The nutritional requirements of each person is different in accordance with age and health condition. Certain needs are unique to women. What kind of vitamins women need to consume daily will depend on the stage they are at.
Women can benefit from greater intake of certain essential nutrients at certain times in their lives. This article looks at some of the vitamins and minerals that a woman is in need of at different times in her life.
In United States, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) provides advice regarding nutritional advice. They establish guidelines for the daily recommended allowance (RDA) and the adequate intake (AI) for a variety of nutrients.
The FNB established its RDA for a particular vitamin when there is sufficient scientific evidence to indicate that a certain daily dietary consumption is healthy. This is when the vitamin is shown to meet the nutritional needs of 97-98 percent of healthy people within an individual category.
If the FNB don’t have sufficient scientific proof to justify an RDA they typically recommend an AI instead.
The table below, based on data taken from FNB along with The Office for Dietary Supplements (ODS) provide the RDAs for certain minerals and vitamins for women of different age groups. AIs include an with an asterisk (*), and the vitamin quantities are measured in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg).
This table shows the requirements for women aged 9–50 years:
|9–13 years||14–18 years||19–30 years||31–50 years|
|Vitamin A (mcg)||600||700||700||700|
|Vitamin C (mg)||45||65||75||75|
|Vitamin E (mg)||11||15||15||15|
|Vitamin D (mcg)||15||15||15||15|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||60*||75*||90*||90*|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||1||1.2||1.3||1.3|
|Vitamin B12 (mcg)||1.8||2.4||2.4||2.4|
The table below shows the requirements for women aged 51 years and older, those who are pregnant, and those who are breastfeeding:
|51–70 years||70 years or above||During pregnancy||While breastfeeding|
|Vitamin A (mcg)||700||700||750–770||1,200–1,300|
|Vitamin C (mg)||75||75||85||115–120|
|Vitamin E (mg)||15||15||15||19|
|Vitamin D (mcg)||15||20||15||15|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||90*||90*||75–90*||75–90*|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||1.5||1.5||1.9||2|
|Vitamin B12 (mcg)||2.4||2.4||2.6||2.8|
The period of childbearing runs between puberty and menopausal. The hormonal and menstrual cycle may affect a person’s needs for nutrition during this period.
Vitamin B6 as well as vitamin D
The year 2017 was the first time a team of researchers published a research which focused on information from more than 15,000 people. The results revealed that in general, women between the ages of 19-50 years, and women who were pregnant or breastfeeding had a higher chance to suffer from nutritional deficiencies than the other categories. This was evident in the insufficient amounts of Vitamin B6 (pantothenic acid) and vitamin D.
Women between 19 and 50 years old require a daily dose that is 15 milligrams of vitamin D.
Vitamin B6 requirements is 1.3 mg per day for individuals between 19 and 50 years old, 1.9 mg per day during pregnancy and 2 mg daily when nursing.
Iodine is vital to the brain development of the fetus in the womb.
According to an national study conducted in 2012 conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2012, women between the ages of 20 and 39 were found to have lower levels of iodine than other age groups in the study.
People in this age group are most likely to be pregnant. It is estimated that the RDA for iodine within this age group is 150 mg increasing to 220 mg in pregnancy and the 290 mg when nursing.
However, it is not recommended to use iodine supplements unless their doctor has recommended them. The unneeded iron supplementation can adversely impact thyroid health. Any person who is concerned regarding their iodine level should consult their doctor for guidance.
Folate (vitamin B9)
Folate Also known as vitamin B9 is vital during the reproductive age. It lowers the chance of complications during fetal development including those involving the brain and spine, aids in the creation of red blood cells and helps in digestion of proteins.
The folate and Folic acid in the same way, however there’s a distinct difference.
Folic acid is a generic word used to describe vitamin B9 It is found in a variety of forms, as per the CDC. It is naturally found in food items like beans as well as green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
Folic acid, also known as folate is a synthesized version of folate. It is found in supplements as well as some food items that are fortified with folate. Supplements with folate can aid in preventing problems with a growing fetus’s spine or brain.
Women 18 years old or older and not pregnant should take 400 mg daily. The ODS advise taking 600 mg each day during pregnancy. 500 mg daily while nursing.
Many women suffer from an iron deficiency during their periods of reproduction. The mineral iron is one important for reproductive organs as well as functions.
It is also crucial to:
- energy production
- wound healing
- immune function
- Red blood cell formation
- growth and development
It is estimated that the RDA for iron intake for women between 19 and 50 years old can be 18,5 mg. It’s 27 mg in pregnancy and 9 mg during nursing.
As menopause approaches, nutritional needs may change. Lower estrogen levels as well as the process of aging may raise the chance of various kinds of deficiencies.
Vitamin B6 B9 (folic acid) and B12.
B vitamins are vital to general health. The requirement for different B vitamins could increase after menopausal symptoms.
Vitamin B6 and B9 (folic acid) and B12 assist in:
- Production of red blood cells
- energy production
- protein metabolism
- cognitive development
- the nervous system’s function
Studies also suggest that B vitamins could reduce the risk of a variety of conditions that affect older women more often.
Vitamin B6’s requirements is increased by 1.3 milligrams to 1.5 mg at 50 years old. It is a good supplement to the immune system.
There is also an greater chance of deficiency in vitamin B12 however, the recommended intake of vitamin B12 is not changed.
As per FNB FNB, 10-30% of people over 65 aren’t getting sufficient vitamin B12 because their bodies are unable to absorb it in a proper way. The FNB suggests taking an B12 supplement and eating more food items that are enriched to contain vitamin B12 to reach the RDA.
Vitamin D as well calcium
As menopausal cycles progress, estrogen levels drop and the chance for developing osteoporosis is increased. Osteoporosis causes bone loss and increases the chance to suffer breaking. calcium as well as Vitamin D are crucial for a healthy bone health.
Women should make sure that they follow the right diet and lifestyle to allows them to maintain their the levels of vitamins.
Vitamin D deficiencies are a frequent problem in our age. Women are advised to have tests to determine whether they require supplements.
Many people are also taking calcium supplements to improve bone health, however it’s unclear whether it is a good idea.
One review from 2015 concluded that increasing the intake of calcium by supplementing with supplements or implementing certain changes to your diet could increase bone mineral density a little. Yet, other researchers have expressed concern that taking excessive amounts of calcium could cause adverse consequences like ones that impact the cardiovascular system.
The 2017 review requires further study before making any definitive suggestions regarding calcium supplements for particular age groups.
It is believed that the RDA for calcium amounts to 1.200 mg for women above 50 years old. A good source of calcium are dairy products as well as green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin D is vital for bone health, and it helps keep the muscle mass. As we age, we naturally lose muscle and bone mass. Aged people over 70 need greater amounts of vitamin D than younger individuals.
Sunlight exposure is the primary source of the vitamin D a person needs however vitamin D can also be found in supplements, oily fishing, pasture-raised and free-range eggs as well as some supplemented foods.
Women’s levels of physical activity and overall health condition can impact their diets.
Women who are active
Women who are active or have jobs that require physical exertion could require more calories to maintain their health.
The research conducted in 2014 indicates that female athletes as well as those who have active military careers have a greater risk of deficiency in the vitamin D or calcium. This could lead to weakening of bones, as well as a higher chance of suffering from injuries.
Active people are also at a higher chance of having iron deficiencies.
Women who are physically active need to consult a physician or dietitian about adjusting their diet and supplementation to suit their particular requirements.
Women who have heavy menstrual flow
A high volume of blood loss due to frequent periods can result in an iron deficiency or anemia. Women who experience frequent heavy menstrual flow may benefit from eating foods that are iron-rich and taking supplements for iron.
Anyone who is concerned about their menstrual cycle or menstrual bleeding that is heavy is advised to consult a doctor.
The mother and the baby
Diet and nutrition are essential during pregnancy and nursing. The requirements for nutrition are generally higher during this time.
Researchers have estimated the vitamin D deficiency can affect 18 to 84 percent of pregnant women.
According to research conducted recently According to research conducted recently, women require approximately 4,400 internationally units (IU) per day to maintain their optimal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy. This is at least 6,400 IU daily while nursing.
Choline is also vital to the health of the mother as well as the baby. Research suggests that the average amount of choline in pregnancy is less than the recommended dose of 450 mg per day. A lot of prenatal vitamins don’t contain the choline.
Sources of food of choline are eggs, beef liver and soybeans.
Iodine is important for healthy brain development. Iodine is essential for healthy brain development. RDA amounts to 220 mg for women who are pregnant and 290 mg for those who are nursing.
Folate reduces the chance for congenital abnormalities. Folate helps reduce the risk of congenital anomalies. RDA of folate amounts to 600 mg during pregnancy and 500 mg when nursing.
Vegan or vegetarian diet
Women who are following an omnivore diet might require planning their meals in order to ensure they are getting sufficient amounts of every nutrients.
For instance, vitamin B12 only tends to be found naturally within animal foods. Vegans and vegetarians might require supplements or eat food that is that are enriched with vitamin B12. Examples include breakfast cereals and milk substitutes.
It is also possible to have insufficient levels of protein, iron or calcium as well as zinc when you are on vegetarian or vegan diets. The best method to avoid deficiencies when following any of these is to follow an adequate and varied diet, which includes such foods as:
- peas, beans, and legumes
- Whole grains
- nuts and seeds
- Soy products
- dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and mustard greens
- Breakfast cereals with fortified ingredients drinks, breakfast cereals and milk substitutes
- Products made of nutritional yeast
In the course of pregnancy, pregnant women must supplement their diet with iron as well as vitamin B12 and vitamin D in addition to folate as well as other nutrients.
A physician can tell you whether or the benefits of certain supplements are worth it.
Hispanic as well as Black American women
A national study in 2012 conducted by the CDC discovered the following: American females who are Black or Mexican descendance were three times as likely be suffering from low levels of iron as non-Hispanic white women.
Women in these groups could benefit from eating iron-rich food items or taking supplements.
Women require certain nutrients and great sources are:
- FolateSources comprise rice, spinach as well as avocado, broccoli asparagus, oranges and breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins.
- Iodine: Sources include seafood, seaweed eggs, grains, iodized salt, and dairy products that are not sweetened.
- Vitamin D The sources include fish that are fatty, pasture-raised or fortified or free-range egg yolks mushrooms, and even liver.
- Iron It is found in red seafood, meat and spinach, poultry as well as lentils and soybeans.
- CalciumSources comprise dairy items such as milk alternatives fortified with calcium, juices, sardines and salmon tofu, kale and tofu.
The age of a woman’s life as well as her overall health condition and levels of physical activity can affect their nutritional requirements.
The most effective method to meet nutrition needs is to eat healthy and balanced meals. In some instances it is essential to supplement your diet.
If you are worried that they might not get enough vitamins or minerals needs to consult a physician or dietitian.