Five Key Health Supplements For Women
We all need minerals and vitamins to shield our bodies from many diseases and to be healthy. Women however, need much more specialized supplements because they are more prone to diseases and conditions as a result of their physiological make up. For example, women are susceptible to osteoporosis, which can cause them to break their hips and other bones at the slightest fall – usually in older age. Women can get cervical or breast cancer and cervical cancer is of course a condition that is isolated to women. As a result, women are required to take special supplements that will make them healthier and will help them fight off these diseases. Women need to take certain supplements which will make them healthier and help them fight off certain conditions that only they are susceptible to. What are these supplements and how can they help? Read on to know more.
* Calcium – Perhaps one of the most essential supplements that women need today. Earlier on, it was widely believed that only women who were menopausal or had reached a certain age like 45 needed to take calcium supplements. But these days, the harried lifestyle that we lead has not helped significantly in terms of providing the calcium needs to girls from their regular diets. Processed foods have become a part of the culture and everyone knows that very little nutrition can be extracted from them. This is why it has become essential for women in their 20s and 30s also to start taking calcium supplements. Be careful about what calcium supplement you take such as calcium carbonate, dolomite, or ground oyster shells, they are very poorly absorbed. Do your best to get it from organic sources like kale and broccoli.
Once the calcium quotient in a woman’s life is lowered significantly, she is susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition in which the skeleton is weakened and bones break easily. Women who are less than 50 years of age should take calcium supplements of at least 500 mg, whereas those who are over 50 years should take 800 to 1000 mg of calcium in a supplement. Although supplements ensure that your calcium needs are met adequately, you should also try to take calcium as part of your daily diet. So, make sure to include milk and milk products. When looking for calcium supplements, make sure to look for those that are fortified with Vitamin D.
* Omega 3 – Omega 3 fatty acids are essential because they can lower the risk of heart disease significantly. Typically, heart disease was considered to be something that men were prone to, more than girls, but all that has changed now. With changing lifestyles and increased demand on all fronts, girls today are also similarly susceptible to heart problems. Omega 3 is typically found in oily fish and women who do not eat fish that regularly are losing out on the great benefits that omega 3 offers.
Frequent intake of omega 3 is linked to lowered levels of triglycerides, healthier joints and reduced inflammation. In today’s world, there has been research to suggest that lowered amounts of omega 3 are also connected with mood swings and depression.
Women who will benefit from omega 3 are those who don’t consume fish regularly, those who have a risk of heart condition (either in the family or because of high triglycerides), pregnant and nursing women and women who are overweight and suffer from tenderness in the joints.
* Folate – Folate is usually the most overlooked vitamin because it isn’t considered to be that life changing or essential. But in fact it is. Folate is disolveable in water and is mostly found in dark leafy plants such as spinach and. Folate is really quite essential because it is required to form DNA and this is much more required in girls who are of child bearing age.
Pregnant girls or women in the early stages of theircan cause great harm to their babies if they do not take sufficient folate in the first few weeks itself. Babies can develop a disease known as spina bifida in which the spine is left unclosed at the crucial stage of their formation. Usually women are not aware that they’re pregnant and this is what causes the problems. This problem can be avoided if females take folate supplements regularly even when they are not pregnant.
Hence all adult women should take folate supplements of at least 400 mcg while those who are pregnant should take 400 to 800 mcg of folate.
* Co-enzyme Q 10 – Co-enzyme Q 10 is a nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body, keeping you young and helping you have a healthy heart. This nutrient is soluble in fat and can be found mostly in meat and fish. Girls who don’t eat either of these are vegetarians should ideally consider taking supplements of co-enzyme Q10 because they cannot get it from their diet. Also, those girls who are at risk for cardiovascular condition and cancer should take this supplement also.
On a daily basis, at least 30 to 100mg of co-enzyme Q10 should be taken in the form of supplements. In case you are taking more than 100mg, then split it into 2 doses so that there is better absorption. It is also recommended to take the supplement along with meals or oil based gel capsules.
* Lutein – Lutein is an antioxidant that helps fight blindness in older women. It is also found in the breast and cervix and keeps these tissues healthy. Lutein protects the skin from the damage inflicted by sunlight. Typically, lutein is a carotenoid which is fat soluble and can be found in corn, egg yolks and dark green leafy vegetables.
Women who have a known risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMRD) should take lutein supplements. Also those who are constantly in sunlight and face pollutants regularly should also take lutein to protect their skin. Ideally, a supplement should contain 6 to 10 mg of lutein, and when it is taken with food, it is absorbed better.
These five supplements aren’t the only supplements that women should take, although these are some of the five most important supplements that should become a part of your regular lifestyle. Most women tend to take vitamins that have a combination of all the important vitamins in them and this is a good idea, although care should be taken to include these supplements also to maintain great health.