Essential vitamins and minerals for women
Women have special nutritional needs, especially during the menstruating years and during pregnancy, lactation and menopause. They also need greater amounts of some vitamins and minerals than men, particularly calcium and iron.1
Calcium is an important mineral for building bone strength. Bones also act like a calcium bank, from which the body withdraws the calcium it needs when levels in the blood are too low. If calcium intake is inadequate over a long period of time, your bones will lose large amounts of calcium and eventually become more brittle and prone to breaking.2 After 30 years of age, both men and women start to naturally lose bone mass. Postmenopausal women need to ensure they get enough calcium because bone loss is more rapid in the first few years after menopause.3 Calcium rich foods include dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese and vegetables such as kale, broccoli and cabbage.4 Try to increase the amount of these foods in your diet, or speak to your healthcare professional about taking a calcium supplement, such as Nature’s Own™ Mega Calcium Complex.
Iron is an important mineral involved in the transport of oxygen in the body and the maintenance of a healthy immune system. We lose iron through sweat, blood loss and the shedding of intestinal cells. This means that women are at greater risk of developing an iron deficiency than men, due to blood loss while menstruating. The recommended dietary intake for women aged 19‐50 years is 18mg per day.5 This increases to 27mg per day during pregnancy, when iron needs are increased due to its use by the fetus and placenta, and increased blood volume. Good sources of iron include beef, poultry, fish and to a lesser extent plant sources such as raisins, prunes, potato, tofu, lentils and cashew nuts.6 If you’re vegetarian or suspect you may not be getting enough iron on a daily basis, consider taking a supplement such as Nature’s Own™ Iron Plus to help maintain your iron levels. Nature’s Own™ Iron Plus is not for the treatment of iron deficiency conditions. If you have an iron deficiency condition, please consult with your healthcare professional about treatment options.
Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D. The majority of vitamin D is produced by the body itself when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It’s an important vitamin that promotes calcium absorption and enables healthy mineralization of bones.7 Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, some types of fish, fish liver oil, and fortified dairy and grains. If you’re vegetarian, don’t eat dairy products or avoid the sun, you may be at increased risk of a vitamin D deficiency.8 Fortunately, a supplement such as Nature’s Own™ Vitamin D3 1000IU is an easy and efficient way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D every day.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
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Published February 27, 2014
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