Certain supplements can benefit women specifically by providing health support in the areas that they need it most. The best supplements for women can ensure that ladies are consuming enough of certain essential nutrients that they are biologically predisposed to lacking, such as iron.
For supporting a woman’s health in today’s world, where most of us are micronutrient deficient, supplements can be a part of a woman’s health. Supplements for women are health products that provide ingredients with a wide range of benefits, such as supporting healthy bones, intestinal health, and improving pregnancies, which all rely on important micronutrients we are supposed to be consuming.
Common Health Issues Women May Experience
Women often need a little micronutrient assistance for specific health areas. These areas include bone mass, the gastrointestinal system, and the reproductive system, among others. It also includes your blood and circulatory system. Women have a higher risk of iron deficiency, or anemia, because of the blood loss they sustain from menstruation. Effective women’s supplements can address these issues.
- Low bone density – Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis, or bone loss, than men. This is especially true for women over the age of fifty due to the fact that bone loss occurs after menopause. One of every two women who are over the age of fifty will have an osteoporosis related bone fracture in their lifetime.
- Iron deficiency – Iron deficiency, or anemia, is caused by lack of sufficient levels of iron in the blood. It can be caused by a number of things, including blood loss, internal bleeding, and inability to absorb iron. Women are at a higher risk of anemia due to the fact that they lose blood through menstruation every month. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, pale skin, fast heartbeat, brittle nails, and much more.
- Gastrointestinal problems – Women tend to have a slower rate of gastric emptying than men. This means that usually, food enters the intestines more slowly in a woman than in a man. This contributes to issues with gas, bloating, and nausea. Menstruation also increases a woman’s instances of gastrointestinal discomfort due to cramping and hormonal changes. Women tend to have more digestive problems than men because of the hormonal changes they experience throughout their lifetime from the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
- Fatigue – There are numerous problems that cause fatigue and some of these happen to be more common in women than in men. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to chronic fatigue problems. Problems with the thyroid, which is a gland that produces hormones that regulate how your body uses energy, are more common in women than in men. Thyroid issues are one of the top causes of fatigue. Women can have a higher risk for heart disease which causes fatigue; the American Heart Association reports that “nearly twice as many American women die of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer.” Other causes of fatigue are anemia, sleep apnea, depression, and lack of sleep.
- Migraines – The Migraine Research Foundation states that “migraines are a women’s health issue.” Of 38 million migraine sufferers, 28 million are women! Women also suffer from migraines three times as often as men, and they experience longer and more episodic pain. Migraines are often related to menstruation, hormonal contraception, menopause, and pregnancy.
- Stress – According to a study lead by the University of Cambridge, women are nearly twice as stressed as men. Anxiety disorders are also more prevalent in women, and women who are younger than 35 are disproportionately affected by stress disorders such as anxiety. Stress can be caused by numerous things outside of your control, but it is also closely linked to your health.
- Weight gain – Women have naturally slower metabolisms than men because they have less active metabolic mass on their bodies. This means that it is easier for women to gain weight, and harder for them to lose weight in comparison with men!
10 Supplements for Women to Consider
Women can benefit from particular supplements tailored to their needs. Different supplements offer different benefits for women, so learning about their benefits is crucial.
What are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are a compact combination of different essential vitamins and minerals. Most multivitamins include the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, iodine, borate, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, beta carotene, and iron.
How Multivitamins May Help Women
Multivitamins may help ensure that your body is achieving the essential vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be provided through your diet. The variety of nutrients they provide act together to support the body’s functions and processes. Some multivitamins are tailored specifically for women and provide them with nutrients that are more beneficial to the female body. Sometimes, a woman’s diet will not provide every single micronutrient that she needs for her daily nutrition values.
How to Take Multivitamins
There usually is already some calcium in a multivitamin, so supplementing calcium and a multivitamin at the same time is often not necessary. They should be taken in the recommended dose to avoid vitamin overdoses, and can be taken with or without food any time of day.
Multivitamin Side Effects
Some common side effects of multivitamins include mild diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach. More serious side effects are possible, but not common.
What is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed, also referred to as linseed, was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 B.C. It is used in food products today such as crackers, oatmeal, and waffles. Flaxseed is even fed to chickens in order to increase the amount of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in their eggs. These seeds grow into the flax plant, which is cultivated like a grain and used for making linens. Flaxseed oils can be extracted as a supplement, and used as a finish for wood. It is high in lignans, Omega 3’s, and fiber.
How Flaxseed helps Women
Flaxseed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans (which have plant based estrogen), powerful antioxidants, and fiber.
How to Take Flaxseed
Flaxseed can be taken in its raw form, powder form, or in oil form. In capsule form, this supplement is very convenient to take. Adding flaxseed to foods is another great way to take the supplement. Flaxseed makes a great addition to oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, applesauce, or baked goods. Flaxseed powder and flaxseed oil are great additions to smoothies.
Flaxseed Side Effects
Some common side effects include: increased bowel movements, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
Green Tea Extract
What is Green Tea Extract?
Green tea extract comes from the tea plant, or Camellia sinensis. Green tea is made from the leaves, bud, and stem of the plant that are prepared through steaming and pan-frying the leaves and then drying them. This process produces tea that is green, and conserves the antioxidants and polyphenols in the tea. Green tea extract is taken from the Camellia sinensis plant and harnesses the health properties of green tea to be taken as a supplement.
How Green Tea Extract May Help Women
Green tea extract has the health benefits of the tea plant because green tea is steamed rather than roasted. This preserves the nutrients and antioxidants.
How to Take Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract can be taken with or without food. Because it contains caffeine it can be a diarrhetic, and so drinking lots of water is recommended.
Green Tea Extract Side Effects
Green tea extract can cause some side effects due to caffeine, although it is possible to find decaffeinated green tea extracts. Side effects due to caffeine include anxiety, trouble sleeping, etc.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your digestive health. These are the “good” bacteria that naturally occur in the gut, and help the body to break down food and absorb nutrients. There are different kinds of probiotics. These include:
Lactobacillus – This form of probiotic is found in yogurt and fermented foods, and is one of the more common probiotics.
Bifidobacterium – This form of bacteria is found in some dairy products.
How Probiotics May Help Women
Probiotics address the gastrointestinal issues that more commonly affect women. Probiotics balance the digestive system by crowding out bad bacteria, yeast and fungi. They produce vitamin B12, butyrate, and vitamin K2, as well as stimulate secretion of IgA and regulatory T cells.
How to Take Probiotics
The best time to take a probiotic is with a meal. Because they are a live culture, they flourish in warm, wet, and nutritious environments. Most probiotics are found in pill/capsule form – you’ll just want to follow the instructions found on the product packaging. Some probiotics must be refrigerated.
Probiotic Side Effects
Taking high dosages of probiotics may cause diarrhea.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is not found in many foods, but is produced endogenously when UV rays from the sun hit the skin. This means that sunlight encourages synthesis of vitamin D in the body. Because vitamin D is not easily found in foods and is generally activated in the body through sunlight exposure, many people including women are at risk for being vitamin-D deficient.
How Vitamin D May Help Women
Taking vitamin D can sometimes help women fight off the unwanted effects of a vitamin D deficiency.
How to Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D is passively absorbed in the small intestines, and therefore it does not matter whether you take it with or without food. You can also take it at anytime of the day and it will still provide you the same benefits. Taking the effective dosage is the most important factor.
Vitamin D Side Effects
If you take too much vitamin D, you may experience nausea, fatigue, headache, sleepiness, etc.
Omega 3 and Fish Oil
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning that they must be consumed from the diet. The body can not make them, but it needs them. There are some foods that are higher in Omega 3 fatty acids than others, such as fish, nuts, flaxseeds, some grass-fed animal fats, and vegetable oils. There are three kinds of Omega 3’s; abbreviated to EPA, ALA, and DHA.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is literally oil from a fish. It can be obtained by consuming fish or supplements of concentrated fish oil. Some fish are naturally richer in oils than others. These fish include mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and others. Fish oil contains a high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids, and is a great source of Omega 3’s.
How to Take Fish Oil and Omega 3
Fish oil and Omega 3’s are more easily digested and absorbed when taken with meals, but it can be taken any time of the day
Side Effects of Fish Oil and Omega 3
Taking too much fish oil can cause side effects such as belching, nausea, loose stools, heartburn and rash.
What is Vitamin B?
Vitamin B’s are a group of vitamins that are essential to the function of certain enzymes in the body and are commonly found together. They include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cyanocobalamin (B12). When they are all together, they are referred to as vitamin B complex. All of these vitamins assist in converting food into energy.
How Vitamin B May Help Women
Vitamin B complex addresses many of the health issues that women are biologically more at risk for. Each B vitamin has unique benefits, and together they are a good supplement for women.
How to Take Vitamin B
This vitamin can be taken any time of the day with or without food.
Side Effects of Vitamin B
Allergic reactions are possible, particularly when large doses are consumed.
Calcium with Magnesium
What is Calcium?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is necessary for health in many ways. It is required for vasodilation and vascular contraction, making it important for blood circulation.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is needed for a variety of biochemical reactions, such as protein synthesis, blood glucose regulation, muscle and nerve function, glycolysis, and more.
How to Take Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium carbonate must be taken with food, but calcium citrate can be taken with or without food. Magnesium requires stomach acid to be absorbed and is best taken on an empty stomach.
Calcium and Magnesium Side Effects
Calcium can cause some minor gastrointestinal side effects of bloating or gas. Magnesium may cause side effects for certain people, including upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s also one of the most commonly taken supplements, and is known for its antioxidant and immune-boosting effects.
How Vitamin C May Help Women: Vitamin C is essential to the growth and repair of cells in the body, and is important to immune system health. It is found in broccoli, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and more. It is an antioxidant and it is also used to help digest proteins.
How to Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C typically comes in pill or capsule form. It’s also found in all multivitamins, as well as many other health products. It can be taken at any time of the day, and can be taken with or without food. Also, keep in mind that you’re likely already consuming a good amount of this vitamin, due to its high concentrations in foods and health products.
Side Effects of Vitamin C
In some people, vitamin C may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, and headaches.
What is Iron?
Iron is a mineral that is necessary to the production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. Hemoglobin oxygenates the body by transporting oxygen from the lungs to the blood. Iron is also a part of proteins and enzymes, and used for storing and using oxygen in the muscles. Iron is needed in specific amounts, because if the body has too little iron it will develop a condition called anemia. If the body has too much iron, it will develop a condition called hemochromatosis. Iron can be found naturally in red meats, leafy greens, dried fruit, seafood, poultry, and more.
How Iron May Help Women
Did you know that 80% of the American population that is estimated to be afflicted with osteoporosis are women? Women need iron from their diet much more than men do, because every month women lose blood. Iron is in the bloodstream, so every month women lose significant amounts of iron.
How To Take Iron
Iron is best absorbed by the body on an empty stomach. Therefore, iron should be taken between meals. Iron should not be taken within two hours of taking calcium, antacids, or drinking milk.
Side Effects of Iron
At normal doses, side effects of diarrhea and constipation are common. At high doses, other side effects may include nausea and vomiting.
Serious side effects are rare when taking appropriate doses, but a doctor should be contacted if you experience serious side effects.