The Top 10 Essential Vitamins for Women’s Health
Eat clean. Exercise. Get 8 hours of sleep. Drink a lot of water. We all know what we need to do to feel our best, but this deceptively simple advice is always easier said than done.
Whether we’re putting in late nights to pay off our student loans or shuttling the kids between school and soccer practice or doing all of the above and trying to carve out time for a social life and romance: self-care is usually the first item on our to-do list that often goes undone.
Our willingness to put something as essential as taking care of ourselves on the back burner is counter-intuitive for so many reasons with the biggest being: how are we supposed to get everything done if we’re constantly feeling run down?
When you ask your friends for advice, they’ll say “take your vitamins” and likely recommend a slew of supplements to boost your energy — B12 shots, anyone? — but a cabinet full of supplements won’t get to the root of the problem, which is a lack of balance.
Just like we crave balance in our lives our bodies crave balance in our nutrient intake. Over-extended fatigued women need nutrition that is specific to her and her lifestyle.
Beyond lifestyle, women need nutrition that is specific to them. For example, women burn 5 to 10 percent fewer calories than men while doing the same activities because of the difference in our body composition.
Men, in general, have more muscle mass, heavier bones and less body fat than women. Because of these differences in muscle mass, men burn more calories than women at rest. That said, taking a “one-size fits all” vitamin for two fundamentally different bodies makes little sense.
At Inspire for Her, we focus on creating balance within a woman’s body by supporting her immune system, addressing her slower metabolism, and preventing those pesky energy crashes.
Here are our picks for the top 10 essential vitamins for women’s health:
- Vitamin C. When your body is under a lot of stress, your natural vitamin C supply decreases. Known for its ability to support our immune system, vitamin C also boosts levels of the brain chemical called noradrenaline which makes you feel more alert and focused.
- Vitamin A. Found naturally in apricots, carrots, and red peppers in the form of beta-carotene, our bodies convert this nutrient to vitamin A. Vitamin A improves our eye health, encourages skin cell production, and stimulates fibroblasts — the cells responsible for developing tissue that keeps the skin firm.
- Vitamin B1. Also known as Thiamin, vitamin B1 helps the body metabolize carbs, transforming them into much-needed fuel for both mental and physical energy. It is possible to overdo it with B1 and proper dosage is a must. Signs that you may be taking too much include dry, itchy skin.
- Vitamin B6. Responsible for supporting brain health, vitamin B6 maintains adrenal function, calms the nervous system, and is essential for regulating mood and mental fatigue. In a nutshell, this is the “cure all” vitamin for busy moms.
- Vitamin B12. Essential for the formation of the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, vitamin B12 is well-known for increasing both your energy and your metabolism. Chronic fatigue, memory loss, or depression could all be signs that you’re low on B12.
- Vitamin E. Sought-after for its skin health benefits, vitamin E is known for its ability to keep cells healthy. This vitamin is an antioxidant and as such is the “first line of defense” against environmental damaging effects on the skin. A must-have in the nutritional arsenal of the woman-on-the-go.
- Vitamin D3. Though it may be called a vitamin, D3 actually functions as a hormone. It helps move calcium and phosphorus into your bloodstream — a process that keeps your bones healthy and strong. When our bodies don’t have enough vitamin D3, it will take calcium and phosphorus from our bones, leading to osteoporosis and a daily dose will help with prevention.
- Folate (folic acid). Arguably one of the most important vitamins, folate supports a healthy brain and spinal cord. It also makes DNA and RNA and prevents the changes in DNA that can can lead to cancer. If that’s not enough for you, folate also prevents anemia and is especially important for pregnant women because it helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida.
- Biotin. This vitamin can be found in medicine cabinets as well as makeup bags: biotin is known for thickening our hair, strengthening our nails, and firming our skin. In addition to the beauty/cellular-related benefits, it’s also key for health digestion. In order to convert carbs, protein, and fat into energy, biotin (or vitamin B7) must be present in our system.
- Calcium. I already know what you’re thinking: duhhh. We all know about calcium’s reputation for building strong, healthy bones and warding off osteoporosis, but did you know that calcium might also protect against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure? This super mineral works hard to keep our bodies in fit and fighting shape.
Achieving balance in our lives is challenging, but creating balance in our bodies can be as simple as adjusting our nutrient intake. Inspire for Her created a lifestyle supplement for women on-the-go that provides balanced nutrition to create a steady flow of long-lasting energy so you can take care of yourself and everything else.
Learn more about Inspire for her products here.