As a woman, you are constantly surrounded by news of products that are supposed to make you look and feel your best. Because you hear health advice from so many sources, it can be hard to know who to listen to. That’s why our Springfield pharmacy has put together this list of vitamins and supplements for women that are most important for your health. These are the nutrients that most women need but struggle to consume enough through the foods they eat, which is why it’s often necessary for women to take the following vitamins and supplements.
1. Iron Supplements
One of the most common nutrient deficiencies in women is iron. This mineral is important because your body uses it to make blood proteins that allow your blood to carry oxygen throughout your body. The amount of iron a woman needs depends on a number of factors, including age, menstruation, diet, pregnancy, and activity level. It is typically recommended that adult females between the ages of 19 and 50 get around 18 mg of iron a day, and women over 50 need around 8 mg. A lot of women struggle to consume enough iron in their diets, especially those who eat plant-based diets, which is why many women benefit from taking iron supplements.
2. Calcium Supplements
One of the most important vitamins and supplements for women is calcium. This mineral is essential for bone health. Women naturally have lower bone density than men, and as women age, hormonal shifts during menopause further affect bone density. This puts older women at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium builds up your bones to make them healthier. It also helps regulate blood clotting, heart beats, muscle contractions, and cell function. While it’s best to get calcium naturally through the foods you eat, sometimes your body can’t absorb enough calcium from food alone. That’s why many women, especially those over the age of 50, can benefit from taking calcium supplements to receive the recommended 500 to 600 mg of calcium each day.
3. B-Complex Vitamins
Women’s hormones are constantly changing throughout menstrual cycle phases, and these changes affect your energy metabolism. That’s why many women feel more or less energized at different times of the month. B-complex vitamins help support your energy at a cellular level. There are eight B-vitamins that are crucial for supporting women’s energy, heart health, and nervous system health. The energy you get from these vitamins and supplements is different from the burst of energy you feel after drinking coffee. Instead, B-vitamins help your body convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy that it can use throughout the day. The three most important B-vitamins are B6, B12, and B9 (folic acid).
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most common vitamins and supplements for women and men to both take. While vitamin C is essential for everyone, pregnant and postmenopausal women are more at risk for a deficiency. Most people take vitamin C supplements to boost their immune system. However, this vitamin is also essential for producing collagen, regenerating antioxidants, and improving the absorption of iron. Some studies have also suggested that vitamin C supplementation can improve mood. While there are many foods that contain vitamin C like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and some vegetables, many women struggle to eat enough vitamin C in their diets. It’s typically recommended that women over the age of 19 should receive 75 mg of vitamin C daily, and that number increases for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
5. Collagen Supplements
When asked about the best vitamins and supplements for women, a common recommendation is collagen. This protein is produced by the body and is essential for skin health. Collagen also plays a role in the structure and function of cartilage, bones, and more. Taking a collagen supplement has been shown to improve skin hydration, elasticity, and texture. When collagen is combined in a supplement with hyaluronic acid, which is your body’s natural moisturizer, you will likely see an improvement in your skin’s elasticity as well as a softened appearance of wrinkles.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps protect our bodies from the damaging effects of free radicals. This plays an important role in staying healthy since free radical damage is associated with a number of chronic conditions, including vision loss, clogged arteries, and even cancer. Vitamin E can also improve women’s reproductive health and plays a role in relieving painful menstruation. Additionally, vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect against skin damage after UV exposure. This vitamin is found in a lot of natural foods, including nuts, seeds, avocados, beets, mangos, spinach, and more. However, if you aren’t getting enough vitamin E from your diet, it can be beneficial to take a supplement to achieve the recommended 15 mg each day.
Omega-3 is a nutrient that many women do not get enough of in their diets. This essential fat is not naturally produced by your body, but it’s essential for cellular and cardiovascular health. Omega-3 affects the function of cell receptors and helps produce hormones that regulate inflammation, clotting, and the contraction of artery walls. This nutrient also helps your heart maintain a steady beat. Women who are most at risk of deficiency in omega-3 are those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, over the age of 50, or those who do not consume fish. Omega-3 is most commonly found in seafood like salmon, shrimp, and sea bass, as well as some nuts and seeds. If you don’t eat enough of these types of foods, you may need to take an omega-3 supplement such as fish oil or krill oil.
8. Vitamin D
Your body needs vitamin D to help it absorb calcium and phosphorus, both of which are essential for bone health. Vitamin D has also been shown to help control infections, reduce inflammation, and potentially reduce the growth of cancer cells. If you don’t consume enough vitamin D, your body can’t absorb enough calcium, which can contribute to bone loss in postmenopausal women. Studies also suggest that this vitamin may play a role in women’s reproductive health. Vitamin D deficiencies may also cause depression symptoms, and taking vitamin D supplements has shown to improve well-being in these individuals. All women need vitamin D, but those who are postmenopausal or live in areas with limited sun exposure will benefit most from taking vitamin D supplements.
9. Potassium Supplements
Potassium is one of the lesser known vitamins and supplements for women. Potassium is important because it helps your body maintain fluid levels inside its cells and offsets the effects of sodium in the bloodstream. This mineral is necessary for proper muscle contraction and allows your muscles and nerves to communicate. Potassium also produces alkali in the body, which neutralizes high amounts of acid. Without potassium, your body may break down your bones to counteract the acid. This makes this mineral especially important for older women who are more at risk for bone loss and osteoporosis. It’s typically recommended that adult women need 2,600 mg of potassium daily. You can get potassium from foods like bananas, avocados, spinach, dairy, beans, and coconut water, but if you don’t get enough from your diet, you may need to take a potassium supplement.
Shop Vitamins and Supplements for Women at Our Springfield Pharmacy
It’s important that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to stay healthy. While it’s best to get all your nutrients from your diet, that’s often not possible for most women. If you need to supplement your diet with one or more of these vitamins and supplements for women, stop by Springfield Pharmacy and we can help you find the supplements that are best for you!