The level of consumption of these vitamins should be monitored at any age, and if there are not enough nutrients in the diet, you can safely turn to supplements.
The idea of maintaining health by taking the right combination of vitamins is very popular these days. Nevertheless, many are concerned about the question: is it worth taking supplements or is it enough to simply adjust the diet. Experts believe that it is vital to adhere to a balanced diet. However, vitamin supplements can be a good way to fill in the gaps when they happen. So which vitamins are most important for women’s health and are worth close attention?
B vitamins include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12) and biotin. These are water-soluble nutrients found in many foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and they are needed to maintain energy levels. An active woman can burn more than 2,000 calories a day, and B vitamins are needed to produce the energy needed to meet the needs of everyday life. This is especially true for those who are fond of active training. Biotin is known as a guarantor of healthy hair. And vitamins B6 and B12 reduce the risk of heart disease in women, helping to maintain low homocysteine levels. Women over the age of 50 should take a vitamin B12 supplement, because with age it is more difficult to absorb this nutrient from food.
As a rule, a little more than 1% of a woman’s body weight is calcium, which clearly demonstrates its importance for the female body. This mineral is responsible for bone health and dental health and is found in large quantities in dairy products, as well as in other fortified foods that are suitable for those who do not consume milk. The intake of sufficient calcium is vital in adolescence, when the body is growing, and after 30 years, when the body loses bone mass and strength. Women are four times more prone to osteoporosis, which is also worth considering. And calcium is also involved in the work of the heart and muscles, blood clotting and normal cell function.
Women over the age of 50 should take at least 500 milligrams of calcium daily. After 50 years, it is worth considering taking a daily supplement of 800-1000 mg in addition to calcium-rich foods (if you take more than 1000 mg per day, divide the dose and take half in the morning and half in the evening to ensure maximum absorption). If you have a history of kidney disease or are taking diuretics or other medications daily, talk to your doctor before taking a calcium supplement.
This fat-soluble vitamin can be produced in the body under the influence of sunlight, but it is also found in vitamin D-enriched foods and supplements that come to the rescue in gloomy weather. Why is vitamin D important? It helps the body absorb calcium from food and dietary supplements and plays a role in the development and maintenance of bone health. And researchers are also beginning to prove that a healthy vitamin D level is important for overall health and the prevention of certain diseases, including osteoporosis. Women over 50 years of age should pay special attention to the supplement, because with age the body processes vitamin D less efficiently, and those who rarely go out in the sun. Premenopausal women should take at least 500 IU of vitamin D per day, and postmenopausal women should increase the dose to 800 IU per day.
Why does fish oil matter so much? Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the health of the heart and blood vessels, as well as for reducing the level of circulating triglycerides, which reduces the risk of heart disease. They also support joint health, reduce inflammation and optimize brain function. By the way, some studies have linked insufficient intake of omega-3 with moodiness and depression. Many are afraid of heavy metals or pollutants and do not eat fish, although in addition to anchovies, salmon and tuna there are attractive alternatives. You can also get omega-3 in the form of supplements.
One gram of eicosapentaenoic or docosahexaenoic acid per day helps most women, but those with elevated triglyceride levels and who are under medical supervision can take 2-3 grams of fish oil per day with a diet with low alcohol consumption and fatty foods. If you are pregnant, if you are allergic to fish, if you have a history of blood clotting disorders or are taking any medications, including blood thinners and blood pressure medications, as well as any other supplements, consult your doctor before taking fish oil and choose only fish oil supplements certified for very low content of heavy metals, pollutants and research products.
Folate is a water-soluble vitamin of group B, which is most often found in food sources like greens (spinach, asparagus) and fruits (muskmelon). Folate is needed to create DNA, maintain the proper functioning of cells, that is, it participates in tissue renewal and affects how skin and hair look. Women of childbearing age are advised not to forget about folic acid, which can often be found in perinatal supplements. Outside of pregnancy, women can take multivitamin supplements containing 400 micrograms, pregnant women need 400-800 micrograms of folic acid per day.
Lutein belongs to a class of fat-soluble nutrients called carotenoids. It is found in dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach), as well as in various fruits, corn and egg yolks. Why is lutein important? It is an antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from destruction by free radicals. Lutein is found in the tissues of the breast and cervix and, apparently, supports the general condition of these tissues. It is also found in the skin and can help protect against harmful sunlight. A lutein supplement should include from 6 to 10 mg of an antioxidant, and they should be taken together with food for more effective absorption.
It is a fat-soluble nutrient found in various foods, including meat and fish, which makes taking the supplement vital for vegetarians. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant, as well as a key component that promotes energy production in cells. This nutrient also helps protect the body from premature aging and supports a healthy heart and blood vessels. The usual doses are 30-100 mg per day (and if you take more than 100 mg per day, divide the amount into two or more servings to promote better absorption). It is better to take CoQ10 with meals.