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    Saturday, April 18, 2015

    10 Important Nutrients Every Woman Needs

     Everyone’s nutrient needs are not exactly the same. While most people benefit from the same vitamins and minerals, a woman’s needs can be a little different because her body goes through different things throughout life. Here are 10 nutrients that are important for women to get.

    1. Folic acid
    Folic acid is especially important for women of child-bearing age, but all women benefit from this vitamin. For women of child-bearing age it’s an important vitamin because it promotes healthy pregnancy. Lack of folic acid can result in neural tube defects that lead to cerebral palsy. In addition to taking a prenatal vitamin for folic acid, you can get folic acid from leafy green vegetables, avocado, and liver.

    2. Iron
    Iron is important for growth and development. Deficiency of iron can result in fatigue, insomnia, and lack of concentration. Iron stores and carries oxygen around the body. Women lose blood on a monthly basis during menstruation, which results in iron loss because iron travels through the blood. It’s important that women make sure they get enough iron during this time to replenish what is lost. Good sources of iron include red meat, broccoli, kidney, beans, and liver.

    3. Calcium
    Calcium is an important mineral for keeping bones and teeth healthy and strong. It’s needed throughout life and even more so as we age because around age 35 we begin to lose calcium. Calcium is also a factor in staying slim and reducing PMS symptoms. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, spinach, kale, almonds, and black beans.

    4. Vitamin D
    Vitamin D is an important vitamin that many people don’t get enough of. If you want to know if you’re getting enough, you can ask your doctor to check your levels. Most people get vitamin D from the sun, but it’s not always as easy as that. A supplement is a good idea if you avoid the sun or live in a place that doesn’t get sun for months on end. Vitamin D is beneficial for mood, breast health, and the absorption of calcium, which is important for bones and teeth.

    5. Magnesium
    Magnesium is involved in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It is an important nutrient for nerves, muscle tone and keeps bones strong. It also helps keep osteoporosis at bay. Magnesium can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and regulate blood pressure. Sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, spinach, black beans, halibut, and almonds.

    6. Vitamin E
    Vitamin E, which is found mainly in fatty foods like oils, nuts, and seeds, is a powerful antioxidant. It fights free radicals, the unstable oxygen molecules that are formed as a result of normal metabolism and exposure to strong ultraviolet rays, air pollution, and cigarette smoke. Vitamin E is key for strong immune system and healthy eyes and skin.

    A woman over age 19 needs 15 milligrams of Vitamin E each day, so make sure you snack on almonds or sunflower seeds and add them to cooked whole grains, salads, and steamed veggies. A nut butter sandwich on whole wheat or whole grain bread is also a perfect snack.

    7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    One of the good fats, omega-3 fatty acids are another essential nutrient every woman needs. Omega 3’s help reduce blood pressure, inflammation and lower your risk of numerous chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer. Every woman needs 1.1g of these good fats per day. Wild salmon, non-white tuna, halibut, herring and sardines are all excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

    8. Potassium
    Potassium plays a significant role in transmission of nerve impulses, normal muscle contraction, and fluid balance. It also serves to promote healthy and strong bones, and it’s essential for energy production. Many foods are rich in potassium. All meats, chicken and red meat, and fish like cod, salmon, sardines, and flounder are great sources of potassium. Some other sources include fat-free yogurt, sweet potato, spinach and broccoli. Potassium-rich foods can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. A woman over age 19 needs 4,700 mg of potassium each day.

    9. Vitamin C
    Vitamin C is an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy immune system. It is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off cell damage. Vitamin C is also crucial for the production of collagen, the essential part of the connective tissue that helps keep skin, muscles, and other tissues healthy. Women 19 and older need 75 mg of Vitamin C per day. Sweet red pepper, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe are some of the best sources of Vitamin C.

    10. Fiber
    Fiber helps promote normal bowel movements and prevent other intestinal problems, including diverticular disease. Women 19-50 years need 25 grams of fiber per day, and women 51 and older need 21 grams each day. Some of the best sources are fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, and whole grains like millet, quinoa, barley, wild rice and cracked wheat. Fiber-rich foods help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

    Vitamins and minerals are needed by everyone, but women need to be sure to get certain ones because they go through pregnancies, menstruation, and even dieting that can deplete the nutrients that are needed the most. It’s important to get vitamins and minerals from food sources whenever you can. Don’t rely on supplements alone to give you what you need. A supplement is an addition to what you’re already getting as kind of a safeguard.

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