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5 Vitamins a Woman Needs, that No Doctor will tell you!

Women need Vitamin supplements for optimum health.  

In today’s stressed living, in order to cope with your various roles; be it as a student, professional wife or mother, your body requires nourishment. 

Just a healthy diet is no longer enough to fulfill the demands on you, keep you energetic and on top. So, what are these magic supplements? Read on! 

We will first enlist the essential vitamins and later talk about vitamins women in particular need as supplements, in addition to their dietary consumption.

ESSENTIAL VITAMINS –A MUST IN YOUR DIET

  • Vitamin A : which is essential for healthy vision, skin, and skeletal tissue

 

  • Vitamin B1 : (thiamin), which helps the body metabolize fats and produce energy

 

  • Vitamin B2 : (riboflavin), which is an antioxidant and protects the body’s cells against free radicals

 

  • Vitamin B3 : (niacin), which can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease

 

  • Vitamin B5 : (pantothenic acid), which is essential for hormone production, immune system health, and producing energy

 

  • Vitamin B6 : (pyridoxine), which helps produce myelin, a protective layer around cells

 

  • Vitamin B7 : (biotin), which is necessary for the metabolism as well as healthy skin, hair, nails, and cells

 

  • Vitamin B9 : (folate), which is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system

 

  • Vitamin B12 : (cobalamin), which is essential for the production of healthy red blood cells and nerve cells

 

  • Vitamin C : which is essential for growth and repair in body tissue

 

  • Vitamin D : which aids in calcium absorption and allows for healthy bones and optimal immune function

 

  • Vitamin E : which protects against free radicals and can boost the immune system

 

  • Vitamin K : which can help the blood to clot and prevent excessive bleeding, and keeps your heart healthy and your bones strong

 

  • Choline :  which is important for liver function, nerve function, and muscle movement.


WHICH FOODS PROVIDE THESE VITAMINS?

Below are suggestions of foods you can eat for each vitamin.

Vitamin

Food source

Daily recommended intake (DRI)

A

carrots, apricots, cantaloupe

5,000 international units (IU)

B1 (thiamin)

lean meats, nuts, and seeds, whole grains

1.5 milligrams (mg)

B2 (riboflavin)

milk and other dairy products, green leafy vegetables

1.7 mg

B3 (niacin)

legumesfish, poultry

20 mg

B5 (pantothenic acid)

broccolisweet and white potatoes, mushrooms

10 mg

B6 (pyridoxine)

avocadobanana, nuts

2 mg

B7 (biotin)

pork, nuts, semi-sweet chocolate

300 µg

B9 (folate)

beets, lentils, peanut butter

400 µg

B12 (cobalamin)

shellfish, eggs, milk

6 micrograms (µg)

C

citrus fruitsstrawberriesBrussels sprouts

60 mg

D

fatty fish such as salmon, fortified milk and dairy products

400 IU

E

mango, asparagus, vegetable oils

30 IU

K

cauliflowerkalebeef

80 µg

choline

eggs, meats, fish, cruciferous vegetables

400 mg

ESSENTIAL VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS THAT WOMEN NEED 

1. Calcium

Calcium helps us build strong bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Your body stores calcium in your bones, so if you don’t get enough calcium from food, your body will take calcium from your bones, making them weak and easily fractured.

Calcium requirement according to age:

  • Girls ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. During this time, bones absorb calcium and build strong bones for adulthood and older age.

  • Adult women need 1,000 mg of calcium each day.

  • After menopause, you need 1,200 mg of calcium each day to help slow the bone loss that comes with aging.

What are the food sources of Calcium

  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt 

  • Cheese 

  • Milk  

  • Calcium-fortified soy beverages

  • 100% orange juice, 

  • Tofu

  • Cereals

  • Canned salmon

  • Dark green leafy vegetables

2. Iron

Why Iron is needed in Women

  • Builds healthy blood cells that carry oxygen in your body

  • Helps make certain hormones and connective tissue in your body

Who needs it?

  • All women who have menstrual periods. Iron is lost during monthly periods and if enough is not consumed in food,it results in anemia that requires supplementation.

  • Pregnant women. Women need more iron during pregnancy to supply enough blood for their growing babies.

 

Many women, especially pregnant women, do not get enough iron from food alone. This can put you at risk for iron-deficiency anemia. This condition causes your heart to work harder to pump blood so that more oxygen can reach all of your body. Anemia can make you feel tired, weak, and dizzy.

The amount of iron you need each day throughout your life is as below:

  • Ages 19 to 50: 18 mg

  • During pregnancy: 27 mg

  • Ages 51 and older: 8 mg

Food sources of Iron

  • Lean red meats and chicken

  • Seafood

  • Cereals

  • Bread with iron added

  • Oysters 

  • beans 

  • Dark chocolate

  • liver

  • spinach

  • tofu

  • Canned tomatoes

3. Folic acid/folate   (Vitamin B9)

Why it’s needed

  • Helps your body make blood cells and the DNA for new cells

  • Helps prevent certain birth defects called neural tube defects, which happen in the first three months of pregnancy

  • Helps prevent premature births and low birth weight

Daily Requirement

All women who might get pregnant or are pregnant need to get 400–800 mcg of folic acid each day from either dietary supplements (most prenatal vitamins have this amount) or fortified foods like many breakfast cereals. Nearly half, or 45%, of all pregnancies in the United States, are not planned, so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough folic acid even if you’re not planning on getting pregnant right now.

Food Sources of Folic Acid

  • Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables

  • oranges and pure orange juice

  • nuts

  • beans

  • chicken

  • lean beef

  • whole grains and cereals with added folic acid

4.Vitamin B-12

Why it’s important

  • Helps your body make red blood cells

  • Helps your neurons (cells in your brain and nervous system) work correctly

When is supplementation required?

Some women may not get enough B-12. Talk to your doctor or nurse about taking a B-12 supplement if you are:

  • Pregnant. Vitamin B-12 is very important for your unborn baby’s development. Without it, your baby may have a low birth weight or other health problems.

 

  • Vegetarian. Because vitamin B-12 comes mostly from animal products, you may need to take a supplement to make sure you get enough. Also, talk to your doctor or nurse if you are feeding your baby breast milk only, because your baby may need to take a supplement too.

 

  • Age 50 or older. As we age, our bodies cannot absorb vitamin B-12 as well, so you may need to get more vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified foods because it is easier to absorb.

 

Foods containing B12

  • Low-fat or fat-free milk

  • Eggs

  • Liver

  • Poultry

  • Clams

  • Sardines

  • Flounder, herring

  • blue cheese

  • nutritional yeast  

Foods with vitamin B-12 added, including some cereals and fortified soy beverages

5.Vitamin D

What function does Vitamin D serve?

  • With calcium, helps build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis

  • Helps reduce inflammation in your cells

  • Helps your immune system fight off germs that can make you sick

Who may need it

Women who:

  • Do not get much sunlight (you live in the northern part of the country or are homebound)

  • Are African-American, Hispanic, or Asian-American

  • Are postmenopausal

  • Are obese

  • Have inflammatory bowel disease or any other disease that makes it harder for the gut to absorb fat (vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it has to be absorbed by the gut)

  • Have had gastric bypass surgery (weight loss surgery)

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you think you may not get enough vitamin D. Most women do not need testing for vitamin D deficiency.

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