A woman’s body goes through waves of changes throughout her life, but not all changes are the same for everyone. A younger woman’s nutrient needs are very different in comparison with a post-menopausal woman, for example. Also, pregnant or breastfeeding women need greater amounts of specific nutrients compared to non-pregnant women. In addition, nutrient needs differ from woman to woman based on their overall health and lifestyle. Supplements certainly aren’t a necessity for all women, but some may need to fortify their diets so that they reach their recommended nutrient intake level.
But here’s the question: should women even take supplements? If so, who? And what vitamins or nutrients should you take on a daily basis? We do a deep dive into the nitty gritty of nutrients for women to give you an idea of what you might need — pending a conversation with your health practitioner.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Supplement
When it comes to age and supplements, one important question to consider when talking to your health practitioner could be: is it common for women in your age range to take a certain supplement? Individual nutritional needs vary according to age and they can change over a woman’s lifespan. Women may benefit from a higher intake of some nutrients at specific stages of their life.
Calcium, for one, is an essential mineral that many women may need more of at various stages in life. Teens and young women may require calcium because as much as 90% of adult bone mass is developed by age 18. Peak bone mass usually occurs in the late 20s. Women older than 30 can also benefit from a calcium supplement because this is when they can start to lose bone mass and strength. Menopausal and post-menopausal women may also benefit from taking a calcium supplement because bone loss tends to accelerate as the body produces less estrogen.
Dietary supplements are generally taken to ensure you’re getting enough of certain nutrients. There are times when supplements are used to help treat specific health issues, like taking calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis, or iron for anemia. In cases like this, your health care provider will explain how much you should take and also offer suggestions about the best supplements for women in your age group.
If you have health concerns and think you should take specific supplements, it’s vital to speak with your doctor. Please don’t diagnose yourself. It’s important to emphasize that it’s always best to try and get your nutrients from the food you consume before taking any additional supplements. Talk to your doctor about any supplements that you can benefit from.
Your Body’s Needs
Calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium are the important supplements to build or prevent the loss of bone tissue. Vitamin D actually helps the body absorb and process calcium. Together, these two nutrients are the cornerstone of healthy bones. The Institute of Medicine recommends taking 1,000 mg of calcium a day for most adults and 1,200 mg a day for women after menopause — but please be sure to check with your doctor beforehand.
Supplements and multivitamins can come in many forms for easy consumption. Whether you feel comfortable taking tablets, soft gels, gummies, or even consuming a liquid form, there is a convenient way to take many supplements for all tastes.
Possible Drug Interactions
It’s impossible that certain medications can conflict with some supplements. If you are taking any prescribed medications, make sure to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements into your routine.
10 Best Supplements for Women
#1 - Women's Multivitamin
Folic acid — a common ingredient in multivitamins — has the ability to prevent neural tube defects in babies when women take it before and during early pregnancy, which is why multivitamins are recommended for young women. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all women of child-bearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. It’s important to note that the amount of iron in a multivitamin may also be beneficial for women of reproductive age.
Vitafusion MultiVites Complete Multivitamin Gummies is one multivitamin that will make you feel like you’re eating candy.
#2 - Vitamin D
Vitamin D is vital for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Together, these nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities and bone pain caused by osteomalacia in adults.
It’s important to note that people with low blood levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, diabetes or high blood pressure later in life. For pregnant women, low vitamin D levels are linked to preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Rugby Oysco 500 + Vitamin D Tablets are a great way to add some Vitamin D support to your day!
#3 - Vitamin C
Vitamin C — also known as ascorbic acid — is an essential nutrient that is critical to some of our body’s most vital functions. Vitamin C can give our immune systems a boost, but it also supports skin health and functions as an antioxidant that protects against potential damage.
Pack a Vitamin C punch with Emergen-C Vitamin C Powder Packets.
#4 - B Vitamins
Vitamin B complex can help prevent infections. It also helps support and promote cell health, red blood cell count, energy, good eyesight, cardiovascular health, and healthy brain function. B vitamins are especially important for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. This family of vitamins help with fetal brain development as well as reduce the risk of birth defects. Pregnant women may find that vitamin B can help to boost energy, ease nausea, and lower the risk of developing preeclampsia.
Sundown Naturals Vitamin B Complex Tablets gives you the full support of the vitamin B family of vitamins all in one tablet.
#5 - Iron
Iron is an essential mineral. The main reason we need it is to transport oxygen throughout the body. More specifically, iron is essential for hemoglobin — the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don't have enough iron, your body can't make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
Women need more iron because they lose blood each month during their period, which is why women from ages 19 to 50 are usually advised to get 18 mg of iron each day, while men the same age can get away with just 8 mg. After menopause, a woman's iron needs drop as her menstrual cycle ends.
#6 - Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral for both your body and brain. Magnesium supports muscle and nerve function as well as energy production. While low magnesium levels don't usually cause symptoms, chronically low levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Nature's Blend Elemental Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate Capsules have all the magnesium momentum you may need.
#7 - Probiotics
Probiotics have become popular in our times. Probiotics are live bacteria that are associated with certain health benefits when consumed in the right amounts. Specific probiotic strains have demonstrated benefits in many areas of health, including immune health, digestive health, oral health, and women’s health. Probiotics are made up of good bacteria that helps keep your body healthy and functioning well. This good bacteria helps you in many ways, including fighting off bad bacteria when you have too much of it. Probiotics are part of a larger picture concerning bacteria and your body.
Get proactive about your health with Medella Naturals Mega-Strain Probiotic Capsules.
#8 - Vitamin K
Vitamin K plays a key role in helping the blood clot, preventing excessive bleeding. Unlike many other vitamins, vitamin K is not typically used as a dietary supplement. Vitamin K is actually a group of compounds. The most important of these compounds appears to be vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is obtained from leafy greens and some other vegetables. Vitamin K2 is a group of compounds largely obtained from meats, cheeses, and eggs, and is synthesized by bacteria.
#9 - Calcium
Calcium is a mineral that is important for bone health throughout your life. Although diet is the best way to get calcium, calcium supplements may be an option if your diet falls short. Before you consider calcium supplements, be sure you understand how much calcium you need, the pros and cons of calcium supplements, and which type of supplement to choose.
Carry Nature's Blend Calcium Carbonate Tablets to stay on top of your calcium quotient.
#10 - Omega-3 Fish Oils
Fish oil comes from various types of fish, and it’s high in two important omega-3 fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3s contribute to normal brain and eye development. They fight inflammation and may help prevent heart disease and a decline in brain function. Because fish oil contains a lot of omega-3s, those at risk of these disorders can benefit from taking it.
Nature's Blend Omega-3 Fish Oil Odorless Soft Gels will give you your Omega 3 boost without the fishy odor.
We feel it’s imperative to stress once again that supplements are not a shortcut always to better health and the prevention of diseases. Medical professionals suggest that other lifestyle habits have much stronger evidence of positive health benefits. These include eating a healthy diet, maintaining your weight according to your age and height, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar you eat. Always check with your doctor about what supplements you should take, if any.