Important Dietary Supplement Information for Women

Written by Janelle Lawrence

On November 15, 2012

Are you on a dietary supplement? Many women use a nutritional supplement to round out the gaps in their diet. Unfortunately, most don’t understand that the vitamins they’re taking may not be safe for them. When it comes to women’s health, only the best nutrition will do.

The Vitamins You’re Taking Aren’t Safe

It may surprise you to learn that the dietary supplement you’re taking may not be safe for you at all. Many commercial vitamin products are nothing but a concoction of lab-created chemicals designed to mimic the affect of the real thing. What’s worse, toxic chemical ingredients in your nutritional supplements can cause severe allergic reaction, depressed immune system, and malabsorption of nutrients. Binders, sweeteners, fillers, and preservatives have no place in a product that claims to improve your health.

In a perfect world, we’d be able to get all of the necessary nutrients we need from food. Unfortunately, poor soil quality and pesticides deplete the nutritional content of our produce while growth hormones and antibiotics do the same to our meat. This is why many women look to a dietary supplement to fill in these nutritional gaps.

When selecting the right nutritional supplements for you, it’s important to be a label-reader. Instead of synthetic vitamins, choose whole-food supplements whose ingredients are derived from a food source instead of created in a lab. These supplements may cost a little more but you know you’ll be getting a quality product that your body can actually use. Once you make the switch, you’ll be amazed at the difference in your health and energy level!

The Top 10 Most Important Dietary Supplements for Women

When it comes to choosing the right dietary supplement, every woman is different. This is a list of the 10 most important dietary supplements for women of both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal age. This isn’t to suggest each woman needs every supplement on this list. It’s just meant to give you some guidelines so you can see the best place to start.

1.     Vitamin D3

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the United States and Canada and it’s no wonder. Modern women do not get nearly the amount of sunlight their grandmothers and great-grandmothers did. In this day and age, there’s no need to tend to the animals in the field, dry the linens on the line or plant crops to feed the family. We stay indoors now in temperature-controlled climates with fluorescent lighting and a computer’s glow.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depressed immune system, obesity, osteoporosis, learning difficulties, and even cancer. The best way to be certain if a vitamin D deficiency is negatively affecting your health is to get your blood levels checked by your doctor. He or she may suggest you spend 15-20 minutes in the sun each day or take a vitamin D3 supplement of 1,000 to 5,000 I.U. depending on your needs.

2.     Calcium

Without vitamin D, calcium cannot be properly absorbed by your body so if you’re taking a calcium nutritional supplement, you might be wasting your hard-earned money if you’re not taking it with vitamin D3. Calcium is a building block of strong bones and, taken in conjunction with vitamin D3, can help prevent the development of osteoporosis.

3.     Chelated Magnesium

For women who struggle with anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and irritable mood, there’s chelated magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral responsible for good neurological health. A chelated magnesium supplement is best because it is manufactured in such a way that is better absorbed by your body. Magnesium has even been shown to treat restless legs syndrome naturally.

4.     CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is found naturally in all parts of the body but can decrease with age. Adding a dietary supplement of this powerful antioxidant can help fight the free radicals that cause premature aging. CoQ10 also improves blood circulation, fights fatigue, and boosts your immune system.

5.     Iron

Vegetarian women who are still menstruating could benefit greatly from adding an iron supplement to their diet to prevent anemia. Many women are borderline anemic but unaware of it and may feel run-down and fatigued, especially during that time of the month. Poor concentration, shortness of breath, restless legs, split nails, and multiple infections may also be a sign of iron deficiency. Post-menopausal women do not need nearly as much iron in their diets and should look for a whole-food nutritional supplement without iron.

6.     Folic Acid

Women who are trying to conceive should increase their intake of folic acid. This particular B vitamin is essential to the healthy development of your unborn child as low levels of folic acid can lead to brain and spinal cord birth defects.

7.     Krill Oil

Krill oil is a more shelf-stable form of omega-3 fatty acid that is very important in a woman’s diet. Krill oil helps ease the joint pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. It also helps protect heart health and has a stabilizing affect on blood pressure and cholesterol. Krill oil has even been reported to lessen the severity of brain and mental disorders such as dementia and major depressive disorder.

8.     B6 and B12

As women age, these two B vitamins are not processed as well as they used to be. Therefore, it is recommended that post-menopausal women add B6 and B12 to their diet in the form of a dietary supplement. Vitamin B6 is reported to stabilize neurological health while B12 may prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

9.     Vitamin C

Most mammals and other animals have the natural ability to make their own vitamin C. Humans, on the other hand, cannot. This is why we need to get our vitamin C from dietary sources. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent colds and flu by boosting the immune system. Vitamin C has also been reported to ward off cancer, coronary artery disease, stroke, and cataracts.

10.    Evening Primrose Oil

For women who suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, mental disturbances, severe PMS, fibrocystic breasts or insomnia, there’s evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil is rich in a fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid or GLA and a pain-relieving compound called phenylalanine that helps alleviate discomfort. It also has hormone-balancing qualities to help relieve PMS and fibrocystic breast pain. Do not use evening primrose oil while pregnant.

This natural supplement information is designed to help you understand how to get the most out of your dietary supplements. If you’re living with a chronic illness, pregnant or taking prescription medication, always consult your physician before adding a nutritional supplement to your diet.

Good nutrition is a cornerstone of women’s health. No matter what type of nutritional supplements you add to your diet, it’s important to understand that eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise is your key to staying well.

If you’re looking for a complete whole-food multivitamin check out iHerb 

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