Top 5+ Vitamins for Women
Today’s women are health-conscious and prefer to follow a healthy diet plan. A healthy diet plan is one that includes the right combination of vitamins. Women of every age, weight and activity level need to consume a wide variety of vitamins to have optimal health and prevent different types of health problems.
Vitamins are organic compounds that help different parts of the body function properly. Each of the different vitamins performs a specific function. A deficiency of needed vitamins can contribute to some serious health problems. This is why it is essential to get vitamins from the foods you eat or, if necessary, from vitamin supplements.Here are the top 10 vitamins for women.
Below are suggestions of foods you can eat for each vitamin:
- vitamin A: Vitamin A contains antioxidant properties. Women of all ages need vitamin A as it aids in building and strengthening bones, teeth, soft tissue, skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A also reduces the risk of chronic illness, improves vision, slows down the aging process and boosts the immune system.Foods that are rich in vitamin A include carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, apricots, tomatoes, watermelon, guava, broccoli, kale, papaya, peaches, red peppers, spinach, eggs, liver, milk and fortified cereals.
- vitamin B1 (thiamine): lean meats, nuts and seeds, whole grains
- vitamin B2 (riboflavin): A deficiency of vitamin B2 can affect metabolism and influence the immune system and neural functions that can cause pale eyes and tongue, a sore throat, mouth ulcers, cracks on the lips, dry hair, wrinkles and itchy skin.Some of the foods rich in vitamin B2 are organ meats, cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy vegetables, yeast, eggs, cereals, whole grains, soybeans, almonds, nuts and mushrooms.
- vitamin B3 (niacin): legumes, fish, poultry
- vitamin B6: Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential vitamin required for a healthy immune system. This particular vitamin also helps the body produce hormones and brain chemicals, which in turn helps reduce depression, heart disease and memory loss.Some of the best foods for a healthy dose of vitamin B6 are fortified cereals, avocados, bananas, meats, beans, fish, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
- vitamin B12: Another essential vitamin that every woman should eat is B12, which is important for metabolism, normal cell division and protein synthesis. This vitamin helps prevent heart disease, memory loss and anemia.Some of the best food sources for vitamin B12 are cheese, eggs, fish, meat, milk, yogurt and fortified breakfast cereals.
- vitamin C: citrus fruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts
- vitamin D: fatty fish such as salmon, fortified milk and dairy products
- vitamin E: mango, asparagus, vegetable oils
- vitamin K: cauliflower, kale, beef
- Vitamin B7: Vitamin B7also known as biotin, is required for cell growth and synthesis of fatty acids. This vitamin keeps the sweat glands, hair and skin healthy. In fact, it promotes hair growth and helps treat brittle nails. Also, vitamin B7 is required for bone growth and bone marrow and helps maintain normal cholesterol levels.Some of the best food choices to get vitamin B7 are fish, sweet potatoes, almonds, carrots, bananas, cantaloupe, yellow fruits, green leafy vegetables, lentils, brown rice, peppers, egg yolks, soybeans, oatmeal, milk, cheese, yogurt and nuts.
- pantothenic acid: broccoli, sweet and white potatoes, mushrooms
- folate: beets, lentils, peanut butter
- choline: eggs, meats, fish
Strict vegetarians may need additional vitamin B12, or need to make sure they eat enough food fortified with it.
If you follow a vegan diet and don’t consume dairy, eggs, fish, or meat, you may be at risk for vitamin A deficiency. Eating plenty of dark colored fruits and vegetables can help prevent a vitamin A deficiency. It’s important to make sure you get enough zinc as well.
Food Sources Should Come First
Although the use of multivitamins is still quite popular, recent research has proven that they do not necessarily prevent certain chronic illnesses. They also won’t reduce your risk for other health issues. According to the American Society for Nutrition, multivitamin supplements are largely unregulated. The claims being made by the multivitamin companies exaggerate the actual data on their effectiveness.
Getting all of the essential vitamins your body needs will help you look and feel your best. Getting the recommended daily amounts of each vitamin is not only easy, it’s tasty too.