The 5 Nutrients Adult Women Need to Supplement and Why
Just like men, women have specific nutrients that are important to supplement for health and wellness. These five nutrients are essential during pregnancy and menstrual cycles, as well as promoting overall mental, sexual, and physical health.
The first nutrient is Iron. Iron transports oxygen in your blood to your cells and muscles. It is also important for building and repairing muscles.
Iron deficiency is prevalent among women, especially those that are under 50 or pregnant, and can lead to anemia. It is common for young women to have low levels of iron due to a diet that lacks enough of the nutrient or heavy periods. This is amplified during pregnancy, as the volume of blood in the body increases to provide the baby with oxygen.
Next, there are two important B Vitamins for women: Vitamin B-12 and Folate.
Vitamin B-12 is essential for preventing iron deficiency, which as mentioned is common among women. Low B-12 is correlated with low red blood cell counts and irregularly shaped blood. This vitamin is only found in animal products, so it can be difficult for women that are vegan or vegetarian to get an adequate amount through their diets.
Folate is another B vitamin that women should supplement. It’s essential for the formation of new cells and important for pregnant women. During pregnancy, folate helps to form the neural tube that will develop into the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
The third nutrient is calcium, which is crucial for bone health. Women have lower bone density than men, so they need a regular source of calcium for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones.
Calcium also helps the heart, muscles, and nerves function properly, so it is important for healthy aging.
Vitamin D is the next nutrient. It encourages the absorption of calcium into your bones, so the two go hand-in-hand. Vitamin D benefits muscle and heart health as well.
Vitamin D is also important for sex hormone production. A deficiency in this nutrient can cause low estrogen production, which can lead to a number of problems regarding menstrual and sexual health, as well as mood swings.
The last nutrient is magnesium, which helps regulate different chemical reactions in the body. As it does for men, magnesium maintains healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels, keeps the muscles, heart, and nerves functioning, and helps the body produce protein.
Magnesium is a common deficiency for women during the premenstrual period. This may be one reason women crave chocolate, a magnesium-rich food. Deficiencies in this nutrient lead to muscle cramps, premenstrual pain, constipation, and trouble sleeping.