Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Women:
Nutritional needs change as women move through stages of life. Women should consider a multivitamin for their age group. It should Contain, Vitamins A, B vitamins, C, D, E, K, calcium and magnesium.
Age 19 to 30
In your 20’s, you’ll need 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Take a supplement if you’re not getting enough calcium through dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice and cereals, beans, leafy greens, almonds and salmon. Calcium builds strong bones and is important for healthy muscles, nerves and the heart.
50 Years and Older: 1,200mg daily.
Age 19 to 30
Like calcium, Vitamin D is essential for bone health and may reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It promotes calcium absorption in the stomach and intestines. Sources of vitamin D are: Salmon, tuna, fortified milk, juices, cereals. Most of the vitamin D we get is made from sunshine on the skin.
50 to 69 Years Old: 600 IU daily
70 Years & Older: 800IU daily
Iron keeps blood healthy by increasing the red blood cells in the body. Not enough iron may lead to anemia. Iron comes from animals and plants. Iron from animal sources are better absorbed than those from plants, but the absorption from plant sources can be improved when these foods are eaten with foods rich in vitamin C like orange juice, strawberries or green, yellow or red peppers.
Animal sources include meat, fish and eggs. Plant sources include nuts, seeds and dark leafy green vegetables.
Women 19 to 50 years old need 18mg of iron daily.
Pregnant women need 27mg of iron daily.
51 years and older need 8mg daily.
Folate (B vitamin)
Folate is naturally present in a variety of foods like vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables), brown rice, spinach, sprouts, broccoli, green beans and potatoes. Fortified breads and cereals also contain folate.
Folic acid supplements are recommended for pregnant women and those planning to be.
Folic acid (a synthetic version of folate) helps the baby develop and reduces the risk of a baby born with spinal cord problems, like spina bifida.
Women of childbearing age need 400 mcg of folic acid daily.
Pregnant women need 600 mcg daily
Breast-feeding women need 500mcg daily.
Magnesium supports hundreds of functions throughout the body and is important throughout each stage of life. From tooth and bone formation, growth, physical and cognitive development and ensuring a healthy pregnancy. In Women older than 40 it builds strong bones and prevents bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. It may also regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Good sources of magnesium are: Legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables.
Age Magnesium Pregnancy Lactation
19 to 30: 310 mg 350mg 310mg
31 to 50: 320mg 360mg 320mg
Source: Pharmacy Times
50 Years and Older
Fish oil is only found in cold-water oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines. They are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids, may reduce the risk and symptoms of heart attack, stroke, some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis. The American Heart Association recommends eating oily fish twice weekly as part of a heart-healthy diet.
Talk to your health care provider to see if a fish oil supplement is right for you.
Vitamin B12 keeps the brain and nervous system healthy and helps the body make red blood cells. It is found mostly in animal protein: meats, fish, dairy products and eggs, but is also found in fortified breakfast cereals. B12 deficiency can cause one to experience confusion, agitation or hallucination. B12 is contained in almost all multivitamins.
Note: Talk to your health care provider before starting any vitamin or mineral supplement to determine if doing so is safe for you, especially if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or taking medications or have allergies to any foods or medications.