Although we need essential nutrients throughout our lives, our nutritional requirement tends to change with age. At certain stages of life, such as during pregnancy, lactation or menopause, you might need excess amounts of certain vitamins. At least five servings of vegetables and fruits daily should meet most of your daily vitamin requirement. To reduce the risk of vitamin deficiency, you might take multivitamin supplements.
Vitamins for women
Vitamin A, especially beta-carotene in yellow and orange colored vegetables is a powerful antioxidant needed for healthy skin. Besides beta-carotene, vitamin A is also present in fruits and vegetables in the form of alpha-carotene, gamma carotene and lycopene. Carrots, pumpkins, apricots, cantaloupe, tomatoes, guava and watermelon are rich sources of carotenoids.
However, if you are having a well balanced diet, before taking a multivitamin supplement, you should check the vitamin A content in the dietary supplement. Usually 2,500 IU of vitamin A is sufficient for healthy living.
Women on a healthy diet could hardly develop deficiency of vitamin B6. You can get this vitamin from cereals, oatmeal, seeds, beans, banana, avocado, poultry and meat. Vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin B6 deficient diets could increase the risk of anemia.
Folic acid is essential for women of childbearing age. Folic acid deficiency is associated with spina bifida, a neural tube defect in newborns. Neural tube defects usually develop in the first month of pregnancy. Intake of folic acid rich foods and supplements only during pregnancy could not prevent this birth defect. To prevent this condition, there should be adequate folic acid reserve in the body at the time of conception.
Every woman of childbearing age should consume adequate amounts of folic acid rich foods such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, legumes, beans, melons and strawberries to minimize the risk of spina bifida.
Vitamin B12 is found in meat, egg, poultry, milk and dairy products. The deficiency of this vitamin could lead to anemia. Vegans and aged women have a higher risk of developing deficiency of this B vitamin. Vitamin B12 supplementation might be needed for preventing vitamin B12 deficiency.
Anti aging vitamins
The powerful antioxidant vitamins, A and E, protect the body from free radicals. As we age, our body fails to absorb adequate vitamins from foods. You might need vitamin supplements to bridge nutritional gaps.
You need plenty of vitamin D after menopause. Vitamin D is needed to minimize the risk of osteoporosis that develops during this stage of life.