We need vitamins for normal cell function, growth, and development.
Unfortunately, our bodies do not typically make vitamins, so we need to get them from other sources. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what we eat.
It should come as no surprise that women have different nutritional needs than men. Meeting your nutrient goals gets increasingly important as you age, and there’s no better time to start than now.
So, if you are a woman, here are 5 essential vitamins and nutrients you should make sure to get enough of every day.
5 Best Vitamins For Women
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A certainly gets high marks among nutritionists who tout this powerful antioxidant as one of the most important vitamins for women.
Vitamin A actually refers to several different but related nutrients, which make up two main types (1):
- Retinoids (retinol), the bioavailable forms of vitamin A found in animal foods
- Carotenoids, pre-vitamin A found in plant foods.
Retinol is the only type of vitamin A your body can readily use. It is typically found in animal foods like liver and eggs. Carotenoids found in plant sources must first be converted by your body into bioavailable retinol before you can benefit from this vitamin.
For people who are healthy, this is usually not an issue. However, things like genetics, digestive issues, excessive alcohol use, certain medicines, exposure to chemicals and environmental toxins, and some medical conditions that interfere with the digestion of fat can all inhibit this process. This can ultimately lead to a vitamin A deficiency (2).
Too much vitamin A can be toxic, however, so make sure when supplementing this vitamin to only take as directed. If you can get the required amount of vitamin A from food, your best and safest option is to consult a nutritionist, MD, or naturopath before supplementing on your own.
Good food sources of vitamin A include (3):
- Sweet potatoes
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
- Beet greens
The first thing you should know about vitamin C is that it is water soluble, meaning your body cannot store it. This also means you can easily become deficient in this powerful vitamin since your body cannot make it on its own.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, known to counter the damage caused by DNA-damaging free radicals that can accelerate aging and contribute to the development of heart disease and other health issues.
Studies clearly show that vitamin C can help prevent the common cold, cancer, osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration, asthma, and many other common diseases. It is also useful for boosting your immune system, improving vision and healing in people with conditions such as eczema and hay fever. It can even be used to heal burns, wounds, and sunburns.
Plus, this vitamin can fight viral infections such as mononucleosis and decrease blood sugar in diabetics (5). It truly is a powerhouse every woman needs to take.
Like vitamins A and C, vitamin E is an important antioxidant that is necessary to fight off free radicals. This fat-soluble vitamin is also essential for making red blood cells. Vitamin E further helps your body assimilate and use vitamin K, which is key for heart health (7).
More and more studies show how important vitamin E is to health. Yet, according to a review presented at the World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, more than 90 percent of Americans are not meeting their daily requirements. In fact, it’s estimated that close to 6 billion people worldwide are deficient (8).
Other sources show that over 75 percent of the population in both the UK and the US do not meet the minimum vitamin E levels (9).
And studies demonstrate that a deficiency in vitamin E can result in a wide range of health issues including immune disorders, cognitive deterioration, and even cardiovascular disease.
Good sources of vitamin E include (10):
- Sunflower seeds
- Swiss chard
- Turnip greens
- Beet greens
- Mustard greens
- Wheat germ
- Cod liver oil
4. Vitamin D
Like Vitamin E, most of the population in the US is deficient in this vitamin.
Oddly enough, vitamin D is actually not a true vitamin, but a steroid hormone we typically get from sun exposure or through supplementation. Studies show that by simply increasing our levels of vitamin D3, we can prevent the vast number of chronic diseases that currently plague millions of people each year.
Vitamin D is linked to cancer risk in numerous studies. For example, some studies show that higher levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of cancer and tumors. It was also found to slow or prevent the development of cancer, including promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death (apoptosis), and reducing tumor blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) (11).
Studies further link lower levels of vitamin D to infections, colds, and the flu since it has been shown to boost your immune system and help it attack and destroy bacteria and viruses (12).
There is also evidence that vitamin D can help with cardiovascular disease by reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In fact, one study showed that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by as much as 50 percent (13, 14).
The best source of natural vitamin D is sunshine. Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure daily is enough to produce vitamin D.
Good food sources are eggs, salmon (especially wild-caught), mackerel, tuna, sardines, mushrooms, milk and yogurt, beef and calf liver, and cheese (15).
5. B Vitamins
All of the B vitamins are among the best vitamins for women.
Women, especially need B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and folate, which are key for your metabolism and for preventing fatigue. B vitamins help boost your cognitive function and are necessary for key cellular processes as well as healthy growth.
They are vital for energy because they work together with other vitamins such as iron to create red blood cells and they help turn the calories you eat into useable fuel.
Folate (folic acid) is also key, especially during pregnancy as it helps the developing fetus form properly.
What’s more, a 2010 study discovered that people who received a vitamin-B regiment suffer significantly less brain shrinkage compared to those who received a placebo (17).
Good sources of the various B vitamins include (18):
Additionally, foods high in folate are spinach and leafy greens, asparagus, citrus fruits, melon, and beans.
- Avoid Fleas and Ticks Forever With This Natural Remedy!
Every pet owner knows how annoying fleas can be. These minuscule insects can multiply in days and easily infest your …
- 9 Exercises To Burn Abdominal Fat
What are the best exercises to burn belly fat? A common question in the world of fitness. Belly fat is …
- 9 Signs You’re Overstressed (And Don’t Know It)
Countless studies show that stress is at actually at the root of most disease. In fact, 77 percent of us …
- Your Body Is Acidic. Here’s What You NEED To Do (The Real Truth Behind Cancer…)
Ever heard of Dr. Otto H. Warburg? Unless you or your family member has suffered from cancer and tried to …
- 9 Pesticide-filled Teas You Should Never Buy (and the Kind You Should!)
Tea is one of the most popular drinks enjoyed around the world. Americans drink up to 80 billion cups of …
- Take THIS Before Bed to Melt Away Stubborn Belly Fat While You Sleep
Melt Away Stubborn Belly Fat It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate by a few pounds, even when you exercise …
- 8 Things Your Eyes Are Trying To Tell You About Your Health
It’s commonly claimed that “Your eyes are the window to your soul”. While there is some debate about who originally said …
- Here’s Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men (It Has Something To Do With Their Ability To Multi-Task)
While everyone should strive to get adequate sleep, a recent study from Duke University has shown that sleep deprivation may …
- Baking Soda and Castor Oil Can Treat More than 20 Health Problems
The more we learn about Nature, the more astonishing we find it. Ages-old remedies still work and can be applied …
- How to Use a ¼ Teaspoon of Nutmeg to Fall Asleep and Relieve ALL Your Insomnia Symptoms Overnight
There’s nothing like a poor night of sleep to set you on the wrong foot for the day to come. …
- Top Doctors Are Warning Anyone Over 40 To Stop Taking Ibuprofen Immediately. Here’s Why…
What do you do when a headache settles in? Chances are, you probably do the same thing as when you …
- This Is How Much Walking You REALLY Need To Lose Weight
When it comes to weight loss, many people believe that high-intensity exercises are the only way to shed a few …
- Spray This 3-Ingredient Oil On Your Feet 10 Minutes Before Bed And You’ll Be Dozing Off In No Time!
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Can you recall the last time you had a restful sleep and woke up rejuvenated? …
- 16 Delicious Foods That Burn Belly Fat and Support Weight Loss
Obesity is a way-to-common problem in America and throughout the world. In fact, according to the Nation Health Institute, in …
- How Only 15 Minutes of Walking Can Change Everything
Walking is the most ordinary thing a human can do. Unless we have a physical impairment, we take this activity …