5 Essential Vitamins and Minerals For Women

Whether your dining style is “grab ‘n’ go” or “sit and chill,” it pays to pay attention to what you eat. Women’s nutritional needs change throughout life, and it’s not always easy to get all the nutrients you need. Here are eight vitamins and minerals that you should make time for.

1. Calcium

Getting enough calcium, especially during your teens and 20s, helps prevent fragile bones in later life. Calcium is also essential for healthy muscles, nerves, and blood flow. Good sources: milk; yogurt; cheese; kale; broccoli; canned salmon with bones; and calcium-fortified cereals, soy beverages, and fruit juices.

2. Vitamin D

This vitamin helps your brain cells communicate, boosts immunity, and partners with calcium to promote healthy bones. Older women may need a dietary supplement since their skin makes little vitamin D from sunshine. Good sources: salmon; tuna; eggs; milk; mushrooms; and vitamin D-fortified cereal, yogurt, and orange juice.

3. Iron

Without adequate iron, your body cannot make new red blood cells, which deliver vital oxygen to all of your tissues. The result can be fatigue and anemia. Teenage girls, women of childbearing age, and vegetarians often come up short on this mineral. Good sources: liver, beef, turkey, chicken, tuna, beans, tofu, spinach, raisins, and fortified cereals.

4. Vitamin C

This multitasking antioxidant is a woman’s best friend, possibly combating free radical damage, infections, and chronic disease. Plus, it supports healthy collagen and helps prevent wrinkles and dry skin as you woman ages. Good sources: red and green peppers, kiwifruit, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and tomatoes.

5. Magnesium

One in every three American women has heart disease, and nearly one in 10 has diabetes. By promoting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, magnesium may help prevent both diseases. Good sources: spinach and other leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and nuts.

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