8 Vitamins and Nutrients Women Should Have in Their Diet

  • Published on:
    May 5, 2023
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes
8 Vitamins and Nutrients Women Should Have in Their Diet

Nutrition is essential for anyone’s health but is especially important to women since they need certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Ideally, you will want to get the vitamins and nutrients you need from whole foods. As a woman, you have unique needs when it comes to different stages of life. Read on 8 Vitamins and Nutrients Women Should Have in Their Diet.

You may need more specific vitamins and nutrients during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation or menopause. Understanding what vitamins and nutrients you need is important so you are in your best health. 

Here are eight vitamins and nutrients women should have in their diet.  

1. Calcium 

Calcium is a mineral that will benefit menopausal women. As you age, your bone density decreases and the body produces less estrogen. Women are susceptible to osteoporosis which causes weak and brittle bones and calcium help build and maintain them. It is essential to get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day unless you are over 50 you will need to increase the amount slightly but make sure you don’t exceed the daily limit. 

You can find calcium in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. If you don’t eat dairy, it can also be found in leafy green vegetables, tofu, almonds and sardines. 

2. Iron 

Iron is essential for women since it transports oxygen to the blood and supports immune function. You are more likely to suffer from an iron deficiency that shows up as fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 need to get 18 milligrams of iron daily. Iron is most important when pregnant because the amount of iron in your blood needs an increase to support the growing baby. 

Iron-rich foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, beans, whole grains and fortified cereals. Eating these foods with a source of vitamin C will help your body absorb iron even better. 

3. B Vitamins 

B6 and B12 are essential since they help the body turn food into energy. They contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails too. You should be getting 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B6 if you are 50 or younger and 1.9 milligrams if you are pregnant or over the age of 51. For vitamin B12, you should get 2.4 mcg if pregnant and 2.8 mcg if lactating. B vitamins benefit hormone balance which is essential for women. Having these vitamins before your period is also great since it regulates excessive estrogen and eases PMS symptoms. 

B vitamins are found in an array of foods. Food like seafood are good to eat since they contain vitamin B12, zinc and selenium to support bone mass and cellular damage. Other foods with these vitamins are eggs, meat, dairy, legumes and some breads. 

4. Magnesium  

Magnesium helps maintain healthy bones, regulates blood pressure and supports your heart. It assists with more than 300 biochemical reactions, so having a deficiency is risky. It is also a stress reliever and influences your mood. Intaking magnesium at night can even help your sleep schedule and help if you are very stressed out. For women ages 19 to 30, you should have 310 mg, but the range can vary if you are older or lactating. 

Get magnesium from leafy green veggies, beans, nuts and whole grains. 

5. Omega-3 

Omega-3 helps lower the risk of heart disease, calms inflammation and assists in proper brain health. You should aim to have at least four fish meals weekly to get the recommended amount. It is best to have 1.1 grams of them daily if you are under 50 and 1.4 grams if you are 51 and older. Pregnant women will want more, letting them fall in the 1.4 grams category. 

Typically you can find omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon or nuts and seeds if you don’t eat fish. 

6. Vitamin D

Without vitamin D, your bones will become weak and brittle. Vitamin D deficiencies are not good because they can lead to other issues like weakened muscles or even play a role in developing diabetes. If you live in an area with less sunlight or don’t get out in the sun a lot, you can use your diet to get vitamin D. It can be found in mushrooms exposed to light, egg yolk and cheese. 

You need to get 15 mcg of vitamin D daily for all the amazing benefits. 

7. Zinc 

If you are older than 60 and don’t eat meat, getting zinc into your diet can be challenging. Zinc is essential for defending your body against foreign substances and toxins. It helps develop T-calls which keep your immune system running to fight off infections or cancerous cells. It also plays a role in healing cuts and maintaining a healthy digestive system. 

Luckily you only need a small amount of zinc to avoid a deficiency. Women 19 years and older need eight milligrams of zinc daily and pregnant women need 11 milligrams. Those who take birth control could be at risk of a zinc deficiency, so be sure you eat nuts, seeds, legumes and oysters in your diet. 

8. Probiotics 

Probiotics help with several things, like treating vaginal yeast and urinary infections and irritable bowel syndrome. If you are someone who struggles with gut health, it is good to eat foods that are probiotics. No dose of probiotics is recommended, but adding them to your diet will help you get the benefits. 

Yogurt is an excellent example of probiotic food, but there are other options too. Foods like pickles, miso, sauerkraut and fermented cheese are other good choices. Although most people don’t eat these foods daily, you can also take them as a supplement. 

Get Your Vitamins and Nutrients

Women have unique and complex bodies. Your body can go through many stages and the recommended amounts can change depending on it. Either way, you need to ensure you get all the vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy and keep your body functioning the best it can.  

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Cora Gold

Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief for Revivalist Magazine. She has a passion for inspiring women to lead happy, healthy and successful lives. Follow Revivalist on Facebook and Twitter to read more from Cora. 

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