10 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Women
Find out which nutrients are essential for women
It’s no secret male and female bodies are different from each other. Because women are built differently from men, their bodies require different nutrients to run smoothly. Let’s take a look at the top vitamins and minerals women need to optimize their health.
1. B Vitamins
B vitamins are essential to women’s health. Specifically, B6 and B12 are crucial for promoting healthy brain function and proper cell development. B vitamins are particularly important for pregnant and menopausal women. This is because B vitamins increase energy and reduce mood swings.
Dietary sources of B vitamins:
2. Vitamin C
Another essential vitamin for women is vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes healthy immune system function and heals wounds. It also has the power to increase alertness and reduce wrinkles.
Dietary sources of vitamin C:
- Citrus fruit and juice
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known to experts as a “wonder vitamin,” is critical to women’s health for many reasons. First, vitamin D improves vitamin and mineral absorption—especially calcium and phosphorus. This is crucial for women, who have high osteoporosis risk and thus need calcium for strong bones.
Vitamin D also regulates blood pressure, reduces stress, improves complexion, promotes heart health, and provides a general sense of well-being. It is found naturally in fish; you can also get a lot of vitamin D by spending time in the sun.
Calcium is essential for women’s health because as women age, their bones gradually weaken. Calcium prevents conditions like osteoporosis by strengthening bones and increasing bone mass.
Dietary sources of calcium:
Avoid antacids, caffeine, alcohol, sodium, and excessive red meat. All these inhibit calcium absorption.
Iron, a mineral found in the blood’s hemoglobin, is a crucial part of multiple cell functions, such as digestion. Women with heavy menstrual cycles particularly need iron because they lose blood every month. Symptoms of iron deficiency include exhaustion, cold body temperature, and decreased immune function.
Dietary sources of iron:
- Soy products
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A provides several benefits for women. For starters, vitamin A retains moisture. This reduces dryness, wrinkles, and discoloration. Additionally, vitamin A’s antioxidant powers allow it to protect the body from impurities and oxidative stress. As a result, vitamin A guards against cancer, atherosclerosis, pulmonary disease, and even kidney stones.
Dietary sources of vitamin A:
- Red peppers
- Sweet potatoes
Magnesium is an essential mineral because it lowers blood pressure, prevents osteoporosis, treats premenstrual symptoms, and prevents type 2 diabetes. Magnesium is also required for the body to function normally.
Dietary sources of magnesium:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products
Zinc is another important mineral for women. It keeps the body running smoothly by improving immune function, protein synthesis, and cell division. Zinc is beneficial for all people, but it particularly helps women because it reduces premenstrual cramps, prevents osteoporosis, and reduces risks during pregnancy.
Dietary sources of zinc:
- Pumpkin and
- Dark chocolate
9. Folic Acid
Folic acid, the man-made form of folate, is an essential B vitamin that increases heart health and prevents anemia. It’s especially important for pregnant women because it is required to make new cells. Specifically, folic acid prevents neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.
Because a successful pregnancy requires folic acid before and after conception, women need to make sure to get enough folic acid even before becoming pregnant.
Dietary sources of folate:
- Leafy vegetables
10. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is important because it treats and prevents cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various cancers. It also rejuvenates aging skin and reduces wrinkles. Additionally, women benefit from vitamin E because it treats premenstrual symptoms and reduces menopausal hot flashes.
Dietary sources of vitamin E:
- Wheat germ
- Leafy vegetables