The Top 10 Vitamins for Women Posted on 24 Sep 14:28 , 0 comments

Taking a multivitamin has long been considered ‘nutritional insurance’ to cover dietary shortfalls. Environmental and lifestyle stresses can increase the need for essential nutrients to a higher level than can be obtained from the diet. Vitamins work as a team in the body, so a comprehensive multivitamin should be your first port of call.

A vitamin pill on its own will not give you an energy boost in the afternoon to make up for a skipped meal, but used wisely health supplements can play an important role in your health and wellness regime. This list may seem basic, but the following vitamins are essential for our health and deficiencies are common.

Vitamin D
Described as both a hormone and a vitamin, vitamin D is manufactured in your body via sun exposure on the skin. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium to help prevent osteoporosis and exerts many anti-cancer properties. Widespread deficiencies of vitamin D are common in New Zealand, especially in winter.
An iron deficiency is easy to detect via a simple blood test. Active menstruating females have a high risk of iron depletion. Ditto if you avoid red meat, as red meat is the best source of iron. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption and calcium interferes with iron absorption.
Your thyroid rules your metabolism and relies on iodine to produce active thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is widespread in New Zealand and it is difficult to obtain adequate iodine from a normal diet. Iodized salt is the most common source of iodine in our diet.
Folic Acid
Folic acid deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world. Folic acid is prescribed during pregnancy to prevent birth defects, however it would be sensible to take folic acid on a regular basis. Alcohol, prescription drugs and oral contraceptives all deplete folic acid in the body.
Vitamin B12
This B vitamin works in synergy with iron, zinc and folic acid. Deficiencies are common among strict vegetarians or people with absorption or digestion issues. Your body requires Vitamin B12 to form healthy blood. Vitamin B12 should be taken alongside folic acid and Vitamin B6 for best results.
Zinc plays a major role in the human body and is essential for hormonal health, skin health, immune function and sensory function. A marginal zinc deficiency will cause recurrent infections, acne, eczema, psoriasis and hair loss. Oysters are the best known dietary source of zinc.
Omega 3
The Australian Heart Foundation recommends that we each consume about 500 milligrams of marine source omega 3 every day. People with existing heart disease should aim for about 1000 milligrams each day. Don’t get hung up on the daily numbers, it’s your total weekly intake that matters the most. Although our diet must include two types of essential fatty acids, Omega 6 and Omega 3, most western diets now supply an excess of Omega 6. To help address this imbalance nutritionists recommend an increase in the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids.
If you don't like dairy products, calcium supplements offer an easy and inexpensive way to get your daily calcium. Studies have found positive results using calcium for the treatment of PMS symptoms. Calcium significantly reduced mood swings, pain, bloating, depression, back pain and food cravings by 50% in a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Chromium helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and improve the cells’ sensitivity to insulin. Chromium is used extensively as a weight-loss supplement as it helps to manage sugar cravings. Take chromium in the morning with breakfast, then again in the afternoon when you normally experience cravings. If you have diabetes check with your physician first.
Because food processing robs many foods of magnesium, many of us risk getting less than our recommended daily allowance. Unfortunately many people consume a low magnesium diet because of a high intake of refined foods. Magnesium combined with vitamin B6 can be very effective in reducing PMS symptoms such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness and mood changes.

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