Wondering if you should bother spending the cash on vitamins and other pills? For most women, the four super supplements are well worth it.
Why You Need It: Everyone knows calcium builds strong bones, but this mineral is also crucial for other functions, such as transmitting nerve signals.Women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams per day. Figure out how much you get from food and drink, and supplement the rest.
Daily Dose: Women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams per day. Figure out how much you get from food and drink, and supplement the rest.
Why You Need It: Not only does D help the body absorb calcium, it also might play a role in preventing colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes.
Daily Dose: 2,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D-3 in the winter. In summer, drop down to 1,000 IUs or skip it on days you get lots of suns.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Why You Need It: Low levels of these healthy fats can lead to internal inflammation, one culprit behind heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Daily Dose: 1 to 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 mg). Take fish-oil supplements with food, which absorbs the oil and staves off fishy burps.
Why You Need It: Probiotics, or good bacteria, have been shown to assuage gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, and even help reduce colds.
Daily Dose: One capsule with 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), preferably in the morning so it can aid your digestion throughout the day.
Herbs are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. I make a daily tea of the most effective female herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. Stinging nettle is loaded with vitamins and minerals like magnesium and calcium that impact hormonal function. I use oat straw for nerve health and red clover for balanced hormones. Many women alleviate PMS all together with a daily chaste tree supplement.
Like B vitamins, magnesium is essential for many processes within a woman’s body. A shortfall-which is all too common-can result in cramps, anxiety, constipation, sore muscles, sleep difficulties, and other unpleasant symptoms. “Magnesium can be depleted by stress, soda, caffeine, certain medications, and unfortunately, it’s not as prevalent in the soil as decades ago,” says Goldstein.
What to do: Best taken in the evening to enhance sleep; start with 100 mg daily and work up to 200-800 mg. Cut back if you experience loose stools. It’s important to keep in mind that there are more than 10 different forms of magnesium, points out Goldstein, who advises working with a knowledgeable professional to find an appropriate form for your particular health goals.