If you are looking for specific supplements, you may consider what kind of benefits you hope to gain from vitamins. Additionally, taking supplemental pills is not the only way to replenish your body’s source of iron, calcium, or other minerals. This can also be done through making sure your diet includes certain foods that balance out all of the sugary foods you may consume. Some of the primary benefits from taking vitamins and ensuring your diet includes a healthy balance of minerals include maintaining a healthy bone density, promoting fetal development for pregnant women, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
Maintaining a healthy bone density prevents osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and fragile. This is much more common in women than in men. Check out NWHN’s new osteoporosis fact sheets to learn more! Keeping up a healthy intake of calcium promotes bone and teeth strength, as well as muscle contraction and expansion. It can be found most commonly in milk, cheese, yogurt, and dark leafy vegetables, but if you are lactose intolerant then there are supplemental pills you can find at pharmacies.
Another important mineral is iron, which aids in the production of red blood cells and strengthens your body’s immune function. If you are iron deficient, you may notice persistent fatigue and shortness of breath. It is especially important to maintain healthy iron levels during your menstrual cycle. If you have a heavy period, eating iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements may help you combat these symptoms. Iron-rich foods include lean red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, whole grains, and spinach.
The more broadly encompassing women’s multivitamins you might see at Target are supposed to fill in nutritional gaps, but may not be necessary for all women. You may consult with a doctor or dietician about the specific deficits your body has and create your own regimen based on that information. It’s important to consider that vitamins do not have to be approved or inspected by the FDA, so doing your own research about trusted brands is definitely a smart choice.
To read about some more vitamin and mineral supplements recommended for women, check out Women’s Health magazine’s article on the subject.
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