The health needs of women are different than those of men. That is probably because women’s bodies are designed to support not just one life, but two or more. Even when women aren’t pregnant, or breastfeeding, their bodies have special nutritional requirements.
There are 7 vitamins that are critical for women’s health:
1 – Vitamin A
Research says women’s bodies age faster than men – studies say 15 years faster. That makes vitamin A important, because of its powerful antioxidant effect. Free radical oxidation is the cause of aging cells, and vitamin A reverses oxidation. Vitamin A is in foods like carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, tomatoes, eggs, liver, and milk. You can also take it in supplement form.
2 – Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is important during pregnancy. It relieves morning sickness, and it it critical to brain and nervous system development of the fetus.
For women who are not pregnant, vitamin B6 protects against migraine headaches (which are much more common in women). It also helps your body metabolize protein and carbs, and form new blood cells, antibodies and neurotransmitters.
You can get B6 from fish, liver, pistachio nuts and rice, as well as from supplements.
3 – Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 is critical for women who hope to become pregnant. It makes conception easier, prevents miscarriage and supports healthy fetal development. B9 can also provide protection against cardiovascular disease.
This vitamin is available from shellfish, salmon, legumes and wheat bran. You can also get B9 in a B-complex supplement.
4 – Vitamin C
Vitamin C builds collagen, which helps your hair and skin. It supports you in maintaining healthy iron levels, and strengthens blood capillaries.
Oranges, peppers, broccoli, and strawberries are good dietary sources of vitamin C. You can also use supplements.
5 – Vitamin D
Vitamin D is helpful for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects so many women. Use it to fight mood swings, lethargy and headaches. Dr. Susan Thys-Jacobs goes so far as to say:
My research, as well as recent findings from the largest NIH study ever performed on women with severe PMS, proves that the symptoms of PMS are a sign of a calcium and vitamin D deficiency.
PMS symptoms such as depression, fatigue, irritability or mood swings, signal an imbalance of essential minerals in the body.
You can get vitamin D from tuna, salmon, cheese, egg yolks, orange juice, or you can take a D3 supplement.
6 – Vitamin K
Because they have smaller, thinner bones, women are more apt to develop osteoporosis and suffer breaks. The problem worsens as estrogen declines during menopause. Vitamin K halts the progression of osteoporosis and strengthens bones better than pharmaceutical drugs.
Vitamin K is in kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard. It can also been taken in supplement form.
If you’re a woman interested in great health, make sure you keep these super six on hand!