Supplements for women are not a form of requirement. However, for better health and wellness, there are supplements women may take especially when they suffer from certain health conditions that arise due to a lack of certain nutrients. It is true that vitamins and minerals are best acquired from the food we eat. However, what we are having mainly from our food intake may not be enough. It does not hurt to boost our nutrient intake even just a little through taking supplements.
Women vary a lot: age, height, weight, lifestyle, work, demographic location, exposure to different environmental conditions, and eating habits. Taking supplements depend solely on our diet, needs, and of course, the doctor’s recommendations. There are three B’s to greatly consider for women: bones, babies, and bellies. Healthy bones are a must especially in women who are more prone to osteoporosis, folate is a substantial nutrient in terms of fertility and fetal development, and the smaller the waistline, the smaller the risk for cardiovascular and some chronic ailments. Here are some of the commonly needed supplements for women and a guide for you to determine which among them your body needs.
Iron carries the oxygen in the blood and helps transport it to the different parts of the body. It also aids in the production of the red blood cells. Moreover, it helps in immune system development, cognitive function, and regulation of the body temperature. It is also essential for cell growth. If a woman lacks iron, she is more likely to have anemia. This nutrient is especially significant for pregnant women and those who are having their monthly menstrual cycle. Iron deficiency could lead to unrelenting fatigue and shortness of breath even when doing not so physically demanding activities. Lack of this nutrient also makes the body inefficient in controlling the body temperature and also weakens the immune system thus making the person susceptible to infections. If you are not having much lean red meat, beans, or dark-green leafy veggies, you may talk to your physician into starting taking a ferrous sulphate supplement.
Calcium, as known to us all, keeps the bones and teeth healthy and strong. What most of us do not know is that it also helps muscles and blood vessels to expand and contract. Moreover, calcium also helps in secretion of hormones and delivery of messages to the nervous system. Calcium is especially important for women who are about to enter the pre-menopausal, menopausal and most especially the post-menopausal stage. Because of the heightened risk of osteoporosis for aging adults more especially for women, calcium is great aid in taking care of the declining bone density. Dairy products like milk and cheese and dark-green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium. There also supplemental tablets and liquids for better calcium consumption.
Folate helps produce and maintain cells including red blood cells. It also maintains the proper balance in receiving and sending activities of the nervous system. It is highly necessary for normal and efficient brain function and emotional health. It is crucial in the prevention of anemia and is vital in pregnancy. If the pregnant woman is folate deficient, the risks of premature birth and infant neural tube problems are heightened. The recommended daily intake is 400 micrograms, but rises to 600 micrograms during pregnancy and 500 micrograms during lactation. People who are well supplied with folate are also having decreased risk of certain variations of cancer. Folate is naturally found in green leafy veggies and fruits. However, it may also be synthetically infused into cereals, breads and pastas in addition to the folate supplements.
- Vitamin B-Complex
The other B vitamins aside from folate which is vitamin B9 are also highly essential especially for women. Aside from helping the body efficiently transform food into fuel for energy, it also contributes into having healthy skin, hair and eyes. It also helps maintain proper functioning of the nervous system and metabolism processes. It also helps keep the muscles toned and the mind sharp. Deficiency in the Vitamin B-complex holds a handful of problems. If a person is vitamin B deficient, he or she is more susceptible to anemia, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, depression, numbness, tingling of the arms and legs, muscle cramps, respiratory infections, hair loss, eczema, birth defects, and poor growth in children. Aside from the B supplements, vitamin B complex is also available from fish and poultry products, eggs, and green leafy veggies.
One of the best supplements for women one must not miss is omega-3. It assists in proper and efficient brain operation which makes it necessary for brain memory and performance as well as for behavioural function. It also helps reduce high blood pressure and inflammation. It helps lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart ailments, cancer, arthritis and other joint problems. Also, studies show that people who eat fish, which is rich in omega-3, have lessened risk of macular degeneration which is a health condition of the eyes. Fishes are rich in omega-3 particularly salmons, mackerels, and tunas. It is also available in the form of fish oil capsules.
Another particularly important among the long list of supplements for women would be probiotics. It is great in helping digestive processes of the body. It fights off disease-causing bacteria and reduces diarrhea caused by infections, chemotherapy and irritable bowel syndrome. It has been well established by studies that probiotics could help treat a variety of health problems like diarrhea, vaginal yeast, urinary tract infection, irritable bowel syndrome, and some intestinal infections. It also cuts the risk of recurrence of bladder cancer and helps prevents the occurrence or severity of colds and flu. Yogurt and kefir are probiotic-rich. If you are not much into dairy products, there is also a wide variety of supplements to choose from.
- Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 or simple CoQ10 is among the many supplements for women that are regarded as substantial. It is important in cell function and helps manage the energy supply of the body. It is also considered as a very powerful antioxidant. It helps in certain heart conditions according to studies. It lowers the blood pressure and boosts levels of an enzyme that helps protect the blood vessels from being damaged. It could also fight off cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Also, it helps the improve body function during physical activities. Japanese experts found that people who are well supplied with CoQ10 have lesser risk of muscle injury during exercise. It naturally occurs in the body but levels of it decline during aging. There are supplements available in the market.
Another addition to the list of vital supplements for women would definitely be resveratrol. Aside from preventing blood vessel damages, it also lowers the bad cholesterol in the body and it also prevents blood clots. High potential is found in resveratrol for preventing heart disease. It also possesses the ability to inhibit the propagation of a variety of cancer cells like those of breast and colon cancer. It also appears to interact directly with genes that regulate aging. Yes, aging is an inevitable process, but we can at least try to slow it down through the aid of resveratrol. Though supplements are available, it is also present in grapes, wines especially red wine, berries, and peanuts.
- Green Tea (or green tea extract)
For a powerful antoxidant, we have green tea as an addition to the list. It contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate which is the most studied and most active polyphenol antioxidant. This antioxidant may help prevent the occurrence of heart ailments by lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood, and also contains anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Green tea is widely available in the market. But if you are not much of a tea lover, there are also supplements that contain green tea nutrients.
There are many available supplements for women. This is because it is not that easy to get all the vitamins and minerals we need just from the food we eat. Moreover, even if we are eating good and healthy, we still are not a hundred assured that we get enough. It does not hurt to take supplements. However, before starting taking supplements for women, it best to first consult with the doctor.