According To Doctors, There Are 15 Supplements That Every Woman Should Take.
One thing is certain in modern life: we could all use more help. And we’re not talking about your girlfriends. According to an Oregon State University meta-analysis of studies, three-quarters of Americans do not consume the daily recommended amount of fruit, and 80 percent do not consume enough vegetables. That means our food isn’t providing us with enough essential vitamins.
Nutritional supplements, in addition to adding healthier foods to your shopping list, can help fill in the gaps. We polled experts to find out which ones every woman should incorporate into her daily routine. Read on to learn more, and don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID to protect your health and the health of others.
A multivitamin supplement
According to Joanna Foley, RD, a registered dietitian in San Diego, everyone should take a high-quality daily multivitamin.”All of the B vitamins, calcium, vitamin K, A, D, and E, as well as magnesium, zinc, and folate, should be present.” Iron should be present in women’s diets as well.”
According to Yeral Patel, MD, a board-certified physician in anti-aging regenerative and family medicine in Newport Beach, California, when purchasing any vitamin or supplement, buy from a source that sells medical grade products to ensure they’re pure, safe, and don’t contain any fillers. Designs for Health, Metagenics, Integrative Therapeutics, and Thorne are some of her favorite brands.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient.
The “sunshine vitamin,” so named because our bodies produce it naturally when our skin is exposed to the sun, is deficient in nearly everyone. It is thought to protect against a variety of cancers and is necessary for overall health. Vitamin D is important for immunity, bone health (it aids calcium absorption for bone strength), cancer prevention, blood sugar regulation, and decreasing insulin sensitivity, according to Patel.
According to Amy Groin, MS, RDA, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City, “Vitamin D isn’t available from many food sources.” “If you don’t get enough sun or eat foods fortified with vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna, and milk and orange juice fortified with vitamin D, a supplement may be a good idea.”
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin C is important for immune system support and collagen production, and some studies suggest it may help reduce wrinkle appearance. The Rx: For adult women who aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding, the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C is 75 mg. According to the National Institutes of Health, the upper limit is 2,000 mg.
The production of energy and red blood cells is dependent on the eight B vitamins. They’re “absolutely essential for every aspect of brain function,” according to a 2016 review of studies. They also provide a variety of whole-body benefits. “Vitamins B6 and B12 keep homocysteine levels low, lowering a woman’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and blood clots,” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center. “Biotin, also known as B7, is a B vitamin that promotes hair health.”
The prescription: Look for a high-quality B-Complex supplement. “B vitamins are especially important in the elderly because the gut’s ability to absorb B12 decreases with age,” says Kouri. “In addition, women who exercise on a regular basis require a higher level of nutrition.”
“Most women have low total body iron stores,” says Arielle Levitan, MD, co-founder of Vous Vitamin and an internal medicine physician in Chicago. “Periods, pregnancies, and nursing cause them to lose iron throughout their lives, and they often do not consume enough iron in their diets. Supplements help them avoid low energy, brain fog, thinning hair, and brittle nails, all of which are caused by a lack of iron.”
The prescription: The National Institutes of Health recommends an iron intake of 18 mg per day for women under the age of 50. It is 8 mg after the age of 50. The maximum dose that can be tolerated is 45 mg.
“Magnesium is a mineral that almost everyone needs,” says Heidi Moretti, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in Missoula, Montana, who has spent the last two decades working in hospitals.”According to some studies, 70% of Americans are deficient. Digestive problems, poor sleep, mood swings, and an increased risk of heart disease are all possible side effects.”
“Low magnesium levels have been linked to muscle cramps, restlessness, and insomnia,” says Nicole Avena, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience and visiting professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. of health psychology at Princeton University. “Magnesium deficiency can affect both men and women. Supplementing can help to alleviate or prevent symptoms.”
The Rx: For adults over 30, the recommended daily allowance for magnesium increases slightly: 420mg for men and 320mg for women. According to the National Institutes of Health, the upper tolerable limit of magnesium is 350mg per day (that applies to a magnesium supplement, not amounts of the mineral naturally found in food).
“If you don’t eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar on a regular basis — which most people don’t,” says Moretti. “Probiotics are the next big thing for a lot of ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome, which is more common in women. They may also help with mood, heart health, bone health, and other issues.” Furthermore, early research suggests that probiotics’ anti-inflammatory effects may inhibit the growth of cancer cells, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.
To begin, choose a probiotic brand with a variety of strains. “For maintaining a healthy microbiome and immune function, probiotics are beneficial to both women and men of all ages,” says Lawrence Hoberman, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist in San Antonio, Texas. “Probiotic supplementation can be especially beneficial during menopause, when estrogen production slows and lactobacilli depletion results in a vaginal pH environment that is more susceptible to pathogens.”
“Iodine is essential for men and even more so for women,” Moretti says. “Breast tissue contains a lot of iodine, which helps to protect it from free radical damage.”
The Rx: The RDA for iodine is 150 micrograms, with a maximum of 1,100 micrograms. “Although iodine is beneficial to include in your supplement, start with a low dose and consult your doctor before adding too much to your diet,” Moretti advises. “In some people, high doses taken without supervision can cause hyperthyroidism.”
The antioxidant CoQ10 (Conenzyme Q10) is produced by the body to keep cells healthy and functioning properly. As we get older, our levels drop, and CoQ10 deficiency has been linked to a variety of diseases. CoQ10 supplementation may improve heart function and symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of studies.
The prescription: Because there is no standard daily dose of CoQ10, consult your doctor.
Our bodies’ natural ability to produce collagen deteriorates over time, so taking a supplement is a good idea,” says Avena. “Collagen supplements can help relieve pain by combating aging tissue and arthritis, assisting normal ligament, tendon, joint, and bone repair, and improving connective tissue,” says the study. It can also assist with improve skin elasticity, which can help to prevent wrinkles from appearing.”
The Rx: Mix collagen supplements with water or add them to a daily smoothie. According to Avena, “Further Food makes both a flavorless and a chocolate collagen supplement powder.”
Fish oil is an omega-3 fatty acid.
Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and aid in chronic pain relief, heart health, and brain health, according to Patel. “They also help men and women achieve beautiful skin and maintain hormonal balance.”
The prescription: “To get your fill of the omega-3s EPA and DHA for heart-health benefits, eat at least two 3.5-ounce servings of cooked fatty fish each week,” Gorin says. “You can also take a daily EPA and DHA supplement of 250 milligrams or more.” More than 1 gram per day, according to research, is beneficial to the brain. If you’re a vegetarian, look for an omega-3 supplement made from algae.”
“If you don’t eat dairy on a regular basis, you may need a calcium supplement,” Gorin says. “Calcium keeps your bones strong, and a lack of it puts you at risk for osteopenia, which can lead to osteoporosis.”
The Rx: Adults under the age of 50 should consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Adult women between the ages of 51 and 70 receive 1,200 mg, and both sexes after the age of 71 receive 1,200 mg. Adults 50 and younger have a daily limit of 2,500 mg; adults 51 and older have a daily limit of 2,000 mg.
“If you’re taking supplements, you should split your daily dose in half to help with absorption,” Gorin advises. “If you’re taking calcium carbonate, taking it with food improves absorption. On the other hand, calcium citrate can be taken with or without food.”
“The majority of women avoid zinc-rich foods. This is a problem because zinc is important for mood, bone health, immunity, and other things, according to Moretti.
The prescription: Adult women should take 8 mg per day. According to the National Institutes of Health, the upper tolerable limit for zinc is 40 mg per day, though this does not apply to people who are taking zinc under the supervision of a doctor. “Zinc from animals is much better absorbed,” says Moretti. “Keep in mind that when it comes to zinc supplements, a little goes a long way. If you don’t take copper correctly, large doses over time can deplete it.”
“Fiber intake is critical for everyone,” says Amanda Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian and Smart Healthy Living advisor. “Fiber keeps things moving, lowers cholesterol, and may help diabetics control their blood sugar.” A fiber-rich diet may also help you lose weight.
Vitamin K2 is a type of vitamin that can be found in a variety of foods.
“Vitamin K2 is the least well-known nutrient with significant benefits for heart and bone health, but almost no one gets enough,” says Moretti
The Rx: According to the National Institutes of Health, the adequate intake (AI) of Vitamin K for women is 90 micrograms per day, with no upper limit because of the low risk of toxicity. “Vitamin K2 is also found in fermented foods, particularly natto,” Moretti says. “Check with your doctor before taking vitamin K2 if you are taking warfarin [a blood thinner].” And, in order to get through this pandemic in the best possible health, don’t forget to
Don’t rely on your multivitamin to keep you healthy.
“This may seem self-evident,” Taub-Dix says, “but it bears repeating: Get your vitamins and minerals from food first.” Our bodies are designed to absorb nutrients from the food we eat, and as long as we eat a varied and balanced diet, we will get all of the nutrients we require.
Because, at the end of the day, supplements should be thought of as bonus boosters rather than food replacements. And according to every expert we spoke with, a double-decker with a morning multi isn’t going to cut it.