As women, no matter our age, we all need certain supplements that our body don’t make, but need to function properly. Even if we have a nutritious diet, there are some periods when we take in too much sweets or foods that have no benefit to us. Taking these supplements will be like insurance for these instances, and also help to make sure you are not deficient of any nutrients, which is a possibility especially when you are pregnant or if you are a vegetarian.
Iron - Iron aids in the production of red blood cells, supports immune function, helps carry oxygen throughout the body, and is essential for proper growth cell, cognitive development and temperature regulation. If your iron intake is insufficient, you will become anemic. Being anemic will cause you to have unrelenting fatigue, shortness of breath – even when you are not doing strenuous activities, decreased immune function – which will make it easier for you to catch even the simplest illness, and difficulty maintaining body temperature. Our monthly blood loss due to menstruation also depletes our body’s iron stores. Women with a heavy blood flow need more iron than others. Iron can be found in foods like lean red meat, liver, beans, whole grains, and dark green leafy vegetables. If your diet does not have a lot of these, talk to your doctor about which form of iron supplement would be best for you.
Calcium - Calcium helps to make and keep your bones and teeth strong, secretes hormones, helps muscles and blood vessels contract and expand, and send messages though the nervous system. Your body therefore needs calcium, especially for postmenopausal women whose bone breakdown exceeds formation. They are at a higher risk of getting osteoporosis (which causes bone to become brittle and fragile). Since women start losing bone density from as early as their twenties, your best defense is to start taking calcium now, and to eat foods that contain calcium, such as dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables.
Magnesium - Magnesium maintains normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, helps to keeps bone strong, helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promotes normal blood pressure. Your body needs magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions, and also to prevent you from having deficiency symptoms such as chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhea and migraines. Magnesium can be found in in green vegetables (okra), nuts, seeds and unrefined whole grains.
Vitamin A - Vitamin A helps with the proper functioning of your eyes, skin and immune system. Having a proper vitamin A intake is important, as it aids your vision, reduces the mortality rate of measles and even prevent some types of cancer. Vitamin A can be found in green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomato, liver, fish, fruits and fortified cereals. Vitamin A supplements are also available.
Biotin - Biotin aids in the formation of fatty acids and blood sugar which is used in the production of energy for the body. Not having enough biotin will cause hair loss, brittle nails, and a scaly red facial rash. Biotin can be found in cauliflower, liver, avocado and raspberries.
Vitamin C - Vitamin C repairs the body’s tissues, and aids in the normal growth and development of bones and teeth. It also helps the body make collagen (an important protein used to make cartilage, skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C also functions as an antioxidant to block the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C is essential because of its healing and antioxidant powers. If you are deficient of vitamin C, you are likely to have dry and splitting hair, gingivitis, bleeding gums; rough dry, scaly skin, decreased wound bleeding rate, decreased ability to fight infections, regular nose bleeding and easy bruising. A severe deficiency of vitamin C is known as scurvy. All fruits and vegetables especially citrus fruits, red pepper and broccoli all contain Vitamin C, you can also buy vitamin C capsules.
Other supplements that your body will need include:
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Coenzyme q10