What vitamins & minerals does a woman need?

We all need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.  But the needs are different depending on whether you are a woman or a man. Some vitamins are synthesized by our body, others must be ingested through food. In case of deficiencies or vitamin deficiencies, it may be necessary to take certain dietary supplements. Here are the specifics of women’s vitamin and mineral needs.

1. Calcium

Calcium is a mineral salt which is used by the body for the formation of bones and teeth, but also for their maintenance over time. Women need it more than men because they are more prone to osteoporosis, which decreases bone mass with age and leads to fractures, particularly of the femoral neck.

In the event of a deficiency or deficiency, calcium vitamin supplements are also used to prevent premenstrual syndrome, which includes the symptoms that precede menstruation and from which a third of women suffer.

daily calcium intake

Calcium requirements for women are 1,000 mg up to age 50, and 1,200 mg beyond. The intake must be spread over the day, because the body only assimilates 500 mg at a time.

The advantage of vitamin supplements is to be able to space out the intake to reach the daily quota.

Where to find calcium?

Calcium is found naturally in dairy products, green vegetables, legumes, fish (herring, tuna, salmon), nuts and oilseeds, such as sunflower or sesame.

Many fruits are also rich in calcium: currants, blackberries, oranges, blackcurrants, etc.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is complementary to calcium and influences the health of teeth and bones. It regulates the level of calcium in the blood and prevents it from being eliminated through the urine.

It also plays a vital role in our immune defences.

Daily vitamin D intake

The doses of vitamin D are counted in IU (International Units). The recommended daily intake should be at least 600 IU up to the age of 70 and 800 IU after this age.

Where to find vitamin D?

The body creates its own vitamin D through exposure to the sun. It is also found in milk and certain fish, such as salmon or tuna.

You are therefore more at risk of vitamin D deficiency during the winter and should therefore ensure that you take the necessary vitamin supplements.

3. Iron

Iron promotes the transport of oxygen in the body to reach all the cells. Its action is essential to produce ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which represents our main source of body energy. It is also iron that allows the muscles to store oxygen reserves.

The most common vitamin deficiencies in the world are due to lack of iron. The WHO – World Health Organization – estimates that a quarter of the world’s population suffers from anemia due to a lack of iron and that women are the most affected.

daily iron intake

It takes 18 mg of iron for a woman up to the age of 50 and 8 mg thereafter. Women’s vitamin requirements increase to 27 mg when pregnant. Supplementing with vitamins while breastfeeding is strongly recommended.

Where to find iron?

Iron is mainly found in red meat, but also poultry, fish, eggs, seafood, green vegetables and legumes.

Contrary to popular belief, spinach does not contain more iron than the average green vegetable. The confusion goes back to a distant study where a comma was misplaced when the numbers were recorded, which multiplied the results tenfold.

4. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid

Vitamin C – also known as ascorbic acid – has multiple functions. It plays a major role in the immune system, the production of red blood cells but also the production of collagen. This is why it is essential for good tissue healing. It participates in the absorption of iron and produces a capital antioxidant action to fight against cell aging.

Women have a greater need to supplement with vitamin C during periods of hormonal upheavals which tire the body enormously: puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and menopause.

Daily vitamin C intake

It is advisable to provide the body with 75 mg of vitamin C daily throughout life. During pregnancy, the figure rises to 80 mg, and 115 mg during breastfeeding.

Where to find vitamin C?

Vitamin C is present in most fruits and vegetables. The more colorful they are, the more they are likely to contain, it is best to eat them raw.

You mainly find vitamin C in the following ingredients: broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, kiwis, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, etc.

5. Vitamin B9 or folic acid

Among the variations of vitamin B, vitamin B9 generates a specific need in women, because it is essential for the growth of the fetus. Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, is involved in all stages of embryo development. Any deficiency, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy, can cause physical and mental malformations that can be very serious and irreversible. Indeed, this vitamin allows the formation of the whole organism, including the brain.

The daily intake of vitamin B9

The vitamin B9 requirement for a woman is 400 µg (micrograms) per day. During pregnancy, the dose increases by 50% to 600 µg.

For a pregnant woman, it is crucial for the health of her baby to supplement with vitamin B9.

Where to find vitamin B9?

Vitamin B9 is found in dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, as well as poultry or pork offal.

6. Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals that make the body work. It is attributed more than 300 functions. It contributes to good heart health and the maintenance of blood pressure. It is also involved in the regulation of blood sugar levels and the management of lipids. It is essential to the intestinal microbiota and is involved in weight control.

Half of the magnesium in our body is stored in the teeth and bones and the other part is distributed in the liver, muscles and other soft tissues.

It is relevant for women suffering from premenstrual syndrome and stomach aches during menstruation to supplement with vitamins B6 and magnesium which, combined, reduce these very unpleasant phenomena, which can even be disabling.

On the other hand, magnesium strengthens bone density, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis, which is more common in women.

daily magnesium intake

Up to the age of 30, women are advised to consume 310 mg of magnesium, and beyond this increase to 320 mg. Pregnant women can go up to 360 mg per day.

Where to find magnesium?

Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, nuts, legumes and brewer’s yeast.

The vitamin and mineral needs of women are specific, especially during the crucial stages of life that cause hormonal upheavals. Do not hesitate to supplement with vitamins and minerals, especially at these times, so as not to suffer from any deficiency or deficiency.

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