Experts say that cardiovascular health is at the top of the list for women’s health concerns right after bone health. However, because we have sections on our website dedicated to each of those concerns, we did not include them under this Women’s Health page. Instead, we focused on topics that are unique to women or are predominantly women’s issues.
Multivitamin and Mineral
Start every day with the basics: a multivitamin and mineral supplement. We get essential vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet, but unfortunately many of the foods we eat, like fried and processed food, lack vital nutrients. Even the “healthy” food we’re eating is devoid of many vitamins and minerals because of manufacturing and production methods, so that’s why it’s so important that we supplement a healthy diet with a multivitamin and mineral.
Essential Fatty Acids
Fish oil (omega-3 essential fatty acids) is one of the most popular and important supplements, mainly because of its DHA content. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are exactly what the name implies—essential in the diet because our bodies can’t make them on their own.
The importance of omega-3 EFAs begins in the womb, and health experts agree that they’re imperative for optimal brain growth and development in fetuses and infants. EFAs continue to play an important role throughout our whole lives, too. When levels of omega-3 EFAs are high, the appearance of the skin remains firm and youthful, even as we age. Another invaluable benefit of omega-3 EFAs is their ability to support mood stability. Essential fatty acids make up the phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane, which is critical in the proper functioning of the nerve cells of our brains.
Omega-3 EFAs and the omega-6 EFA called GLA (gamma linolenic acid) both work wonders to help with symptoms of PMS. We can’t even begin to cover everything that this class of nutrients does health-wise, so for even more information, check out our EFA supplement guide. If you’re not currently taking an EFA supplement, start today!
I can't say enough good things about this essential fatty acid. It helps me with female problems in addition to making my joints feel great. — BetsyO
The Child-Bearing Years
Women need different nutrients at different points in their lives. When looking at supplements, women need to take under consideration their age and hormone balance. There is a big difference in the nutritional needs of a woman in her 20s compared to a woman in her 50s. During their child-bearing years, women need to look for nutrients that support not only their health, but also that of their unborn baby.
Prenatal vitamins are very important. We need to give our bodies the nutrition they need, especially when creating a baby. Taking a prenatal vitamin will help prepare a woman’s body for a baby even before conception. During pregnancy, a woman’s necessary daily intake for certain nutrients increases, and a good prenatal vitamin will contain the right amount of vitamins, minerals and iron needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Folic acid is another nutrient that everyone needs as part of a healthy diet, but it’s even more important for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Folic acid is part of the B complex of vitamins. Healthy diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect. The need for folic acid continues past when a woman gives birth because it’s also a necessary nutrient for breastfeeding.
Organic Personal Care Products
Women should also consider the benefits of switching to organic personal care products. Tampons come in contact with delicate tissue in our bodies on a regular basis, so it makes sense to want the most natural product you could find. The typical tampons found on most store shelves are usually made out of cotton or a rayon blend. The cotton used in these products may contain leftover pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides from when the cotton was grown, which can be absorbed through the skin. Rayon is a synthetic fiber, and both cotton and rayon are bleached during the manufacturing process. It’s no wonder more women are looking for personal care products made with organic cotton.
The Post-Menopausal Years
Many women don't look forward to hot flashes, mood swings and other symptoms of menopause, but there are many natural ways to counteract those side effects and be more comfortable. Those symptoms are all due to shifting levels of the hormone estrogen. One way to counter them is to take dietary supplements that provide plant-based estrogens (phytoestrogens) that mimic the real thing in our bodies with only a fraction of the strength. Phytoestrogens are found in black cohosh, red clover, the isoflavones in soy and the lignans in flaxseed. Black cohosh is perhaps the best known of these four supplements for menopause, but they are all important. As with most supplements, some work better than others for each person. The trial-and-error method may be the only way to effectively choose the one that’s right for you, and you may want to consider combination supplements that include two or more of those phytoestrogens. Women can also look for products that promote libido and breast and bone health.
- MSRP $14.99
- Swanson $8.99
Fight Off Signs of Aging
As we age, many women want to look and feel younger, and most would prefer a natural way to achieve that. There are several supplements that can promote youthful appearances. Reduce the visible signs of aging while rejuvenating and smoothing your skin with nutrient creams and supplements. Read more about anti-aging supplements and products.
- MSRP $10.99
- Swanson $7.99
After using this supplement for a couple of months I experienced a noticably improved appearance in the veins in my legs and feet. — Sunshyne