loss in the body. Lower calcium in your body can make your bones frail and reduce bone density. Hormonal changes in postmenopausal women also can put you at risk of osteoporosis. 

But having 1000 mg of calcium every day can give you benefits beyond bone health. It can build strong heart muscles, lower high blood pressure, and protect against cancer and diabetes. 

If you are above 50 years of age you can have 1200 mg of calcium daily. It’s a must for new mothers growing or nursing their little ones. Remember to stay under 2500 mg if you’re under 50. Adults above 51 can have 2000 mg of calcium safely. 

A pro tip here is to read your calcium supplement label. If it reads calcium carbonate then make it a point to have it with food. That way it gets absorbed better. But if you are having calcium nitrate then there is no hard and fast rule. Also never take your calcium and iron supplements together. They will bind with each other making both the supplements useless. 

Moving along, have you heard of coenzyme Q10? 

This compound helps to power every cell. It is naturally produced in your body but its production declines with age. If you are facing fertility issues, coenzyme Q10 can bring good news. Studies have shown coenzyme Q10 to have a direct link in protecting a woman’s eggs from oxidative damage and slowing down the decline of age-related infertility by maintaining the quality and quantity of the eggs. 

Coenzyme Q10 is involved in a couple of other functions like protecting you from neurodegenerative disorders and heart problems. It also gives your skin the care it deserves when you step out in the sun. It has shown promising results to safeguard your skin from cancer. The recommended daily dose of coenzyme Q10 is from 90 mg to 200 mg per day but a dose of 500 mg can also be well tolerated.

Is your magnesium intake adequate? 

Ideally, you should get all the nutrients from natural food sources. With depleted magnesium in the soil, most legumes, seeds, whole grains, and nuts fail to provide a full blast of magnesium. 

The recommended dose of magnesium for women over 30 is 320 mg per day. It can calm down period cramps, regulate blood pressure, maintain bone density and significantly alter mood and PMS symptoms. Those frequent migraine attacks and pregnancy-induced leg cramps can also be alleviated when you stock up on magnesium. If you’re not able to tolerate magnesium pills, switch to liquid magnesium that can be easily absorbed.

Have you tried any Vitamin A supplements? 

Beta carotene or Provitamin A gets converted to retinol in your body. It’s important for your cell growth, division, reproduction, vision, and boosting overall immunity. You require 700 micrograms of Vitamin A daily. 

You can get them from foods that are slightly orange like pumpkin, carrots, or tomatoes. Avoid supplements if you eat these foods enough. More does not necessarily mean better. Since this is a fat-soluble vitamin it will accumulate in your liver causing joint pain and birth defects in babies. 

Next up, you don’t want to miss out on the life-transforming nutrient folate. 

Any maternal diet is not complete without this micronutrient. Your body needs just 400 micrograms of folate per day. The requirement significantly increases during pregnancy and lactation. Studies have shown folate to reduce the risk of developing neural tube defects in babies. But here is the catch. This happens only if your body has enough folate during the initial days of conception. Most women might not be aware of their pregnancy at that time. That is why doctors suggest women of reproductive age regardless of their pregnancy have folate every day. 

Do you enjoy outdoor activities? 

If not then add Vitamin D supplements to your medicine cabinet. Let me explain why. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. So if you don’t step out in the sun enough you will require 600 International units of vitamin D per day.

Many over-the-counter supplements have Calcium and Vitamin D in a combination since vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium. It makes sense to put them together. 

Studies have shown vitamin D to prevent mortality and morbidity in women due to osteoporotic fractures. Since most of us are deficient in vitamin D it won’t hurt to boost immunity, decrease insulin sensitivity, and get protection from cancer through Vitamin D supplements. 

How frequently do you have vitamin K2? 

It’s important for blood clotting, bone metabolism, and calcium regulation. Having this supplement would definitely not disappoint you. There are two types of Vitamin K: Vitamin K1 or phylloquinone is found in plants and has just a 10% absorption rate. Whereas Vitamin K2 or menaquinone is found in animal products like eggs, dairy cheese, and fermented foods. The recommended daily dose of vitamin K2 is 90 micrograms per day for women. If you are on blood thinners try to avoid this supplement.  

Did covid-19 make you lose your luscious locks? 

Then spice up your self-care routine and throw in 30 micrograms of biotin in your daily nutritional supplements. Although biotin deficiency is rare, its deficiency can cause hair loss, brittle nails, scaly facial skin, and redness on the face. Having a biotin supplement is much more effective than using fancy shampoos and serums for hair growth and skin rejuvenation. 

Raise your hand if you are guilty of popping in a B complex capsule every time you feel a little off. 

A non-prescription dose of Vitamin B complex is the best way to keep yourself healthy. It is a group of eight essential B vitamins that give a full range of benefits to your body. The most important of them are B6, and B12 for women. You require 1.3 mg of B6 and 2.4 micrograms of B12. 

Vitamin B complex has quite a reputation for healing infections, hair loss, eczema, muscle cramps, tingling, and numbness in the legs and arms. It even helps in the metabolism of your food, produces hormones, improves brain function, and prevents headaches. Vitamin B complex deficiency can cause loss of appetite, depression, and anemia.

Let’s focus on probiotics for a minute.

This nutrient has earned a big name in gut health. But it’s often confused with prebiotics. Prebiotics are the indigestible fiber that feeds the good bacteria in the gut. They are generally found in oats, bananas, and garlic.

Probiotics are the live bacteria found in yogurt, sauerkraut or kefir that benefit your gut. Probiotics need prebiotics to function. The benefit of having probiotic supplements is that you get a blend of many strains of probiotic bacteria. 

Probiotics help postmenopausal women to keep away infection and maintain a healthy vaginal pH . It’s essential for treating irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and other intestine diseases. Research also shows the anti-inflammatory of probiotics inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. 

The last supplement on this list that can power you through most types of inflammation is Omega 3 fatty acid. 

It helps to balance your hormones and manage chronic pain. It’s great for your heart and reduces blood pressure. It can even prevent memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. If you’re not a regular fish eater then make sure to have Omega 3 fatty acid supplements containing EPA and DHA for boosting brain function. You will require 250 mg of these micronutrients to get optimal benefits. 

How frequently do you catch yourself asking questions like “what was I just about to say? or Where are my glasses?” If it’s a regular occurrence your brain might need special attention.

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