Vitamins for women can be used to boost your health in lots of different ways. The right mix of vitamins can bolster your immune system, give you better skin, supplement any gaps in your diet, and much more. But there are a lot of vitamins out there, so how do you know what you should take? Which are the right vitamins for women?
Women’s vitamins can be confusing, but you can decide what to take based on your age. For women under 30, the following vitamins are important.
Calcium helps to build strong bones, but it is also part of building healthy muscles, nerves, and heart. Women need to get enough calcium throughout their life, but it’s best to start building bone density during your 20s. As you age, your body loses some of that bone, so the more you start out with, the better. You can get calcium from your diet, from dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice and cereals, beans, leafy greens, salmon, and almonds. If you aren’t getting enough calcium from food, you can take a calcium supplement.
Much like calcium, vitamin D is important for the health of your bones. It can also reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Vitamin D also helps your stomach and intestines to absorb more calcium. You can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna, or fortified milk, juices, and cereals. Vitamin D is also made in the skin, thanks to exposure to sunlight. If you don’t get much chance to get much sun on your skin, you might need to speak to a doctor or a dietitian about how to meet your vitamin D needs.
Iron is very important for young women. Iron increases the number of red blood cells that you have in your body and helps to keep your blood healthy. Women who have very heavy periods and pregnant women need to get more iron in their diets, or they might need to take an iron supplement. If you have too little iron in your diet, this can lead to anemia. Iron can come from animal sources (heme iron), or plant sources (nonheme iron). Iron from animal sources is easier for the body to absorb than iron from plant sources. However, you can improve how iron from plant sources is absorbed when the foods you get it from are eaten with foods that are rich in vitamin C, like orange juice, strawberries, or green, red, and yellow peppers. Animal sources of iron include meat, fish, and eggs. Plant sources of iron include nuts, seeds, and dark, leafy green vegetables, like spinach and kale. Women of all ages need iron daily, but pregnant women need most of all.
Before starting to take any vitamin or any other supplement, speak to your doctor first. This is especially important if you are breast-feeding or pregnant. It’s also important if you are on any form of medication, as some vitamins can counteract some medicines.