Women have slightly different nutritional requirements than men at various life stages and conditions, like pregnancy and during lactation. While you can obtain the vitamins and minerals in the food you eat, you may not get the right amount due to low food intake, as well as having no time to prepare meals or inaccessible good dietary sources of vitamins. Given these situations, you need to take a vitamin supplement to meet your daily vitamin needs.
But what do women need in a vitamin supplement? Learn more by continuing to read below.
Folate or folic acid is essential during the years when women can reproduce or bear children, and for pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends that women who may become pregnant and pregnant women take folic acid supplements. Check this good review of Ritual vitamins now to give you a head start when it comes to essential multivitamins for women.
Folate helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects and other birth abnormalities. Folate also aids in protein digestion and helps create red blood cells. Women aged 18 and above who aren’t pregnant need a daily folate intake of 400 mcg.
Here are the excellent dietary sources of folic acid:
Iron is a vital mineral essential for immune function, wound healing, energy production, and red blood cell formation. It’s crucial to the healthy functioning of reproductive organs.
Here are the good-to-know facts about the iron requirement for women with varying conditions and lifestyles:
- If you have heavy periods or excessive blood loss due to menstruation, you’re at risk of anemia and iron deficiency. You’ll benefit from eating iron-rich foods and taking supplements. Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about your heavy menstrual flow.
- Also, active women are at a higher risk of developing iron deficiency. If you exercise a lot, jog or run in the woods, or perform physically demanding jobs, you need to consume more nutrients by eating iron-rich foods or taking vitamin supplements.
- Women aged 41 to 50 years old or those in their perimenopausal stage are at a high risk of iron deficiency. Women in this age group have an 18 mg Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for iron.
Vitamin B6 and B12
B vitamins are vital to women’s overall health. Women who are above 50 years old need more B vitamins as compared to younger women. Older women don’t get enough vitamin B12 because of poor absorption, so eating vitamin B12-fortified foods and taking vitamin supplements are highly recommended.
Here are the benefits of B vitamins:
- Involved in enzyme reactions and stronger immune system.
- Meat, like pork, is rich is vitamin B6 and B12, along with folic acid, which helps with protein metabolism, energy production, red blood cell production, nervous system function, and cognitive development.
- Lower women’s risk of developing various medical conditions impacting older women.
Women between 20 and 39 years old have lower iodine levels according to the CDC, and this age group is the ideal age for pregnancy. During pregnancy, women have a higher RDA for most nutrients, including iodine, which is crucial for a baby’s healthy brain development.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D and calcium are vital for good bone health. The best dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolk, and liver. On the other hand, fortified milk alternatives and juices, dairy products, tofu, sardines, salmon, and kale are rich in calcium.
There’s an increased chance of developing osteoporosis as women advance with age, weakening the bones and increasing the risk of fractures. For women aged 70 years old and below, their RDA of vitamin D is 15 mcg. On the other hand, the RDA for calcium for women aged 19 to 50 years is 1,000 mg.
Here are the benefits of vitamin D and calcium to women:
- Vitamin supplements containing vitamin D and calcium reduces the risk of hip fracture.
- The risk of developing osteoporosis is also reduced with vitamin supplementation. For women aged 50 years old and above, the calcium RDA is 1,200 mg.
- Women aged 70 years old and above need vitamin D to maintain muscle mass and bone density.
- Female military personnel and athletes are at a higher risk of developing calcium and vitamin D deficiency, leading to increased risks of injury and weakened bones. That’s why taking vitamin supplements is essential.
Women today need to take vitamin supplements because many are too busy or are career women. There’s no time to cook or prepare meals rich in iron, B vitamins, folate, calcium, vitamin D, and other vital nutrients needed by the body during the reproductive years and even during the menopausal stage. Taking supplements, therefore, will keep their body healthy.