As humans, each and every one of us needs the right nutrients and vitamins to survive. However, did you know that age and gender can influence the amount we need these in? There are certain minerals which women can become easily deficient in, or need in greater levels than men. Here are just a few of them.
We all grew up being told to drink milk to give us strong bones and teeth. But that’s only a small part of the story. In reality, calcium is also responsible for muscle contractions, nerve health and the function of hormones. Without enough calcium, the body will leech this from the bones in order to continue working. The issue is that this leaves bones weak and brittle, and can lead to a very dangerous injury should you fall or hurt yourself. Calcium is particularly important for women after the menopause as hormonal changes can lead to osteoporosis. Eating well, exercising and consuming enough calcium throughout your life is all helpful. Dairy, leafy green vegetables, nuts, fish and soya are all sources which should be easy to include more into your diet. You could also consider a calcium supplement like AlgaeCal if you don’t think you’re hitting your target. Before trying you could have a read through AlgaeCal reviews and other calcium supplements to see how others got on with them.
Probiotics aid in digestion and help keep the gut balanced and functioning correctly. They can help with digestive upsets, and also lessen the symptoms of digestive issues. Probiotics are useful for everyone, but since they support vaginal, urinary and digestive health (women are more prone to IBS), they’re especially beneficial for females. You can take a probiotic supplement such as a tablet or yogurt drink, as well as eat plenty of yogurt. Dark chocolate is also a good source (bonus!) as well as sauerkraut, pickles and tempeh among others.
Most women go running for the hills whenever ‘fat’ is mentioned, but healthy fats are absolutely crucial to the proper running of our bodies. While avoiding saturated fats is a good idea for health and appearance, other dietary fats such as omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses. Omega 3 is particularly useful for women since it can help with menstrual pain and alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and depression which women suffer more severe symptoms of. Fish and seafood are good sources, as well as nuts and plant foods. And of course, you can find fish oil capsules in any grocery store or health foods shop which you can take each day.
Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins our bodies can make itself, it’s created in the skin when exposed to sunlight. So where are so many of us deficient? Firstly, to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, you would risk sun damage, and so the negatives outweigh the positives. Secondly, in many places around the world, there’s simply not enough sunlight in the day. Realizing this was an issue, many companies have fortified their food products with the vitamin so you can now get enough by eating things like fortified cereal and bread (be sure to check, though, as they don’t all have it added). Vitamin D is useful for women in particular since it boosts fertility and can prevent pregnant women from developing pre-eclampsia or bacterial vaginosis. It can also prevent bone loss which we know is an issue in menopausal women and can help to regulate hormones.