8 Vitamins All Women Need

Aug 26, 2009
Good nutrition is essential for woman's health protecting her from early ageing, cancer, osteoporosis and many other conditions. Women's nutritional needs also change with their age, life stage and overall health condition. What are the most important vitamins for women?


Why you need it: Most women need calcium to develop adequate bone density, which helps to protect against osteoporosis later in life. Calcium also is known to control blood pressure and production of hormones. Pregnant, nursing and premenopausal women need more calcium due to increased demand for this mineral.

Food sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, soy milk, tofu, Kale

Daily recommendations: 1000 mg per day for women under 50 and 1,200 mg for women over 50


Why you need it: Magnesium deficiency is common among women because magnesium is lost during menstruation. Magnesium is important for muscle relaxation and for maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Magnesium contributes to better absorption of calcium and help in the growth of bones.

Food sources: beans, broccoli, oysters, bananas, spinach, whole grain cereals, nuts

Daily recommendations: 300 mg per day


Why you need it: Iron influences hemoglobin production. Women need more iron because most of it is lost during monthly menstrual cycles. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and concentration problems. For women under 50, the recommended amount is 18 milligrams per day. For post-menopausal women, the amount goes down to eight milligrams.

Food sources: meat, beans, salmon, green leafy vegetables

Daily recommendations: 18 mg per day

Vitamin K

Why you need it: Vitamin K influence the production of healthy intestinal bacteria, which contributes to adequate absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Women with excessive menstruation need more vitamin K. It also plays an important role in preventing osteoporosis and is also vital for proper blood clotting.

Food sources: green leafy vegetables, beef liver, red cabbage, avocado

Daily recommendations: 65 mcg per day

Folic acid

Why you need it: Folic acid is essential for maintaining healthy nervous system. It always plays an important role in keeping right level of red blood cells. Women, who are trying to conceive or are pregnant, are at increased demand for folic acid. This is because folic acid takes part in the development of the nervous system of the future baby and women, protecting the fetus from having brain and spinal cord effects.

Food sources: green leafy vegetables, dried beans, poultry, fortified cereals, oranges, nuts

Daily recommendations: 400 mcg per day

Vitamin B12

Why you need it: Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that plays a role in maintaining nerve cells and creating healthy genetic material. Pregnant women or women, who are trying to conceive are at increased need for vitamin B12. Women with vitamin B12 deficiency are at risk of having a baby with brain or spinal cord defects.

Food sources: beef, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products

Daily recommendations: 2,4-2,8 mg per day

Vitamin D

Why you need it: Vitamin D is essential for protecting women's bones and preventing osteoporosis, a condition that is more common for older women. Vitamin D play an important role in calcium metabolism, helping to absorb calcium better.

Food sources: egg yolk, milk, oily fish, also produced in skin during sunlight exposure

Daily recommendations: 5 mcg per day for women under 50, 10 mcg for women over 50


Why you need it: Zinc is an essential mineral necessary for metabolism of the main nutrients. Zinc contributes to improved immune system functioning, mental functioning, fetal growth and reproduction. Pregnant and postmenopausal women should make sure they have enough zinc due to the high demand for this mineral. Zinc was also shown to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Food sources: oysters, beef, yoghurt, nuts, pumpkin seeds

Daily recommendations: 8 to 12 mg per day