Women’s physiologic needs are somewhat different from men. Since they have altogether different build and physiologic processes they also have a different nutritional need compared to men. Women in different age groups need a number of minerals and vitamins in higher quantities than men in the same age group. Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals supplements and for women.
Calcium is essential for strong bones, healthy muscles, and more in both men and women. However, it is all the more essential for women since they start losing bone after menopause. They need to get enough calcium throughout their lives so that they don’t suffer from porous bones and problems associated with it. You need to build a sustainable bone density within 19 to 30 years of age since you are invariably going to lose some as you age and cross menopause. If the diet is not enough, you may consider supplements but with medical advice. Dairy products, calcium-fortified juices, beans, cereals, almonds, leafy greens, salmon they all deliver a good amount of calcium.
Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones and women to tend to get porous bones as they age. It may also reduce the risk of some cancers and heart diseases. But the significance of Vitamin D lies in the fact that it promotes calcium absorption. Without Vitamin D, calcium-rich diet and supplements would not be of any use. One can get vitamin D in sea fishes like tuna and salmon, fortified milk, fruit juices, cereals, etc. One also needs to get enough sunshine since vitamin D is made in the skin on exposure to sunlight.
Iron helps increase hemoglobin that in turn enhances the number of red blood cells in the blood. This keeps blood healthy. Women undergo heavy menstrual bleeding, and to counter that they need a healthy blood level. Women also need a healthy blood level since it is through the blood that the fetus derives all the nutrition. So they need iron-rich diets and/or iron supplements. If they don’t get enough iron, they may suffer from anemia. The best sources of Iron are animal sources since the iron found in animal meat is heme iron, which is easily assimilated by the body.
Women in the reproductive age group need to take Folate, a type of Vitamin B, that helps in the development of the fetus and reduces the risk of congenital problems like spina bifida in children. One can get enough Folate in brown rice, dark green vegetables, sprouts, spinach, green beans, broccoli, potatoes etc. You can also get it in fortified cereals and bread. However, pregnant women or those desiring to get pregnant need to add folate in the form of supplements in their regimen. For pregnant and breastfeeding women the requirement of folate shots up.
Magnesium supports a number of bodily functions in both men and women, but its significance for women lies in its ability to promote strong bones and preventing bone loss. This is why it is very important for women above 40 years of age when the risk of osteoporosis increases.