Top & Best Vitamins for Women
What are Vitamins. Why do we need vitamins?
A vitamin is an organic compound and an essential nutrient, or micronutrient, that an organism needs in small amounts. An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin when the organism cannot make the compound itself, (either at all, or in sufficient quantities) and it must be obtained through the diet. Different organisms have different vitamin needs.
Vitamins are essential for your overall health. Getting them in the daily recommended intake (DRI) amounts can be easy if you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Most women can get all the essential vitamins they need by making smart food choices. However, some women may need vitamin supplements.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vitamins and micronutrients are essential for normal cell function, growth, and development. Since we can’t produce all the nutrients we need, we must get many of them from food.
What are the most essential vitamins?
The following vitamins are imperative for the body to function properly:
Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids (most notably beta-carotene).Vitamin A has multiple functions: it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of retinal, which combines with protein opsin to form rhodopsin, the light-absorbing molecule necessary for both low-light (scotopic vision) and color vision.Vitamin A also functions in a very different role as retinoic acid (an irreversibly oxidized form of retinol), which is an important hormone-like growth factor for epithelial and other cells.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine can prevent beriberi, heart diseases, and indigestion while boosting the body’s metabolism, blood circulation, and brain development. This vitamin, along with vitamin B2 and B3, is essential for elderly patients who need extra nourishment for those who are at a high risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin helps treat cataracts, skin disorders, and anemia, while also improving the body’s metabolic activity, immunity, and nervous system.
Vitamin B3 or Niacin can reduce weakness, indigestion, skin disorders, migraines, heart disorders, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and diarrhea.
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid can relieve stress, and treat arthritis, infections, skin disorders, graying of the hair, and high cholesterol levels.
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxamine is useful in the treatment of diabetes, piles, convulsions, morning sickness, excessive menstrual bleeding, stress, insomnia, and motion sickness. It is also associated with reducing homocysteine levels in the body.
Vitamin B7 or Biotin can treat skin disorders, improve the body’s metabolism, and boost hair health.
Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid is a very powerful tool against anemia, indigestion, sprue, abnormal brain growth, skin disorders, and gout while also increasing red blood cell formation. It is mainly associated with the prevention of neural tube defects and is increasingly studied in relation to inhibiting homocysteine levels, thereby, protecting against coronary heart diseases.
Vitamin B12 or Cyanocobalamin can reduce symptoms and side effects of anemia, smoking, pregnancy, liver disorders, kidney disorders, and mouth ulcers. When combined with adequate amounts of B6 and folic acid, B12 is essential in defending against various heart conditions, including strokes.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in food and used as a dietary supplement.The disease scurvy is prevented and treated with vitamin C-containing foods or dietary supplements.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters.It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function.It also functions as an antioxidant. Foods containing vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raw bell peppers, and strawberries.Prolonged storage or cooking may reduce vitamin C content in foods
Vitamin C is generally well tolerated.Large doses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin.
Vitamin D can be obtained from certain foods like eggs, some dairy products and certain mushrooms, but we get the overwhelming majority of our vitamin D from sun exposure. Both men and women are at high risks for vitamin D deficiencies since more people spend a large majority of their time indoors these days or wear sunscreen diligently when outdoors. Estimates range, but some research shows that up to 75 percent to 90 percent of adults in the U.S. might be deficient!
Vitamin D is important for bone/skeletal health, brain functions, preventing mood disorders and hormonal balance, since it acts very similarly to a hormone once inside the body. Your best bet to make sure you get enough is to spend 15–20 minutes outside most days of the week without sunscreen on, which allows vitamin D to be synthesized when it comes into contact with your skin.
Vitamin E refers to a group of compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E or Tocopherol is often used for skin care because of its anti-aging properties, and as a way to improve blood circulation, and protect against heart diseases, sterility, and brain malfunction. It also gives relief from symptoms of menopause, painful menstrual cycles, and eye disorders.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body but also one of the most common deficiencies. As an electrolyte, magnesium helps regulate calcium, potassium and sodium and is essential for over 300 different biochemical functions in the body.
Iron deficiency and anemia are the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies in the world, especially among women young. The body uses iron to produce hemoglobin, a type of protein that transports oxygen via blood from the lungs to other tissues throughout the body. There are two different kinds of iron (heme and non-heme), and the most absorbable and easily utilized by the body is the kind found in animal proteins like eggs, meat, fish and poultry (leafy greens and beans are good plant-based options too).
Adolescent girls are at the highest risk for iron deficiencies, and women in general need to be careful to get enough since demand for iron increases during menstruation due to blood loss.It’s been found that, globally, about 50 percent of all pregnant women are very low in iron to the point of being considered anemic — not to mention at least 120 million women in less developed countries are underweight and malnourished in general. Women with adequate stores of iron and vitamin B12 and are less likely to suffer from fatigue, poor immunity and fatal infections, dangerous pregnancies, and bleeding episodes that put their lives at risk.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other joint problems. omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the omega-3 in plant sources is mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Omega-3 fatty acid plays a crucial role in maintaining the normal brain function and is important for its growth and development too. It supports brain development during infancy and helps maintain healthy brain throughout life. Omega-3 DHA is a vital component of brain and nerve tissue, and is essential for brain and eye development.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women between the ages of 20–39 have the lowest urine iodine levels compared to all other age groups.Iodine intake is especially important for young women looking to become pregnant or who are pregnant because it plays a role in brain development of the growing fetus. It’s also crucial for making proper amounts of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland requires iodine to produce the hormones T3 and T4, which help control your metabolism.
Most people eating a western diet consume a good deal of iodized salt found in packaged foods and refined grain products, which has iodine added purposefully to help prevent deficiencies. But an even better way to get the iodine you need is from iodine-rich foods like sea veggies and seafood, the major natural dietary sources of this nutrient. Avoiding an iodine deficiency helps protect you from conditions like hypothyroidism, goiters, fatigue, hormonal imbalances and trouble during pregnancy.
Getting enough calcium is important for bone strength, but it’s also crucial for regulating heart rhythms, aiding in muscle functions, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and many other functions related to nerve signaling too.
Calcium, when consumed when other key nutrients like vitamin D and magnesium, has been shown to offer protection against some of the biggest threats to women: heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer, for example. Calcium deficiency is very common among both men and women, however. Experts believe that most adults in the U.S. don’t get enough calcium on a daily basis.