The Supplements Every Woman Should Be Taking
Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
Photography by Photographed by James Kicinski-McCoy
As women, our bodies are made to do amazing things. We make babies, raise children, work hard to support ourselves and our families, and more. But without proper nutrition, we can’t efficiently do those amazing things. Some of the blame comes from our fast-paced lifestyles, forcing us to eat whatever we can find at the moment (or some times, nothing at all), which results in a deficient, tired, stressed body. That’s why we need to be supplementing. From energy-boosting to disease preventing, supplements are packed full of benefits and essential enzymes to keep our bodies healthy and running correctly. With that said, it’s hard to know which vitamins you actually need to be taking. That’s why we’ve decided to do the research for you and round up the top 10 most important supplements every woman should be taking on the reg.
Probiotics. What it is… Probiotics are basically “good” bacteria to help fight off “bad” bacteria in your body that can lead to gastrointestinal problems, yeast infections, and colds. Why we should be taking it… Some women suffer from chronic stomach issues, illnesses, and yeast infections from an overproduction of bad bacteria. Look for a probiotic containing at least 10 billion colony-forming units.
Calcium-Magnesium. What it is… Calcium grows and keeps bones (and teeth) strong, helps muscles and vessels contract, and produces hormones. Magnesium supports a healthy immune system, regulates blood sugar, keeps muscle and nerve function maintained, assists with normal blood pressure, and may prevent diabetes and hypertension. Why we should be taking it… Cal-Mag is great for athletes, as it helps aid sore muscles. Women start losing bone density in their twenties, so it’s essential to keep your calcium intake up. Calcium also helps to reduce PMS symptoms. Magnesium-deficient women can suffer from chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and migraines.
B Vitamins. What it is… B Vitamins help to turn food into energy, keep skin clear, maintain a healthy metabolism, keep hair and eyes healthy, manage a working nervous system, and encourage a sharp mind. Why we should be taking it… You need B Vitamins to use food as fuel, digest properly, use the protein consumed, and bring oxygen to muscle tissues. A deficiency can cause depression, anemia, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, respiratory infections, abdominal pain, and even birth defects.
Fish Oil. What it is… Fish oil is important for brain memory and performance. It calms inflammation and helps reduce high blood pressure, and omega-6 protects against bone loss. Why we should be taking it… The body cannot produce omega-3 or 6 on its own. If you suffer from injuries or any sort of inflammation in the body, fish oil can help. It also lowers risk of arthritis, cancers, obesity, and heart disease, eases menstrual pain, protects against osteoporosis, and stimulates fat burning—for those of you looking to shed some pounds!
Vitamin C. What it is… C vitamins boosts the immune system, help produce collagen, and maintain normal growth and development of muscles, bones, skin, and more. It also blocks some of the damage from free radicals. Why we should be taking it… This powerful antioxidant is known to moisturize and firm up your skin with it’s collagen-boosting benefits. It helps build healthy hormones, lean muscles, and strength. Deficiency in Vitamin C can result in dry, brittle hair, scaly skin, easy bruising, slow healing, and the inability to fight off infection.
Vitamin D. What it is… This vitamin has loads of benefits like promoting calcium absorption necessary for bone growth, greater muscle strength and growth, reduction of inflammation, and immune function. Why we should be taking it… This feel-good vitamin can protect against cancers, brittle bones, and weak muscles. Being deficient can be serious. Deficiency can result in poor mood, suppressed immune system, diabetes and even infertility. Vitamin D is also known to help with fat loss.
Vitamin A. What it is… Vitamin A improves vision, boosts immune system, maintains healthy skin and bones, decreases risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even slow aging. Why we should be taking it… This antioxidant plays a huge role in keeping eyes functioning correctly and protecting the body from free radicals, which can actually rip cells apart! This super vitamin boosts metabolism. Careful, as it can also be toxic in large doses.
Folic Acid. What it is… Also known as Folate, this vitamin is essential for proper building of the brain and spinal cord. It acts by helping the body produce and maintain new cells. Why we should be taking it… Women absolutely need Folate to build healthy red blood cells and it can also help to prevent anemia. It’s essential to prevent high blood pressure and birth defects in children. This vitamin may also prevent development of cancer by keeping cell’s DNA from changing.
Iodine. What it is… Iodine supports a healthy thyroid hormone production and function and is important for pregnancy, brain function, and concentration. Why we should be taking it… Many women are deficient in iodine and suffer with loss of healthy thyroid function, which is linked to some psychiatric disorders, obesity, cognitive impairment, heart disease, and many different forms of cancer, such as fibrocystic breast disease and breast cancer.
Coenzyme Q10. What it is… This antioxidant protects against premature aging, generates energy within the cells, and supports a healthy heart and blood vessels. Why we should be taking it… All women should be supplementing with this enzyme, especially vegetarians, vegans, and those suffering with heart disease and cancer. As humans, we produce the enzyme, but start to produce less and less of it as we age. It helps to lower the risk of pregnancy complications, reduces menopause symptoms, and is said to help aid breast cancer.
Always consult with a physician before starting a new supplement routine, especially while pregnant, taking other medications or if you have an existing condition.
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