With the fast-paced modern lifestyle, even when we eat very well . . . the fact remains that most of us cannot get the vitamins and minerals we need from food alone!
This is why supplementation with multivitamins, multi-minerals, and other nutrients is vital to bridging that gap!
Bridging this gap is especially important for women! With menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and child-rearing – women’s bodies do amazing things. However, without proper nutrition – what might be natural and amazing, becomes difficult and exhausting instead!
In the Savvy Team, we’ve always recommended targeted vitamin supplementation for women – because when you boost levels of key nutrients in your body, you give yourself the best chances of preventing cancer, heart disease, dementia and other diseases.
According to a study published in the January 2015 edition of the ‘Journal of the American College of Nutrition’, roughly 40 percent of adults are deficient in vitamin A, C, D, E, calcium, and magnesium. The findings of studies such as this suggest that many people may not even have the nutrient levels they need to stave off disease – let alone optimise their health and wellbeing! As we see it, everyone needs a multivitamin for disease prevention, and new research fully agrees!
So ladies . . . what essential nutrient needs should you be topping-up on?
Here are 8 Important Vitamins & Minerals for Women
These are Vitamins ‘A, C & E’ and as antioxidants, they fight free-radical damage in the body. There are more powerful antioxidant nutrients than these, however including these in your regime is important. Research done by the National Eye Institute shows that a poor diet low in these vitamins is a major risk factor for age-related macular degeneration and cataracts in older women, and both vitamin A and E are also known to help protect skin from signs of ageing and skin cancer.
You obtain Vitamin D from certain foods like eggs, some dairy products, and certain mushrooms – however, we get the majority of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is important for bone/skeletal health, brain functions, preventing mood disorders and hormonal balance since it acts very similarly to a hormone once inside the body. Your best bet to make sure you get enough is to spend 15–20 minutes outside most days of the week without sunscreen on, which allows vitamin D to be synthesized when it comes into contact with your skin. Having it in your multivitamin and multi-mineral is a bonus!
Vitamin K is important for building and maintaining strong bones, blood clotting, and preventing heart disease and many women fall short in this valuable nutrient.
You’re most likely to be low in vitamin K if you’ve been taking antibiotics for an extended period of time, suffer from intestinal problems such as IBS or inflammatory bowel disease, or you take cholesterol-lowering medications. There are two main types of vitamin K, both of which we get from our diets. Vitamin K1 is found in vegetables, while vitamin K2 is found in things like dairy products. The best way to prevent deficiency is to eat plenty of different veggies, including green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, fish, and eggs. This is also why we recommend a green superfood blend as part of your daily regime. Some women’s multivitamin blends will also include this helpful vitamin.
B Vitamins and Folic Acid
B Vitamins, including B12 and folate help to turn food into energy, keep skin clear, maintain a healthy metabolism, keep hair and eyes healthy, manage a working nervous system, and encourage a sharp mind!
You need B Vitamins for many cellular processes . . . to use food as fuel, digest properly, utilise the protein consumed and bring oxygen to muscle tissues. A deficiency can cause depression, anemia, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, respiratory infections, abdominal pain, and even birth defects. Folic acid is critical for a healthy pregnancy and preventing birth defects since it helps build the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
You can get many B vitamins from animal products like eggs, fish, meat, milk and yogurt. Older women, those with anemia, vegans and vegetarians should supplement and get tested from time to time, to make sure they get enough B vitamins since they’re at the greatest risk for deficiency. Foods especially high in folate include spinach and leafy greens, asparagus, citrus fruits, and beans.
Iron deficiency and anemia are very prevalent nutritional deficiencies, especially among women young. The body uses the iron to produce hemoglobin, a type of protein that transports oxygen via blood from the lungs to other tissues throughout the body. Adolescent girls are at the highest risk for iron deficiencies and women, in general, need to be careful to get enough since demand for iron increases during menstruation.
Some research shows that about 50 percent of all pregnant women are very low in iron to the point of being considered anemic. Women with adequate stores of iron and vitamin B12 and are less likely to suffer from fatigue, poor immunity and infections, dangerous pregnancies, and bleeding episodes that put their lives at risk.
Iodine intake is especially important for young women looking to become pregnant or who are pregnant because it plays a role in brain development of the growing fetus. It’s also crucial for making proper amounts of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland requires iodine to produce the hormones T3 and T4, which help control your metabolism.
Iodine-rich foods like sea vegetables and seafood are therefore beneficial, as these are major natural dietary sources of iodine. Avoiding an iodine deficiency helps protect you from conditions like hypothyroidism, goiters, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and trouble during pregnancy. Again, a green superfood supplement can also help in this area, as does using supplements that contain sea ingredients such as kelp.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body but also one of the most common deficiencies. Magnesium helps regulate calcium, potassium, and sodium and is essential for over 300 different biochemical functions in the body. On a global scale, soil depletion has resulted in many crops being lower in magnesium than in past generations – plus health conditions like digestive disorders, leaky gut syndrome, chronic stress and ongoing medication use can all lower someone’s magnesium levels. Having it included in your multivitamin and mineral is important, however, we also suggest regular trace mineral and green superfood supplementation.
Calcium deficiency is very common among both men and women. Getting enough calcium is important for bone strength, but it’s also crucial for regulating heart rhythms, aiding in muscle functions, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and many other functions related to nerve signaling as well. Calcium, when consumed when other key nutrients like vitamin D and magnesium, has been shown to offer protection against some of the biggest threats to women: heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer, for example. Experts believe that most adults in the U.S. don’t get enough calcium on a daily basis . . . and it’s likely than in Australia, the stats are much the same.
This is believed to be true because calcium is not absorbed properly when someone has low levels of vitamin D and magnesium (deficiencies in both are common), plus certain crops that are normally high in calcium have become depleted of minerals due to soil depletion. Calcium, which is actually the body’s most abundant mineral, can be obtained from drinking raw milk, having yogurt or kefir, and from certain plant foods like leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli.
Have questions? Want to know what we suggest as women’s vitamin supplement? Reach out to your Savvy Team contact, message us on Facebook or use out contact page.