You want to be healthy, right? I want you to be healthy, too! In this day, everyone is constantly looking for a new cure-all that will help them become healthier. There are so many different types of ways women stay healthy, whether they credit fitness, holistic avenues, or simply eating right. When thinking about our health, a common question is asked: what vitamins and minerals should women take?
Well, Women’s Health Magazine listed the top 6 vitamins and minerals for women. I have included in this list the foods that are packed with these vitamins and minerals along with the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA).
1. Vitamin A: Vitamin A regulates the growth and development of cells, which is excellent if you are sick. The New York Times states that it is an antioxidant that helps your immune system while protecting against heart disease and cancer.
Foods: The Mayo Clinic says that a combined five servings of fruit and vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe) will give your body 50-60% of the recommended dietary allowance. Is is also best to get most of your Vitamin A from food sources rather than supplements.
RDA: 700 mcg RAE
2. B Vitamins: According to dailyburn.com, B complex (also known as the 8 B vitamins) is important for turning food into fuel to keep us energized.
- B1 (Thiamine) helps protect our immune system by producing new cells.
- Foods: whole grain, beans
- B2 (Riboflavin) is an antioxidant that fights free radicals (cause the damage of blood cells).
- Foods: almonds, milk, spinach
- B3 (Niacin) boosts HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol
- Foods: red meat, milk, eggs, green veggies
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid) stimulates the production of sex and stress-related hormones
- Foods: a little of this vitamin is found in every food group but can be found in avocados, yogurt, and eggs
- B6 (Pyridoxine) helps serotonin (used for sleep and mood) and melatonin productions
- Foods: chicken, turkey, cheese, brown rice
- RDA: 1.3 mg
- B7 (Biotin) helps keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy. It is also very common in prenatal vitamins to promote fetal growth.
- Foods: barley, chicken, potatoes, nuts
- B9 (Folate/ Folic Acid) is an important vitamin for women. It helps with depression and memory loss along with supporting prenatal growth and preventing birth defects.
- Foods: dark leafy greens, asparagus, beets, milk
- B12 (Cobalamin) produces red blood cells and helps iron produce hemoglobin
- Foods: found only in animal products like fish, beef, and pork
- RDA: 2.4 mcg
3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is used as an antioxidant to decrease the length and effects of the common cold. Life Extension states that Vitamin C has been studied and proven to be beneficial for cardiovascular health
Foods: red & green bell peppers, kale, broccoli (These four contain more Vitamin C than an orange!)
RDA: 75 mg
4. Vitamin D: According to WebMd, Vitamin D is essential for regulating calcium and phosphorous in the body. It also plays a large role in bone strength and structure. You may need to take more supplements in the winter than the summer because the sun gives us Vitamin D!
Foods: fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, egg yolks
RDA: 15 mcg
5. Iron: Iron works with hemoglobin to carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body. Too little of this can cause anemia, which is the lack of red blood cells (this is why it is essential for women, sorry I had to. Just trying to be helpful!)
Foods: clams, mussels, beef, turkey
RDA: 18 mg
6. Calcium: Did you know Calcium is the most prominent mineral in your body? Your body needs calcium to make your bones strong. This is why 99% of the calcium inside you is placed solely in your bones.
Foods: dairy products, dark leafy greens, sardines, salmon
RDA: 1,000 mg
*All RDA are given by the National Institutes of Health
So there you go! Besides getting the correct amount of vitamins and minerals, what do you do to stay healthy? I would love to hear all about them