Supplement Your Diet
All of these supplements can be found to purchase on our website. Click on the images to be directed to the product.
Women of every age, height, weight, and activity level have at least one thing in common: We need certain nutrients that our bodies don’t make, but require to function properly.
Most experts agree the best source of essential nutrients is whole food: “We get a wide variety of nutrients from eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, often in perfect proportions,” says Women’s Health Nutrition Expert and Registered Dietitian Keri Glassman. “We rarely over or under do it.”
That being said, 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. Stage cue, supplements! Taking specific supplements is like insurance for those instances when you accidentally consume your weight’s-worth of sweets and call it dinner. (We know—it was just that one Halloween…) And if you have or are at risk for a vitamin and/or mineral deficiency, as may be the case for pregnant women or vegetarians, then your doctor may need to intervene by recommending a supplement.
Your choice to take a supplement depends on your diet and doctor’s recommendation. “When considering supplements, women need to think bones, babies, and bellies,” says Glassman. “Sufficient bone density is needed to prevent osteoporosis, an adequate store of folate is essential for fertility and fetal development, and a healthy waistline lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Women must also load up on the nutrients that are essential to prevent chronic diseases in the future.”
With these guidelines, we bring you the best supplements for women. Bring the list to your doc to determine which supplements are right for you.
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.Why you need it:
Slacking on your iron intake causes your body to reduce the production of red blood cells, causing anemia. This can lead to unrelenting fatigue and shortness of breath while doing activities that aren’t very strenuous, as well as difficulty maintaining body temperature and decreased immune function, which increases susceptibility to infection. What’s more, blood loss during your period depletes your body’s iron stores, so it’s par
ticularly important for women with heavy periods to eat iron-rich foods or take supplements, says Carol Haggans, R.D., a consultant for the National Institutes of Health.
Makes and keeps bones and teeth strong; helps muscles and blood vessels contract and expand; secretes hormones; and sends messages through the nervous system.Why you need it:
Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Thus, calcium consumption is important for aging adults, particularly postmenopausal women whose bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss and increased risk of osteoporosis over time. “Women start losing bone density in their twenties,” says Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., a nutrition professor at the University of Maine at Orono. “Calcium is your single best defense, and you should start taking it now.”
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; and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.Why you need it:
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, but there are other reasons you won’t want to run low on it, including deficiency symptoms such as chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhea, and migraines. “Blood vessels in your brain constrict, and receptors in the feel-good chemical serotonin malfunction,” says Alexander Mauskop, M.D., director of the New York Headache Center. If you suffer from Crohn’s disease or another gastrointestinal disorder that makes it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients, you may be at risk for magnesium deficiency.
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.Why you need it:
Folate is imperative for the prevention of anemia and 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. Studies show that women who take folic acid supplements before conception and during the first trimester may reduce their risk of having children with neural tube defects by 72 to 100 percent. The daily recommended amount is 400 micrograms, but this need increases to 600 micrograms for pregnant women and 500 micrograms for those lactating. Furthermore, people with low intake of folate are also at increased risk for certain types of cancer.
Aids in the formation of fatty acids and blood sugar, which are used in the production of energy for the body; and helps metabolize amino acids and carbohydrates.Why you need it:
While a lack of biotin is rare, getting sufficient amounts staves off signs of deficiency including hair loss, brittle nails, and a scaly, red facial rash. Luckily, these you can alleviate these symptoms by boosting your biotin intake, which also helps neurological symptoms, such as mild depression, in adults.
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.Why you need it:
Vitamin C’s healing and antioxidant powers make it essential. Signs of vitamin deficiency include dry and splitting hair; gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums; rough, dry, scaly skin; decreased wound-healing rate; easy bruising; nosebleeds; and a decreased ability to fight infection. A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy. Despite its rep as a cold fighter, C has never been proven to prevent or cure the sniffles, but the antioxidant is believed to boost your immune system. It is also often used as an ingredient in skincare products since vitamin C can boost your body’s collagen production to help reduce wrinkles and can also firm up and moisturize your skin.
Promotes calcium absorption necessary for bone growth; modulation of cell growth; neuromuscular and immune function; and reduction of inflammation.Why you need it:
Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen, leading to osteomalacia, or a softening of the bones, which can weaken muscles, too. Vitamin D deficiency has also been shown to play a role in the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In good news though, evidence suggests that vitamin D may provide some protection against colorectal and possibly other cancers.
Assists in proper brain operation; is important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function; helps reduce high blood pressure; calms inflammation.Why you need it:
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other joint problems. What’s more, studies have found that those who ate more fish high in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to have macular degeneration (a condition that steals your central vision) than those who ate less fish.
Aids in digestion; fights off disease-causing bacteria; can reduce diarrhea caused by certain infections, chemotherapy, and irritable bowel syndrome.Why you need it:
Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat a number of ills, including diarrhea, vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain intestinal infections, while also reducing bladder cancer recurrence and preventing or reducing the severity of colds and flu.
Necessary for basic cell function; helps cells manage your body’s energy supply; is a powerful antioxidant.Why you need it:
Some researchers believe CoQ10 may help with heart-related conditions by lowering blood pressure and boosting your levels of ecSOD, an enzyme thought to protect blood vessels from damage. Studies also suggest that CoQ10 may fight cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, as well as improve physical performance while exercising. Japanese researchers, for instance, found CoQ10 supplementation decreased exercise-induced muscle injury.