Every individual has to achieve the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals everyday. However, there are certain times in a woman’s life, such as pregnancy or menopause, where you need more of a certain kind of vitamin or mineral than most people.
Pregnancy is a crucial stage in a woman’s life. A pregnant woman not only has to take care of herself, but also to make sure that she is providing her baby with adequate amounts of nutrients. Intake of prenatal vitamins decreases the risk of giving birth to babies with low birth weight, which is a major factor in infant deaths. A study in India revealed that women taking prenatal vitamins gave birth to babies 98 grams heavier than those born to mothers taking placebo.
A specific vitamin that a pregnant mother has to take more of is folate. Folate, or folic acid, has been shown to prevent the development of birth defects in the fetus and decrease the risk of premature deliveries. Aside from this, it has also been shown to support the normal growth of cells and prevent the development of anemia.
Folic acid can be obtained from food sources, such as green leafy vegetables, beans and grains. Generally, women are required to take 400 mcg of folic acid. However, pregnant women need more of the vitamin, approximately 600 mcg. Breastfeeding mothers, on the other hand, may take 500 mcg of folic acid a day.
Iron is also an important mineral during pregnancy. Iron prevents the development of anemia and strengthens your immunity. Iron-rich sources include red meat and green leafy vegetables. Pregnant women require a higher dose of iron, approximately 27 mg, compared to the 18 mg women under the age of 50 need.
Vitamin K may also help during pregnancy. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting, which can help prevent bleeding complications during pregnancy. Good sources of Vitamin K are green leafy vegetables.
Aside from pregnancy, menopause is also an important stage in a woman’s life. Numerous menopausal women experience osteoporosis, a disease brought about by lack of calcium stores in the body.
Throughout her life, a woman has to build up her calcium stores to make sure that she does not develop osteoporosis. Thus, it is necessary for you to increase your intake of calcium and Vitamin D. Vitamin D can help in preventing osteoporosis by strengthening your bones. Generally, enough amounts of Vitamin D can be absorbed from exposure to sunlight.
Meanwhile, calcium is also important in preventing osteoporosis. Calcium not only strengthens your bones, but also helps in muscle contraction and blood clotting. Some sources also say that intake of calcium can help with pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS. Calcium is available from dairy products and tofu. However, the increased requirement for calcium may require you to also take calcium supplements. For women below 50, it is recommended that you take 1000 mg of calcium, while for those older than 50, 1200 mg is recommended daily.
Of course, other vitamins and minerals are also necessary for all women. These include Vitamin A, to boost your immunity; Vitamin C, to promote healing and prevent the development of heart disease; Vitamin E, to prevent cell damage; and Vitamin B complex, to strengthen your immunity.
As a woman, you have to remember that you have different needs depending on what stage of life you are in. Make sure you provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs. This ensures that you are protected and healthy in every stage of your life.
ABSTRACT: Women have different nutritional needs, depending on her stage of life. It is important to tailor your nutritional intake to your specific needs to ensure that you get adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals in your body.
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects.
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