Everyone needs good nutrition to stay healthy. But women may have a particular need for vitamins.
Sadly, deficiency in any of these vitamins can cause health anomalies – from minor conditions like hair loss to severe conditions like neural tube defect in the fetus.
That said, you can’t be 100 percent sure you’re getting all the nutrients needed to keep away illnesses caused by nutrient deficiency.
It’s even more tricky for pregnant or lactating mothers who would naturally require more nutrients to stay healthy – both for themselves and the baby.
This article discusses some vitamins that are important for women and some expert recommended daily intake recommendations.
Let’s delve in
Talking about antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E are notable mentions. These vitamins protect you from free radicals (tiny particles generated from the body), which can damage cells.
Antioxidants are also thought to reduce the risk of several health concerns, including aging.
Researchers have also found that these nutrients help fortify your immunity, offering the body’s defense system an edge over germs.
Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)
When beta-carotene enters the body, it’s converted to vitamin A, a nutrient widely prized for boosting eyesight, skin, and soft tissue. Beta-carotene is widely available in many of our everyday foods, including peaches, papaya, kale, cantaloupe, apricots, pumpkins, tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, guavas, and carrots.
Expectant mothers require about 770 mcg daily doses of vitamin A, while lactating mothers may need something higher, about 1,300 mcg.
Vitamin C is one of the most popular everyday vitamins, mainly sourced from fruits and vegetables.
Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C facilitates wound recovery and promotes the body’s red blood cell production. The vitamin also boosts norepinephrine, a brain chemical that helps increase alertness and as enhance focus and concentration.
Findings show that as your stress levels increase, over time [as you age], the ascorbic acid [Vit C] levels decline gradually.
As mentioned, vitamin C is typically found in grapefruits, broccoli, oranges, tomatoes, kiwi, peppers, strawberries, and potatoes.
Adults need 75 mcg of vitamin C daily. Expectant mothers need 85 mg, and lacking mothers should aim for 120 mg daily.
Vitamin E, otherwise called tocopherol, include other similar compounds referred to as tocotrienols. This nutrient is partly responsible for maintaining healthy cells.
Vitamin E may also reduce aging signs. However, the chances of bleeding may increase with high doses of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is usually found in foods like cod-liver oil, corn oil, peanut butter, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, and wheat germ.
These nutrients are a few types and all healthy for the body. They include Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid.
Let’s quickly discuss the variants and why you need them.
Vitamin B6 is also called pyridoxine. This nutrient helps keep the brain functioning optimally and assists the body in transforming food into energy, a process known as metabolism.
While this vitamin is a vital one for women, excessive vitamin B supplements can be toxic. For this, it’s healthier to prefer vitamin B-rich foods, including poultry, oatmeal, cereals, beans, meat, bananas, avocadoes, potatoes, chickpeas, etc.
NIH recommends adults 50 years or younger should consume 1.3 mg of B6. Older seniors may increase to 1.5mg. 1.9 mg is suitable for expectant mothers, and for lactating women, 2 mg should work.
B12 helps ease metabolism and aid creation of red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 is predominant in eggs, cheese, milk, meat, and yogurt. This vitamin is particularly essential for seniors, vegans, anemia patients, and vegetarians.
Aged women may consider Vit B12 supplements, since breaking down this nutrient in foods becomes difficult as one gets older.
Active women burn as much as 2,000 calories, even more, daily. B vitamins are essential to produce the required energy to meet up with everyday life’s demands – from giving a presentation at work to hitting the gym and running after the kids.
The NIH recommends that for regulars, women should used2.4 mcg. For pregnant women, 2.6 mcg, while lactating mothers should use 2.8 mcg.
Folic acid also known as Vitamin B9, helps develop and maintain a healthy spinal cord and brain. Folic acid also makes RNA and DNA the base of cells, and protects DNA changes, which may cause cancer.
Both children and adult need this nutrient to develop good red blood cells and fight against anemia.
Although its importance cuts across the all ages and sexes, folate is particularly recommended for expectant mothers as it helps guide against certain birth defects, including spina bifida.
Folate-rich foods include leafy greens, citrus fruits, spinach, strawberries, melons, legumes, fortified grains, black beans, chickpeas, liver, eggs, kidney beans and fortified grains.
Daily recommended amount of foliate is 400 micrograms. Pregnant women may need more, about 600 micrograms while lactating mothers may use 500 mcg.
Though classified a vitamin, this works more as a hormone. D vitamin facilitates the movement of phosphorus and calcium into the bloodstream. These minerals are essential for promoting stronger bones.
Lack of vitamin D leads to deficiency in phosphorus and calcium, which, if it lingers, may cause thin bones and conditions like osteoporosis, increasing the chances of fractures.
Vitamin D is notably available in fishes (particularly sardine, mackerel, salmon) and eggs. However, many resorts to fortified food where the nutrient is added by manufacturers) or from supplements.
Daily, consider using 15 mcg of vitamin D, according to NIH recommendation.
Vitamin K is vital for building strong bones and managing blood clots in seniors. The best places to look for your vitamin K are soybean oil, green leafy vegetables, cooked spinach, alfalfa, fish oil, and broccoli.
Everyone needs vitamins. However, research shows that women may need certain vitamins even more.
Although vitamins are best sourced from foods, it can be difficult to tell how much of one’s daily nutritional needs these naturals supply.
To prevent a possible vitamin deficiency, supplements may come in handy.
If you ever feel concerned about your vitamin doses, consider Nutriar vitamin supplements like our B-complex. They offer an easy way to up your vitamin game and stay healthy.