A Woman's Guide To Vital Vitamins & Where To Get Them

essential vitamins for women

Getting the right vitamins in the correct amounts is vital to staying healthy and fit. Many nutritionists recommend trying to get all your vitamins through the food you eat. Either for practical reasons, health issues, or during pregnancy, that's not always possible. If you're struggling to get full nutrition from your diet alone, taking vitamin and mineral supplements can help make sure you get everything your body needs to stay well. Use the following guide to decide which vitamin supplements you might need to support your health.

Are You Missing Antioxidants?

The antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E. They protect you from chemicals called free radicals which can damage cells. Research also shows they can play a part in slowing down the aging process, boost your immune system, and keep your skin looking and feeling good.

You can get vitamin A from apricots, carrots, leafy greens like kale and spinach, and red foods such as peppers and tomatoes. Vitamin C is in broccoli, grapefruit, tomatoes, oranges, red peppers, and strawberries. Fish oils, nuts, peanut butter, seeds, and wheat germ are all excellent sources of dietary vitamin E.

What About Group B Vitamins?

Several vitamins make up this group of nutrients. The most important and often missing from people's diets are B6 and B12. B9 or folic acid (also known as folate) is also an essential nutrient among the B vitamins.

B6 is vital for a healthy central nervous system and for promoting active metabolism. Natural sources of vitamin B6 include fish, potatoes, chickpeas, beans, and peas like lentils and chickpeas, avocados, red and white meats, and oats. Vitamin B12 is in dairy products, eggs, fish, and meat. It's essential for health as it builds up your red blood cells and keeps your nervous system up to scratch. If you suffer from blood disorders such as anemia or if you're a vegetarian or vegan, take a suitable vitamin supplement to counterbalance any deficiency in your diet.

Folic acid (B9) is essential for healthy cells and building proteins in your body. If you're pregnant or trying to be, then getting enough folic acid is vital to guard against congenital disabilities such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Research also shows it helps your body protect itself from certain cancers. You can get folic acid from leafy greens like kale and spinach, acidic fruits such as lemons and oranges, beans, eggs, and meats. Liver is another excellent source of folate.

Do You Get Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D helps keep your bones strong and supple and guards against developing osteoporosis or brittle bone disease.  Your body produces vitamin D in response to exposure to sunlight. You should try to get outdoor exercise every day. It's hard to get from food, but many products such as breakfast cereals are fortified with a range of vitamins including vitamin D.

What About Vitamin K?

Green leafy vegetables and fish oils are good sources of this vital nutrient. It helps your blood to clot if you suffer an injury and also support healthy bones. Doctors may recommend vitamin K supplements for older people who are more prone to accidents and falling.

When Should You Take Vitamin Supplements?

In an ideal world, you'd get all your nutritional requirements from food alone. However, if you think you're missing vital vitamins in your diet for any reason, a supplement or multivitamin could help keep you healthy. If you take supplements, it's essential to follow the dosage instructions on your product as you can overdose on certain vitamins and damage rather than support your well-being. But if you read the instructions and don't take too much, you should be fine. If in any doubt, talk to a doctor or a qualified dietitian.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease