- Women's Health
Top 9 Vitamins Women Must Take
I am a health-conscious woman and I know our body can hardly absorb all the nutrients from what we eat. It is very important that we take vitamins and other dietary supplements to meet the body’s nutritional needs.
I also know we should take vitamins and supplements according to the life stage we are at and the circumstances we are in.
A vitamin deficiency results in serious health problems while sufficient vitamin and minerals intake promotes healthy living capabilities.
This Hub page has been set up to provide you with information about my understanding of the best vitamins and dietary supplements for women and a list of them to help you decide whether you should take them or not.
I wish you can achieve your goal of being healthy and beautiful forever.
Here we go:
Do you take Vitamins every day?
1. Vitamin B6:
Vitamin B6 is the essential substances for body fat and glucose metabolism, particularly for women’s estrogen metabolism which is vital for certain gynecological diseases’ prevention and treatment.
For example, taking birth control pills may cause pessimistic mood, grumpy, fatigue, anxiety, etc. Daily vitamin B6 dose of 60 mg can slowly ease those symptoms. I know vitamin B6 works because my doctor suggested when I became irritable after I started birth control pills.
Some women suffer from premenstrual tension syndrome, such as insomnia, forgetfulness, headache, and so forth. Daily vitamin B6 supplements of 50-100 mg can relieve symptoms.
During pregnancy, doctor often recommends daily 1.9 mg vitamin B6 (vary with a woman’s weight and personal health condition) for those who show symptoms of swollen hands and feet, knuckles pain, morning sickness, and so on.
Vitamin B6-rich foods are tuna, lean steak, chicken breast, bananas, and peanuts.
2. Folic acid:
The study found that folic acid is particularly important for childbearing women. If a woman lack of folic acid during the first three months of pregnancy, she needs to take folic acid to prevent birth defects.
Folic acid can also promote the secretion of milk for pregnant women or women after childbirth.
If a woman is trying to become pregnant, she may begin taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day 6 months before pregnancy. In general, daily dosage 400 mcg of folic acid for adult women, 600 mcg during pregnancy, 500 mcg for breastfeeding moms and 600 mcg for the elderly, alcoholics, and those who take contraceptives pills.
Folic acid is found primarily in green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cabbage. In addition to green leafy vegetables, Folic acid -rich foods include carrots, egg yolk, apricots, pumpkin, beans, and whole wheat flour.
Do I still need folic acid if I am not planning to get pregnant now?
3. Vitamin C:
It is said that taking Vitamin C can prevent cancer and heart disease, and protect teeth and gums and so on, but its main role is to enhance immunity.
Taking vitamin C can be specifically beneficial for women.
- Vitamin C can promote the body's absorption of iron which can significantly make up for the loss of blood during menstruation.
- Vitamin C can inhibit the secretion of pigment, so those who take vitamin C daily have a higher probability of having a beautiful skin free from freckles or dart spots.
- Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen which we all know it is good for anti- wrinkles.
Experts believe that the best dosage of vitamin C per person per day should be 200-300 mg and the minimum should be no less than 60 mg. Though half cup of fresh orange juice is sufficient to satisfy this minimum amount, we should eat more vitamin C rich foods for our body to function properly.
Vegetables rich in vitamin C are cauliflower, green peppers, and tomatoes whereas fruits containing a lot of vitamin C are oranges, lemons, grapes, dates, kiwi and etc.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E can promote body’s metabolism and improve immunity. Taking vitamin E often can lower cholesterol, prevent cardiovascular disease and amnesia.
Women who lack of vitamin E will have dry skin, wrinkles and other adverse skin related consequences. Why? It is because vitamin E has an antioxidant property which can protect the biofilm from peroxide attack, improve skin blood circulation, enhance the vitality of skin cells, and delay cells aging. Women who would love to maintain a youthful appearance should take vitamin E. I sometimes put vitamin E on my face at nights.
Some studies shows there are relations between vitamin E and female fertility which can prevent miscarriage if pregnant women take vitamin E as doctor suggested.
Adults’ daily dosage of vitamin E is 15 mg.
Vitamin E-rich foods found mainly in nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, and lean meat, dairy, eggs, beans, and cabbage, etc.
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Calcium is one of our key life elements that women over 20-year-old should take it and take it seriously. This is because our bone densities begin to slowly decrease at the age of 20, and begin to accelerate such decrease after the age of 30, which planted the seeds of osteoporosis if we pay no attention to it.
About 99% calcium is located in our bones and teeth and the remaining 1% is distributed in the blood, interstitial fluid and soft tissue. A healthy and strong bone is a safeguard for our body normal movements and activities.
According to the survey in Shanghai China, the occurrence of osteoporosis in adult men is 20.1% and in women is 48.1%. The incidence of osteoporosis for males over 60 years old is 24.9% and for females is 75.7%.
In addition, calcium deficiency also causes a major contributor in women’s aging, thus, I believe women should take calcium daily upon the age of 20.
Experts suggest that adult women consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily and it should be added to 1500 mg for those who are in pregnancy or menopause.
Best calcium food sources are in dairy products such as milk, cheese, eggs and among others are beans, seaweed, shrimp, sesame seeds, fish and vegetables.
However, in the consumption of these calcium-rich foods, you should avoid foods containing phosphate and oxalic acid, which can affect calcium’s absorption.
Iron is an essential element for human hematopoietic. In another word, the blood is absolutely inseparable from the iron - no iron, no blood.
Women in particular should have higher iron demand than man because menstruation alone causes a great deal of women’s iron loses and at the same time, the blood plays an important part in women's health.
Chinese Nutrition Society recommends 20 mg of iron per day for adult women need and 25-35 mg for pregnant and nurturing women while 15 mg for men.
Iron can be found in lean meat, mushrooms, sesame seeds, beans, kelp, seaweed, apricots, peaches, and plums. Currently, you can also find the iron fortified soy sauce in the supermarket.
Zinc can keep the original brightness of the hair color no matter it is black, gold, brown or red. Zinc can also promote our physical development, maintain normal sexual function, and enhance the body's resistance to diseases and infections, etc.
Foods that contain zinc are seafood, beans, apples, melon seeds, sesame seeds, root vegetables.
Daily intake of zinc is 12 mg.
Magnesium is essential for maintaining our life activities including regulate our nerve and muscle activities and boost the body endurance.
In addition, magnesium is an enemy of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar helping to prevent stroke, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Magnesium is widely used as a laxative for constipation. Therefore, women know the exact benefit of taking magnesium - the more systematic their bowel movements is, the better their skin looks.
Magnesium-rich foods are green beans, soybeans, corn, flour, wheat, mushrooms, fennel, spinach, cucumber, persimmons.
Daily intake of magnesium should be 320 mg.
9. Dietary fiber:
Dietary fiber gives a strong protection to our intestines.
Dietary fiber itself is not a type of nutrient, but its biggest role is to promote gastrointestinal motility, speed up toxins’ metabolism, and relieve constipation problems.
I remembered a story of my mom. Before she visited me from China for the first time, she told me that her friend died from intestinal obstruction a week after she landed in California where her friend’s daughter lives. I knew she was worried, but I could not tell her to call off her trip. Well, upon her arrival, I gave her a glass of “orange juice” before she went to sleep even though she was a little reluctant to drink it. The next morning, she was thrilled to announce that she was not constipated as she had imagined because of changing of environment. I told her she should not have any constipation problem since she drank the “orange juice” - Metamucil psyllium fiber supplements. She had regular bowel movement when she was stayed with me. By the end of her trip, she bought 4 containers of 48.2 oz. to stock up 2 containers for herself, and give the other two as present to her friends.
Now, you too know how important to take fiber every day.
Dietary fibers are largely in the whole wheat bread, potatoes, leeks, celery, apples.
Up till this point, I have presented the information I researched for all 9 vitamins and minerals women should take. I hope you can assess the benefits of taking those vitamins and supplements, and then decide whether you should take them and what kinds of vitamins to take is something that you should explore more in depth.