A healthy diet that includes the right combination and amount of vitamins, provides optimal health and protection from various health problems. All women, regardless of their age and activity level should try to follow this type of diet.
Vitamins help different parts of our body function properly. Each of these organic compounds has a specific function in the body, so lack of some vitamin can trigger a serious health issue.
This is why it’s important to get the proper amount and variety of vitamins, either from your food or from vitamin supplements, if necessary.
The Best Ten Vitamins for Women
1. Vitamin A
This vitamin possesses antioxidant properties. It helps in strengthening and building bones, soft tissue, teeth, mucous membranes, and skin. It also lowers the risk of chronic illness, slows down the aging process, improves vision and the immune system.
Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin A are: cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, pumpkin, watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, guava, papaya, kale, red peppers, peaches, spinach, liver, eggs, fortified cereals, and milk.
2. Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. It’s vital for normal growth, metabolism, and good health. It boosts the immune system and energy levels, and reduces the numbness and tingling, stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
Lack of this vitamin can affect the immune system, metabolism, and neural functions which can cause pale tongue and pale eyes, mouth ulcers, sore throat, dry hair, cracks on the lips. Itchy skin, and wrinkles.
Foods rich in vitamin B2 include cheese, organ meats, leafy vegetables, milk, yeast, whole grains, cereals, eggs, almonds, soybeans, mushrooms, and nuts.
3. Vitamin B6
The other name of this vital vitamin is pyridoxine. It is essential for a healthy immune system, and helps the production of hormones and brain chemicals in the body. This in turn decrease heart disease, depression, and memory loss. Moreover, vitamin B6 can regulate the blood sugar.
Foods rich in this vitamin are especially recommended for pregnant women in their early pregnancy to get rid of their morning sickness. Deficiency of vitamin B6 can cause anemia. The best sources of this vitamin are avocadoes, fortified cereals, meats, bananas, dried fruits, fish, beans, nuts, oatmeal, and seeds.
4. Vitamin B7
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is vital for synthesis of fatty acids and cell growth. It keeps our skin, hair, and sweat glands healthy. What’s more, it helps treat brittle nails and stimulates hair growth.
This vitamin is needed for bone marrow and bone growth, and normal levels of cholesterol. Lack of this vitamin happens rarely, but when it occurs it can cause rashes, brittle hair, lethargy, abnormal heart functioning, mild depression, and anemia.
The best sources of vitamin B7 are sweet potatoes, fish, carrots, almonds, cantaloupe, bananas, green leafy vegetables, yellow fruits, brown rice, lentils, egg yolks, peppers, milk, soybeans, yogurt, cheese, nuts, yogurt, and oatmeal.
5. Vitamin B9
You might know this vitamin as folic acid. It is very important for women as it improves fertility and fetal development. It also prevents high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and cancer, and boosts brain health and cellular functioning.
Lack of this vitamin in pregnant women might lead to spina bifida and other neural tube defects in the baby. Some of the foods high in vitamin B9 are asparagus, green leafy vegetables, melons, fortified grains, strawberries, beans, legumes, eggs, nutritional yeast, and orange juice.
6. Vitamin B12
Another essential vitamin that every woman should eat is B12. It is important for normal metabolism, normal cell division and protein synthesis. This vitamin helps prevent heart disease, memory loss and anemia. Vitamin B12 is another important organic compound for women.
It is essential for normal cell division, metabolism, and protein synthesis. It prevents memory loss, heart disease, and anemia. You can also use it to treat depression and to keep your nerve system and brain functioning healthy. Lack of this vitamin can cause depression, irritability, confusion, as well as mouth and tongue inflammation.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 include eggs, cheese, meat, fish, fortified breakfast cereals, and yogurt.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for its ability to boost our immune system. It helps promote tissue growth, accelerate the healing process, lowers the risk of heart disease, certain cancer types, and tissue damage. This vitamin is vital for the formation of erythrocytes (red blood cells).
Foods high in vitamin C are grapefruits, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, sprouts, and strawberries.
8. Vitamin D
This fat-soluble vitamin encourages the absorption of calcium, which is essential for keeping our bones strong. It also reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and different types of cancer. It protects the vision and reduces the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. Lack of vitamin D can weaken the bones, causing osteoporosis.
To obtain the required daily dose of this vitamin, you can expose your body to sunlight for a short amount of time. If you have lighter skin, 10 to 15 minutes will be enough for your body to produce the required daily amount of vitamin D. Food sources of this vitamin are fortified milk, fatty fish, eggs, and liver.
9. Vitamin E
Thanks to the anti-aging properties it contains, vitamin E prevents cell damage, and slows down the changes in the body that happen with aging. It also helps prevent memory loss, cataracts, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. This vitamin is often included in different hair and skin care products, as it’s very important for their health.
The best sources of vitamin E are hazelnuts, wheat germ, spinach, almonds, corn oil, margarine, peanut butter, cod liver oil, sunflower seeds and safflower oil.
10. Vitamin K
This vitamin is crucial for promoting strong bones, and lowering the risk of heart diseases. It is also needed for proper functioning of the immune system and maintaining high levels of energy.
Foods rich in vitamin K are green leafy vegetables, whole grain food products, fish oil, and soybean oil. To sum up, consuming 5 servings of vegetable and fruit on a daily basis is an excellent way to get all the vitamins your body needs.
If you’re not getting the required vitamin dose through your diet, consider taking vitamin supplements, but first, consult your doctor.