Experts say that cardiovascular health is at the top of the list as far as women’s health concerns go, with bone health following closely behind. However, because we have sections on our website dedicated to each of these concerns, we did not include them under Women’s Health. Instead we focused on topics that really are unique to women or predominantly women’s issues.
Admittedly there are a few categories still missing from our Women’s Health section like “Brad Pitt Movies,” “Chocolate” and “Spa Getaways”—the typical guarantees to make a girl feel better. Just kidding! Sort of...but in the meantime, we’ve assembled a few dietary supplements that are worth considering.
Start everyday with the basics: a multivitamin and mineral supplement. We do 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. That’s why it’s so important we supplement a healthy diet with a multivitamin and mineral.
One supplement that makes almost every list is fish oil (omega-3 essential fatty acids). The reason it’s so popular is because it’s really that important, particularly DHA. 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 all health experts agree that they’re imperative for optimal brain growth and development in developing fetuses and infants. They’ll 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. That same good effect extends to our internal structures such as the heart and the lungs. Another invaluable and astonishing 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) also work wonders to help with symptoms of PMS; you have to try them to believe them. 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, do yourself a huge favor and start today!
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 nutrition 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 the health of an unborn baby.
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Prenatal vitamins are important even if you’re not pregnant. It goes back to our lackluster diets. We need to give our bodies the nutrition it needs, 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. A good prenatal vitamin will contain the right amount of vitamins, minerals and iron needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
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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. Healthful 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 birth because it’s also a necessary nutrient for breastfeeding mothers.
Young women should also consider the benefits of switching to organic personal care products. Things like tampons come in contact with the delicate tissues of our bodies on a regular basis, so it makes sense that you’d want the most natural product you could find. The typical tampons found on department 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, any of which can be absorbed through the skin. Rayon is a synthetic fiber. Both cotton and rayon are bleached during the manufacturing process. It’s no wonder why more and more women are looking for personal care products made with organic cotton.
Change is good, and the senior years can be the best time of one’s life. They don’t necessarily have to be rudely interrupted by hot flashes, mood swings and other menopausal disturbances. These symptoms are characteristic of shifting levels of the hormone estrogen. One way to counter them is simply to supply dietary supplements that provide plant-based estrogens (phytoestrogens) that mimic the real thing in our bodies, only at 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 all have merit. As with most supplements, some work better than others for an individual, and the trial-and-error method may be the only way to effectively choose the one that’s right for you. You may want to consider combination supplements that include two or more of those phytoestrogens, and this may be an easier option than selecting just one. Aging women should also look for products that promote breast health, bone health and libido. You go girl!
As we age, we not only want to feel like we have the body of a younger person, but we want to look younger, too! Most would prefer to look younger naturally. Good thing there are several natural 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.
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