Which Vitamin Is the Best for Women?

Vitamins are critical and essential chemicals that play important roles in many body processes. Our bodies cannot manufacture vitamins, with one exception -- vitamin D, so we rely on our diet and supplements to provide adequate nutrients. Over time and with age, the requirements for vitamins change as well. Gender plays a role in daily vitamin requirements and deficiencies can affect a variety of body systems. With so many options on the market, what are the best vitamins for women? How should we get them from foods? If you don't belong to the 7% of women who live a perfectly healthy life, then you should consider taking vitamin supplements.

1. Antioxidant Vitamins

Antioxidants are a powerful defense to the ravages of age and disease caused by free radicals. Several vitamins that possess this characteristic can attack free radicals and minimize the negative effect on our bodies.

Vitamin A (retinol and carotenoids), vitamin C and vitamin E are the most potent antioxidant vitamins. By mitigating the effects of free radicals, vitamins can decrease the risk of chronic skin disease and slow down the aging process.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble vitamins and is stored in body fat. Vitamin D, E and K are the other fat-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is among the best vitamins for women and is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is crucial for proper wound healing and also the manufacture of red blood cells. Vitamin C also plays a role in production of noradrenaline. Noradrenaline, also called norepinephrine, is a potent chemical that increases concentration and stimulates alertness. Both stress and ageing result in a decline in Vitamin C levels.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E was previously felt to be beneficial for heart disease, but large studies have called excess supplementation into question for most people.

Suggestions for Antioxidant Vitamins

Eating a balanced diet complete with whole foods and at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day is the best way to ensure adequate intake of antioxidant vitamins. Many adults fail to reach this goal and should discuss supplement use with their doctor or a dietician.

2. B Vitamins

B vitamins are important for energy and vitality. Red blood cell production, cognitive functions and DNA repair all depend on adequate B vitamin intake.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B12

Folic Acid

Suggestions for B Vitamins

For healthy people, B vitamin deficiency is rare. Ensuring an adequate intake of a variety of fresh and wholesome foods is the best way to ensure adequate intake. Pregnant women should take a supplement to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Older persons and those who have intestinal problems should talk to their doctor and have B12 levels measured periodically.

3. Vitamin D

When looking for best vitamins for women, never miss vitamin D. Vitamin D is another fat-soluble vitamin but actually has some hormone like functions in the body.

Suggestions for Vitamin D

Older persons and those who do not receive much sunshine need to take vitamin D supplements. Persons of Asian origin may also be prone to deficiency. Vitamin D supplements along with calcium are recommended for older persons to help prevent osteoporosis.

4. Supplements Recommendation- Multivitamins

Dietary sources are the best option to ensure adequate intake of vitamins. Eating a balanced diet full of whole foods along with fresh fruits and vegetables makes it unlikely that a vitamin deficiency will occur. The exception is vitamin D in older people. While vitamin supplements are generally safe, mega-doses can result in serious health problems. Be sure to talk to your doctor before deciding to take an excessive amount of any vitamins or supplements.

10 Supplements to Consider

Some can't get enough of these best vitamins for women from diet, and it's time to have some supplements:

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