With all this talk about how everyone is the same and should be treated equally, when it comes to vitamins, men and women are different. For women, certain vitamins can be more important because their bodies can be more susceptible to certain conditions.
Some of the best vitamins all women should take are the B vitamins such as B12 and thiamine and also vitamins A, C, D, E and K. It is thought that about one in three women are not getting adequate amounts of these vitamins and minerals and as women age, it could get worse. If it weren’t for vitamin supplements, more than half of women will develop nutrient deficiencies. Here are some vitamins that are considered the best ones for women to take to help stave off problems in the future.
1. Vitamins A, C & E
These are antioxidant vitamins that can help against aging and conditions that affect the brain, eyes, heart and skin. Everyone knows that vitamin C can help with immunity against the dreaded cold as well as other conditions. Vitamin C can also protect your vision and skin from UV light and environmental pollutants. Not dissimilar in what they do, vitamins A and E helps to protect healthy cells and stop cell mutations. A lack of proper amounts of these three vitamins can cause macular degeneration as women age. Vitamins A and E can also slow down the aging process of skin and may also help to prevent cancer.
2. Vitamin D
Believe it or not, most of the vitamin D everyone gets is actually from exposure to the sun. This does not mean you need to stand naked in the sun in minus twenty weather to get your daily fix! Well, you could try, but you may not get much sun in jail! Some dairy products, eggs and even mushrooms contain vitamin D. In fact, here’s some trivia for you; mushrooms are the only vegetables that naturally contain vitamin D. A large number of women and men as well are deficient in this vitamin. We spend loads of time indoors and when outside, we use sunscreen, so it’s no wonder. Vitamin D is important for brain function and skeletal health.
3. Vitamin K
The number one cause of death in women in many countries of the western world is heart disease. It almost seems that it’s a ‘man’s disease’ and that it doesn’t affect women as much, but this is of course, a huge misconception. Vitamin K can help play a part in preventing this. It is also important for blood clotting and for strong bones. Again, it is thought that many women do not take a sufficient amount of vitamin K, which can reduce the mortality rate from cardiovascular disease in women. Different vegetables, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, eggs and fish as well as dairy products contain vitamin K.
4. The B Vitamins
The B vitamins as well as folate helps with preventing fatigue. It also helps a woman’s metabolism and increases cognitive function. Folate or folic acid is vital especially when you are pregnant. This helps your baby’s brain and spinal cord and helps to prevent birth defects. A deficiency can endanger the health of your baby as he or she is growing inside you. Fish, meat, eggs and dairy contain the B vitamins. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you need to work with your doctor or dietitian and come up with a plan. Leafy greens and citrus fruits also contain a good amount of folate.
Women should also consume iron, magnesium, calcium and iodine. While the above vitamins are important, don’t forget about minerals as well. The best thing to do if you are unsure is to speak to a dietitian who can help you to come up with a great diet plan that’s personalized and suggest any supplements that will be beneficial for you.