Top 5 Vitamins for Women of all Ages

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Antioxidant Vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E)

These fat-soluble antioxidants fight free radical damage, which is the underlying cause of aging and many diseases that affect the heart, eyes, skin, and brain. Vitamin C not only improves immunity against colds, infections and other illnesses, but it’s also important for protecting your vision and skin from damage caused by things like UV light and environmental pollution. Make sure to consume plenty of vitamin C foods. Vitamin A and E work in similar ways to protect healthy cells and halt cell mutations, among the many another vitamin A and vitamin E benefits.

Research done by the National Eye Institute shows that a poor diet low in these vitamins is a major risk factor for age-related macular degeneration and cataracts in older women, and both vitamin A and E are also known to help protect skin from signs of aging and skin cancer. (4)

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 can be obtained from certain foods like eggs, some dairy products, and certain mushrooms, but we get the overwhelming majority of our vitamin D from sun exposure. Both men and women are at high risks for vitamin D deficiencies since more people spend a large majority of their time indoors these days or wear sunscreen diligently when outdoors. Estimates range, but some research shows that up to 75 percent to 90 percent of adults in the U.S. might be deficient!

Vitamin D3 is important for bone/skeletal health, brain functions, preventing mood disorders and hormonal balance since it acts very similarly to a hormone once inside the body. Your best bet to make sure you get enough is to spend 15–20 minutes outside most days of the week without sunscreen on, which allows vitamin D3 to be synthesized when it comes into contact with your skin. (5)

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Vitamin K

Vitamin K is important for building and maintaining strong bones, blood clotting, and preventing heart disease — currently the No. 1 cause of death among women living in the U.S. and many other western nations. Many women fall short in this valuable nutrient, which is a shame considering studies have shown that individuals who increase their intake of dietary vitamin K have a lower risk of cardiovascular mortality.

You’re most likely to be low in vitamin K if you’ve been taking antibiotics for an extended period of time, suffer from intestinal problems such as IBS or inflammatory bowel disease, or you take cholesterol-lowering medications. There are two main types of vitamin K, both of which we acquire from our diets. Vitamin K1 is found in vegetables, while vitamin K2 is found in things like dairy products. The best way to prevent vitamin K deficiency is to eat plenty of different veggies, including green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, fish and eggs.

B Vitamins, Including Folate

B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and folate, are important for a woman’s metabolism, preventing fatigue and boosting cognitive functions. They help with may cellular processes, growth and energy expenditure because they work with other vitamins like iron to make red blood cells and help turn the calories you eat into usable “fuel.” (6) Folate (which is called folic acid when it’s created synthetically) is critical for a healthy pregnancy, developing fetuses and preventing birth defects since it helps build the baby’s brain and spinal cord. That’s why folate deficiency is extremely dangerous for pregnant women.

You can get plenty of B vitamins from animal products like cage-free eggs, fish, meat, milk, and yogurt. Older women, those with anemia, vegans and vegetarians should work with a doctor to make sure they get enough B vitamins since they’re at the greatest risk for deficiency. Foods especially high in folate include spinach and leafy greens, asparagus, citrus fruits, melon, and beans.

When taking a supplement containing folate, be wary of synthetic folic acid. Instead, stick to fermented folic acid, which is metabolized by the body similarly to naturally occurring folate. High-quality multivitamins for women will often feature large amounts of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12.

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Iron

Iron deficiency and anemia are the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies in the world, especially among women young. The body uses an iron to produce hemoglobin, a type of protein that transports oxygen via blood from the lungs to other tissues throughout the body. There are two different kinds of iron (heme and non-heme), and the most absorbable and easily utilized by the body is the kind found in animal proteins like eggs, meat, fish and poultry (leafy greens and beans are good plant-based options too).

Adolescent girls are at the highest risk for iron deficiencies, and women, in general, need to be careful to get enough since demand for iron increases during menstruation due to blood loss. (6) It’s been found that, globally, about 50 percent of all pregnant women are very low in iron to the point of being considered anemic — not to mention at least 120 million women in less developed countries are underweight and malnourished in general. Women with adequate stores of iron and vitamin B12 and are less likely to suffer from fatigue, poor immunity and fatal infections, dangerous pregnancies, and bleeding episodes that put their lives at risk.

There you have our nutrition experts advice on the top 5 vitamins for women of all ages.

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