There’s a reason why they’re called “essential vitamins and minerals”. As humans, we need these key nutrients to run necessary body processes, like digestion and system regulation. As women, we differ from men in a myriad of ways, so it’s no wonder that our bodies need more gender-specific nutrition.
Depending on your age, you may need to supplement your diet to include more vitamin and mineral sources. As we age, especially as women, our bodies can halt essential processes that are necessary to our vitality and vigor.
It’s well-known that women start losing bone density during their twenties, therefore, calcium is a necessary mineral component of your diet. While it may seem like you eat enough cheese or drink enough milk, most dairy products don’t pack enough calcium to meet the recommended daily dosage – around 1,000 mg. Consider taking calcium supplements to keep your bones strong.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D can also help reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent. It may also offer protection from both ovarian cancer and diabetes. For health and fitness reasons, vitamin D also plays an important role in muscle function and calcium absorption. The good news is that our bodies can synthesize vitamin D from as little as 20 minutes of exposure to sunshine. Get outside
A diet lacking in iron can lead to unhealthy, anemic conditions (reduced amount of red blood cells) and cause a weakened immune system. Women who tend to have heavy periods or pregnant women require more iron in their diets or may need to take additional supplements. Iron can come from meat sources (heme iron) and plant sources (nonheme iron). Although heme iron is more readily absorbed, nonheme iron can be better improved when these foods are eaten in combination with vitamin C rich foods. The daily need for iron can range from 8 mg (for older women) to 27 mg (for pregnant women).
Folate (folic acid)
B9 or folate, also known as folic acid, helps keep red blood cells healthy and is essential to fetal development. Folic acid supplements are highly recommended, even within a diet rich in folate, especially during childbearing ages.
Magnesium is an important essential mineral for women and general health overall because it supports hundreds of functions throughout the body, including bone formation and growth. Magnesium is also helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels and is a recommended supplement for healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin B12 is what helps keep you energized throughout the day. It’s required to make red blood cells and helps keep your brain and nervous system healthy and functioning. As you get older you may develop a reduced ability to absorb this essential vitamin, leading to increased confusion, agitation, and hallucinations. Meats, fish, dairy, and eggs contain high amounts of vitamin B12.
It is always important to eat a healthy balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Healthy nutritional habits are necessary cornerstones to achieving your fitness goals and also to living a long and fruitful life. Remember that as women, our health needs can be very different from men and children.
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