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Five Supplements To Support Women’s Health

Women endure an array of physical and emotional symptoms throughout different stages of life, so making sure to incorporate the right mix of vitamins and minerals is key to stay on top of their game.

From teenage years to reproductive years, as well as perimenopause and menopause, here are five supplements recommended for women of all ages and stages, on top of a healthy balanced diet, to support optimal health and fill any nutrient gaps when they arise.

1. Iron

Iron is an essential mineral that helps maintain healthy blood. It achieves this as it is a major component of haemoglobin, a type of protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to all cells around the body. Without sufficient iron, the body is unable to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to our vital organs and cells, which leads to feelings of fatigue, lightheadedness and weakness.

These symptoms are often exacerbated by the menstrual cycle, and so sufficient intake of iron is particularly important for women who are menstruating. Plant-based sources of iron include beans, dark chocolate, lentils, spinach, potatoes with skin, nuts and seeds. 

Top tip: enhance the absorption of iron in your body by consuming iron-rich foods alongside those rich in vitamin C. Opt for vitamin C-rich vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers, or fruits such as kiwis, oranges, pineapple or berries. For an easy, on-the-go solution, try our Ginger Immunity Juice Shot, which contains 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

2. B-Vitamins

You might be familiar with folate (B9) and Vitamin B12, but did you know that there are eight B vitamins in total?

From reducing tiredness and fatigue, supporting the normal functioning of the immune system, regulating hormonal activity and enhancing cognitive function, B vitamins are essential for women’s health. In particular, folate (B9) is important for a healthy pregnancy as insufficient folate levels may be linked with birth defects of the spine (spina bifida) and brain (anencephaly). 

Similarly, healthy levels of Vitamin B12 is required for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding as deficiency may lead to complications during pregnancy and increase the risk of neural tube defects. Plant-based sources of B vitamins include legumes, seeds, leafy green vegetables and nutritional yeast. Alternatively, get 100% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin B12 with our Turmeric Defence Juice Shot.

3. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D, often known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, is a fat-soluble vitamin that may support the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, immune function, muscle function, as well as reducing inflammation.

There are two main forms of vitamin D: vitamin D2, “ergocalciferol”, and vitamin D3, “cholecalciferol”, both of which are naturally produced under the skin in response to exposure to sunlight.

For women’s health, vitamin D may play a crucial role in reproductive health, alleviating symptoms associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) by increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing androgen levels, and maintaining healthy bone density, which may support women in or near menopause.

The three most effective ways to support healthy levels of vitamin D is through daily exposure to natural sunlight, incorporating vitamin D-rich foods and supplementing with vitamin D where necessary. Mushrooms are one of the best plant-based sources of vitamin D as, like humans, they can generate their own vitamin D following exposure to sunlight!

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is a powerful mineral that is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. From energy production, supporting sleep, maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function, improving mood and alleviating stress, this mineral is the gold standard for optimal health.

For women, magnesium  may alleviate symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and PCOS by maintaining normal hormone production and improving insulin sensitivity. Additionally, magnesium can be helpful for women in or near menopause through its potential to support a balanced mood, the ability to deal with stress and maintain bone mineral density, reducing the risk and development of osteoporosis.

Magnesium is mostly found in plants such as seeds, nuts, wholegrains, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables. Explore our Green Juices to incorporate more magnesium into your daily routine. 

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, a group of polyunsaturated fats, are essential fats that the body cannot produce and instead must come from the diet or supplementation plan. They are specifically essential for maintaining good health as they form key components of cell membranes in our body, and support the normal functioning of our organs, immune system and endocrine system (a network of glands producing hormones).

Plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed and hemp seed, and for women, omega-3 fatty acids may play a positive role in reducing symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as depression, anxiety, bloating and headaches, and postmenopausal hot flushes. Additionally, research suggests that they may protect women against osteoporosis, which they may have a higher risk of developing following menopause.

 

Author: Plenish Nutritionist, Katie Morley

DipNT, mBANT, mANP, CNHC

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.holsome.uk