Supplements for Women
Women of every age, height, weight, and activity level have at least one thing in common: the need for certain nutrients that their bodies don’t make, but require to function properly.
It’s difficult to know with 100 percent certainty that we’re getting precisely enough nutrients to fend off symptoms of deficiency and related illnesses which is where supplementation could be necessary.
Here are some of the best supplements for women and why they are important:
IRON – Carries oxygen in the body; aids in the production of red blood cells; supports immune function, cognitive development, and temperature regulation; is essential for proper cell growth.
Without proper iron intake, the body reduces the production of red blood cells, causing anemia, unrelenting fatigue and shortness, as well as difficulty maintaining body temperature and decreased immune function. It is particularly important for women with heavy periods.
CALCIUM – Makes and keeps bones and teeth strong; helps muscles and blood vessels contract and expand; secretes hormones; and sends messages through the nervous system.
Calcium is especially important for aging adults, particularly postmenopausal women whose bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss and increased risk of osteoporosis over time.
MAGNESIUM – Maintains normal muscle and nerve function; keeps heart rhythm steady; supports a healthy immune system; keeps bones strong; helps regulate blood sugar levels; promotes normal blood pressure; may play a role in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
VITAMIN A – Ensures proper development and functioning of our eyes, skin, immune system, and many other parts of our bodies.
Vitamin A plays a vital role in vision support, preventing some types of cancer and improving immune function.
FOLATE – Helps produce and maintain new cells, including red blood cells; maintains proper balance in the nervous system’s message-carrying molecules and is necessary for proper brain function for in mental and emotional health.
Folate is absolutely essential to any pregnancy. Folate deficiency during pregnancy can lead to serious complications, including premature births and infants born with neural tube defects. Low folate is also associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
B VITAMINS – Help the body to convert food into fuel for energy; contribute to healthy skin, hair, and eyes, and proper nervous system functioning; maintain metabolism, muscle tone, and a sharp mind.
Deficiency can cause anemia, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, depression, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, muscle cramps, respiratory infections, hair loss, eczema, poor growth in children, and birth defects.
VITAMIN C – Facilitates normal growth and development and repairs bodily tissues, bones, and teeth; helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels; and functions as an antioxidant to block some of the damage caused by free radicals.
Signs of deficiency include dry and splitting hair; gingivitis and bleeding gums; rough, dry, scaly skin; decreased wound-healing rate; easy bruising and a decreased ability to fight infection.
VITAMIN D – Promotes calcium absorption necessary for bone growth; modulation of cell growth; neuromuscular and immune function; and reduction of inflammation.
Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle. Vitamin D deficiency has also been shown to play a role in the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and depression.
MELATONIN – Helps regulate other hormones; maintains the body’s circadian rhythm, the internal 24-hour clock that plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and wake up; helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones.
Low levels of melatonin—can increase your risk for breast cancer.