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Are you taking the right nutrients to combat common issues like fatigue and PMS? Or currently, thinking about any supplements or vitamins?
As women, we are more aware of the need to take good care of our bodies and consider the best vitamin supplements for women’s health needs. Face it, we do not have an option. Mother Nature’s blueprint is not exactly high tech, and no matter what sophisticated gadgets we use, certain age-old processes are going to continue, both monthly and throughout a female’s lifetime. Fortunately, we have evolved nutritionally and learned that along with a clean diet, rich in non-starchy veggies and lean protein, the appropriate supplements can help smooth out the bumpy road of life.
Best Vitamins for Women (best 3 Vitamins)
“Women do not realize how critical some of the key micro-nutrients are, such as vitamin B, vitamin D, and magnesium,” says Taz Bhatia, MD, an integrative physician and author of The 21 Day Belly Fix. “They play a really strong role in the course of all kinds of diseases, everything from autoimmune disease to cancer to diabetes, heart disease all of that.” And they help eliminate common issues for example lack of energy and the effects of stress.
Here is a closer look at these three important supplements and vitamins for women:
They’re very helpful for the healthy metabolism of sugars & starches, and hormone production. They help turn hormones into active or inactive forms, ensure that hormones reach the correct destination within a woman’s body, and help eliminate excess hormones to prevent toxicity.
B vitamins are vital for the production of neurotransmitters. “B vitamins also help eliminate sugar cravings and fatigue, common symptoms that tend to accompany and promote hormone imbalance,” says Serena Goldstein, ND, a naturopathic doctor in New York specializing in natural hormone balance.
What to do: Eat fish, whole grains, eggs and lean meat for food sources, and have a B complex supplement with 25-50 milligrams of vitamins B1, B2, and B5; 400-600 micrograms of folic acid; and 1,000 micrograms of B12. B vitamins are best taken in the morning for energy.
Lower levels of vitamin D, quite prevalent among women, are related to greater odds of PMS, death from Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, depression, uterine fibroids, difficult pregnancies, rheumatoid arthritis, impaired sugar metabolism, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, unhealthy cholesterol levels, heart disease, postmenopausal loss of bone & muscle, and a higher risk of falls, and fractures later in life, says Bhatia. Kidney stones may also be caused by too little vitamin D, says Goldstein.- “Generally speaking we do not get enough, even those people who live underneath the equator,”-she says. Optimal liver health is essential for vitamin D absorption adds Goldstein. This is one of the reasons why I suggest the active form, D3, over D2, the inactive form.
What to do: Get your vitamin D levels tested and take supplements depending on your personal needs. Failing that, 1,000 IU daily is a safe amount to take, but may not be enough. Up to 5,000 IU can be taken daily. Ideal ranges tend to fall between 50 and 70, says Goldstein.
Like B vitamins, magnesium is necessary for many processes inside a woman’s body. A very common shortfall may result in constipation, cramps, anxiety, sleep difficulties, sore muscles, and other unpleasant symptoms. “Magnesium may be depleted by caffeine, stress, soda, certain medications, and unfortunately, it is not as prevalent in soil as decades ago,” says Goldstein.
What to do: Best time to take in the evening to enhance sleep; start with 100 milligrams daily and work up to 200-800 milligrams. Cut back if you experience loose stools. It is very important to keep in mind that there are more than 10 various forms of magnesium, points out Goldstein, who advises working with a knowledgeable professional to find a suitable form for your particular health goals.
As an alternative to pills or magnesium powders mixed with the water, take a bath in Epsom salts: 2 cups in a warm tub, and soak for at least 15 minutes, three times per week. Another option to improve elimination: Massage one tablespoon of magnesium oil into your tummy and also the soles of your feet every night before bed.
Bloating, Digestion, and Weight
All these issues are related and could be improved by improving the digestive process, says Bhatia. Constipation can be corrected with magnesium. In addition to eating whole foods, especially lean proteins, and vegetables, these supplements can help:
At least 20 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving of four or five strains of beneficial bacteria.
A combination of amylase to break down starches, lipase for fats, and protease for proteins. Take them after the heaviest meal during the day.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
First thing in the morning, drink a mixture of 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar with 4 Tbsp of water. Or try a betaine HCL supplement, starting with 10-15 mg, just before your heaviest meal.
Hormone fluctuations are normal. In a perfect world, they’d rebalance themselves, but our world is far from perfect. “Toxins are hormone disruptors, and women can have hormone deficiencies simply based on that fact,”- says Steven Hotze, MD, founder, and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center in Houston, and the author of Hormones, Health & Happiness. Toxic chemicals are found in foods, skincare products, indoor & outdoor air, as well as in all kinds of conventional medications. “All these things are hormone disruptors,” Hotze says, “and they’ll adversely affect the body’s ability to produce or utilize hormones.”
In specific, toxins can be xenoestrogens, meaning they mimic estrogen, and create estrogen dominance inflated levels of estrogen concerning progesterone. Additionally, in the years approaching menopause (perimenopause), progesterone production naturally drops, so there is a double whammy effect. Symptoms can include irregular or heavy periods, mood swings, brain fog, breast swelling, fibroids, headaches, and for many, a feeling of “losing myself.”
Lower levels of the active thyroid hormone, called T3, can also cause issues in women. Unfortunately, conventional blood tests may appear normal in these cases, because many doctors measure only the inactive, T4 form of the hormone, but do not pay attention to the active, and T3 form. They may suggest antidepressants to treat the signs and symptoms instead of addressing the actual problem. Or, prescriptions of synthetic thyroid medication may raise the inactive T4 form, but not the active T3 form, and the problem persists.
Low levels of active thyroid hormone can deplete energy to make metabolism sluggish, leading to inexplicable weight gain, cold hands & feet, brain fog and moodiness, and fertility problems. They can also contribute to hair loss and a puffy, pasty appearance.
Eating organic foods, using natural skincare and household items, and taking medications only when truly necessary bits of help reduce exposure to toxins, but it is not possible to avoid all of them. Sometimes, hormonal balance can not be fully restored without customized testing & natural hormone prescriptions, but the right supplements can also help.
“A good vitamin program is really important to stimulate detoxification in the body,” says Hotze. He recommends a formula with several pills per daily serving, including 5,000 IU of vitamin A; 50 milligrams of vitamin B1, B2, and vitamin B5; 200 micrograms of chromium; and 50-100 micrograms of selenium. Also, consider taking these daily: extra magnesium, fish oil (get about 500 milligrams of a combination of EPA and DHA), 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, and about 60 milligrams of CoQ10.
These are some other remedies:
Low dose forms of progesterone cream, available in health food stores, may resolve the problem, or it may require customized testing and natural (technically called “bioidentical”) progesterone, and sometimes other hormones by prescription. Use progesterone on days 15-28 of a monthly cycle.
Many herbs will help support progesterone production, says Goldstein, such as chaste berry (vitex).
These nutrients are especially important for producing and activating thyroid hormone.
- Magnesium: 600-1,000 mg daily, and perhaps more if you do intense exercise, as magnesium is lost in sweat. (See magnesium section above for different forms.)
- Zinc: 20 mg daily.
- Vitamin B12: 1,000 mcg daily.
- Vitamin A: 5,000 IU daily.
- Iodine: 75 mcg daily.
- Vitamin D: 1,000-2,000 IU daily.
- Selenium: Up to 200 mcg daily.
- Vitamin C: Loose stools are a sign of too much, but because stress depletes vitamin C, you may need more than you think. Start with 1,000 mg daily, but higher doses-1,000 mg per 25 pounds of body weight may be helpful.
If you try these supplements and continue to have problems, look for a physician who is knowledgeable in nutrition and natural (bioidentical) hormone testing & treatment. You can also comment on us and we will try to respond with the solution as soon as possible.