Human body needs vitamins and minerals for proper functioning. Every mineral and vitamin holds certain benefits. Many of these are essential for the body, and their vitality becomes higher when it comes to women.
Due to many reasons, women suffer from deficiencies in important nutrients like iron and vitamin D across the globe. It disrupts their routine functions and takes a toll on their health. For better health, they need to take certain foods so that they can attain the vital nutrients. Here are the important minerals and vitamins for women:
Iodine is a mineral that helps produce thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones promote healthy development of bones and brain during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a national survey in 2012. The survey revealed that women aged between 20-39 years have lower iodine levels than any other age group. Iodine’s recommended dietary allowance is 150 mcg.
Source of iodine include fish, shrimp, seaweed, and other seafood. Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk are also a good source of this mineral.
Folic acid is a vitamin that helps with the formation of DNA. It is vital for women, especially during the years they are able to reproduce. It lowers the risk of birth abnormalities, including those involving the brain and spine. It also helps generate red blood cells and promotes protein digestion.
According to the CDC, women who are or likely to become pregnant should take folic acid supplement. Women who age 18 and above and are not pregnant require a daily intake of 400 mcg of folic acid per day. The food sources of folate include leafy greens like spinach, nuts, oranges, beans, lean beef, chickens, and whole grains.
Iron is an essential mineral that promotes reproductive health and ensures proper functioning of organs. It is crucial for wound healing, energy production, red blood cell formation, immune function, and growth and development. It also helps build connective tissues and certain hormones in the body.
Women are more susceptible to developing iron deficiencies due to heavy menstruation and pregnancy. Its deficiency can raise many complications. Because of iron-deficiency anemia, the heart has to struggle hard to pump blood to the body. It causes the feeling of weakness, tiredness, and dizziness—disrupting the day-to-day functions.
The recommended intake for women aged between 19-50 years is 18mg daily. During pregnancy, it is 27 mg and for ages 51 and above, the intake of iron should be 8mg.
Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis when they age. That is because of calcium deficiency. Calcium is an essential mineral that builds bones and promotes bone health. It enables blood clotting, muscle contraction, and heartbeat.
This mineral can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis. According to a 2013 study, postmenstrual women who take calcium and vitamin D have a lower risk of hip fracture.
The recommended calcium intake for girls with ages 9-18 years is 1300 milligrams per day. For adult women, it has to be 1000 mg calcium while postmenopausal women need 1200mg of calcium every day. Food sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, and seafood.
Vitamin D, along with calcium, reduces the risk of osteoporosis and promotes bone health. It reduces inflammation in the cells and strengthens the immune system. In fact, it is a hormone and every cell in the human body is a receptor to it.
The recommended intake of vitamin D for women aged between 14 and 70 years is 600 IU per day. However, experts say that one should take even more than that. The upper limit for vitamin D is 4000 IU.
Human body generates vitamin D through the sunrays. Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and fortified products. However, food alone cannot meet the daily requirement of vitamin.
Vitamin B-12 is an important nutrient that helps with the production of red blood cells. It promotes proper functioning of neurons—the cells in the brain and nervous system. It is important for fetal development, as it prevents low birth weight and other health complications.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12 for people above 14 is 2.4mcg. However, one’s age, lifestyle, and certain situations may require taking more or less. The recommended intake for pregnant women is 2.6mg while breastfeeding women should take 2.8mcg of vitamin B12.
Good sources of this vitamin include eggs, poultry, milk, clams, blue cheese, and yeast.
Bio: Jacob Junior writes for HerbaChoices on topics related to dietary supplements and nutrition. Good diet is not important only for your physical health. It can also improve your mental health, which is extremely important in this time and age.