Feeling tired and moody? Is your skin dry and dull? These signs may indicate that you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Nutrient deficiencies are extremely common. Up to 20 percent of maternal deaths are due to anemia, a disorder caused by iron or vitamin B12 deficiency. Nine out of 10 Americans don’t meet the daily recommended intake of potassium, and more than half are deficient in vitamin D.
As a woman, it’s important to make sure your diet supplies optimum doses of vitamins.
Crash diets, sleep deprivation, stress, and other factors can affect your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. This may interfere with your ability to get pregnant and carry a baby.
Furthermore, nutrient deficiencies can wreak havoc on your skin, hair, and nails. If left unaddressed, they can mess up your hormones and impair thyroid function.
To help you out, we’ll discuss the vitamins every woman should take.
The Common Signs of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Most nutrient deficiencies leave marks on your face and body. You can tell that something is wrong. Your hair may fall, your skin becomes dry, or your energy levels drop.
Lethargy, fatigue, and mood swings are common symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Women may also experience sudden weight loss or weight gain, heavy bleeding during their period, or strong sugar cravings.
Biotin deficiency, for instance, may cause thinning hair and nails, tingling in the limps, muscle cramps, and low energy. Pregnant women as well as those with certain digestive diseases, such as IBD and leaky gut syndrome, are more likely to develop this condition.
If your diet lacks vitamin C, you may experience recurring infections, dry skin, and premature aging.
This nutrient boosts immune function and stimulates collagen production. Even the slightest deficiency can weaken your natural defenses and speed up the aging process.
Is your hair falling out? Then you might need to get more iron, zinc, or niacin in your diet. These nutrients keep your hair and nails strong – and support overall health.
Don’t worry – it’s no need to completely change your diet. Simple things, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, snacking on nuts, or taking a multivitamin, can make all the difference.
Let’s take a closer look at the best vitamins for women and where to find them:
A diet that’s low in vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, low energy, osteoporosis, birth defects, and skin problems.
This nutrient regulates every system in your body, including your metabolism and immune function. It also plays a key role in DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation.
Vitamin B12 is particularly important during pregnancy. It helps prevent birth defects and keeps both the mother and her child healthy.
Low levels of this nutrient have been linked to decreased bone density, osteoporosis, and macular degeneration. In clinical trials, subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency were twice more likely to develop severe depression compared to healthy individuals.
Beef, poultry, eggs, fish, and other animal foods are all rich in vitamin B12. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, consider taking a dietary supplement.
Folate, also known as folic acid, supports DNA formation and helps your body produce red and white blood cells. If you’re not getting enough of this nutrient, you may develop cardiovascular problems, cognitive decline, anemia, and depression.
This B vitamin plays a vital role in fetal development.
Folate deficiency may increase the risk of congenital heart defects, preterm labor, and low birth weight. In a study, the risk of neural tube defects decreased by 60 percent in women who took folic acid before conception.
The daily recommended allowance of folate during pregnancy is 600 mcg. Since this nutrient can be found in most foods, it should be easy to meet your daily requirements.
Whole grains, nuts, legumes, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables are among the best dietary sources of folic acid. Another option is to take folate supplements or prenatal vitamins containing this nutrient.
Amygdalin or vitamin B17 is one of the most overlooked nutrients in the modern diet. However, this doesn’t mean it’s less important than other vitamins and minerals; on the contrary, it has been used as an anti-cancer agent since the 1800s.
This nutrient occurs naturally in flaxseeds, millet, raw almonds, beans, celery, and carrots; click here for more info.
It can be also found in the pits of certain fruits, such as pears and apples. These seeds, however, contain hydrogen cyanide and other compounds that are toxic to humans, so they’re not edible.
Over 200 million women worldwide suffer from osteoporosis. One in three over age 50 will experience fractures due to this disease.
One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis is to get more vitamin D in your diet.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, this nutrient enhances calcium absorption and supports immune health. It plays a crucial role in bone growth and development as well as in brain function.
People who spend a lot of time indoors and those living in cold climates are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency. The human body produces this nutrient when exposed to sunlight.
Certain foods, such as egg yolks, sardines, salmon, and fortified grains, contain small doses of vitamin D. Supplementation is often necessary.
Our list wouldn’t be complete without vitamin C. This nutrient boasts powerful antioxidant effects, protecting your skin and body from free radicals damage. It also supports skin health and slows down aging by increasing collagen levels.
A diet rich in vitamin C may lower blood pressure, boost immune function, and improve iron absorption. In a 10-year study, vitamin C supplementation has been shown to decrease heart disease risk by a whopping 25 percent.
Most fruits and vegetables contain this nutrient. Citrus fruits, leafy greens, berries, chili peppers, and rose hips are particularly beneficial due to their high levels of vitamin C.
Learn More about the Vitamins Every Woman Should Take
These are just a few of the vitamins every woman should take. Make sure your diet also includes vitamin A, vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Your body needs these nutrients to function at its peak.
Read this post to discover the best energy-boosting foods. These contain the nutrients you need to look and feel your best. Leave a comment below to let us know what your favorite foods are!