Vitamin aisles can be a daunting place. Y gives women the lowdown on what to buy and when to take it
As a woman, keeping your body healthy is an important task. Whether you are in your childbearing years, taking folic acid for a healthy baby, or in your post-menopausal years, taking extra calcium for healthy bones, there are various vitamins for women to consider at every stage of life.
It’s no secret that the use of vitamins has become the norm for most people. Vitamins can help prevent diseases such as cancer or osteoporosis, while also filling in nutrition gaps not covered in your daily diet.
Dr Zainab Jassim, a general practitioner at Burjeel Medical Centre in Azaiba, believes that “a healthy brain is the way to a healthy body and soul”, and that this can be achieved by “following a healthy diet composed of fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals and minerals, combined with regular exercise”. This diet can also be supported with daily supplements of multivitamins.
From TV talk shows to the local nightly news programmes, women are never at a loss for nutritional information targeted directly towards them. Use this list of some of the popular vitamins and supplements that have recently made headlines to help you decide whether they fit into your health and wellness regime.
While most of the nutrients contained within multivitamins can be found in food, taking one daily can fill in any missing gaps. When shopping for the right product, note that not all multivitamins are created equal. Some varieties offer a different amount of nutrients targeted to a specific age group or function, such as Centrum Silver Women 50+ Multivitamin tablets, which provides additional support for breast and bone health.
Perhaps one of the most talked about nutrition products on the market, omega-3 fish oil supplements have been praised by various health professionals for their heart-health benefits. Supportive, but not conclusive, research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Some products come with a special coating to minimise the unfavourable aftertaste often associated with such pills.
“Daily exposure to natural sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D,” Dr Jassim tells Y, but did you know it can also be found in small increments in fatty fishes and in fortified dairy and cereal products? Supplements of vitamin D3 have been shown to reduce the risk of bone loss and fractures in elderly people aged 62–85 years.
Your body requires calcium to keep bones healthy and strong throughout life. This bone-strengthening nutrient reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. To increase your calcium intake, try the Nature Made Calcium 600 mg with Vitamin D Dietary Supplement Liquid Softgels, which provide additional vitamin D to promote calcium absorption.
Folic acid is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies. “All women should take folic acid supplements at least one month before attempting to conceive a child and continue for the first three months of pregnancy,” says Dr Jassim.
A general understanding of the many uses for vitamins and supplements can greatly improve a woman’s health and wellbeing. Invest in your future by taking advantage of health testing services where available. Services to look out for include:
Talk to your physician about your test results.