Women and Multivitamins: How Much Do You Need?
Many of us grew up in an environment where it is necessary to take vitamins and minerals every day. You don’t question your parents about these things, and you do it because you also believe that it is right for you. Your parents would prepare your multivitamins out after breakfast so we won’t forget to take them every day and we would have all the nutrients we need.
However, things change as you grow up. Now that you’re an adult, you’re the one to look out for yourself and make sure you get enough vitamins and mineral every day in your nutrients. With so many things to remember and do each day, you sometimes wonder whether taking multivitamins for women is necessary. More so, there are a countless variety of vitamins for women which makes it even more puzzling for you to take your pick. You can read vitamin labels and packaging all day and still can’t decide which multivitamin is the best for you. Thus, here are a few tips to help you out to find the best multivitamins for women.
What Multivitamin Do You Need and How You Can Get Them
Vitamins and minerals are essential vitamins to the human body. They help prevent certain diseases, health problems and gives you strength and energy to your days. You can get essential vitamins and minerals from foods that are rich in them. Especially the ones that are non GMO whole foods. On the other hand, some diet pills provide specific amounts of vitamins and nutrients.
Some women think that they can get what they need from these supplements. But do you need them? Can these products provide beneficial nutrients for you?
There are essential vitamins and minerals including calcium that the body needs continuously. Here are those that are beneficial and where you can get them.
Beta carotene is an antioxidant that is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Antioxidants are essential vitamins for a healthy functioning immune system, good skin, and clear vision. It is primarily found in green peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, and other whole foods. Some supplements include beta-carotene but are not recommended. There are also studies that excess amounts of it may raise the risk of lung cancer and heart diseases in smokers. Thus, if you are a smoker, avoid taking extra Vitamin A and get your beta carotene from natural sources like fruits and vegetables.
The human body needs calcium, and we source them out mostly from dairy products like cheese, milk, and yoghurt. It is essential in keeping our bones healthy and in preventing diseases like osteoporosis. However, not all people have calcium deficiency to warrant supplementation. Bottom line, calcium supplements may not be a bad idea, especially for those that dislike dairy products. Moreover, people who are prone to kidney diseases, and women over 70 should skip the supplements. They are linked to some cases of a heart attack in older post-menopausal women and hypercalcemia. It is best to consult with your doctor.
Folic acid is essential in sound reproduction. It is known to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida in babies. This vitamin is commonly found in dark green vegetables, citrus fruit juices, pasta, bread, legumes, and fortified cereals. Pregnant and lactating women essentially need 400 to 600 micrograms of folic acid B-Vitamin, and they can source it out from whole foods.
Iron is a mineral that is critical for the healthy functioning of red blood cells, as well as the prevention of anaemia. Whole food that contains the highest concentration of Iron is organ meats like liver. But you can also source out Iron from seafood, lean meats, green leafy vegetables, and nuts. Iron deficiency is not usual, but some people need supplements like those who are anaemic. Likewise, doctors recommended an addition of Iron in the body before a patient undergoes surgery.
Potassium is commonly found in bananas, leafy green vegetables, oranges, raisins, milk, and other sources. It is known to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and counters the effects of too much sodium. Taking potassium pills is recommended only if you are taking potassium-depleting medication for heart conditions. Likewise, keep in mind that having too much potassium can also lead to kidney diseases in older people.
This antioxidant is found in meat, eggs, seafood, and bread. Small amounts of Selenium is said to help lower the risk of various cancers like lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers. But in essence, you don’t need to take extra for your selenium needs one daily. You can get enough from natural food sources.
It is one of the most essential vitamins found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, berries as well as in broccoli and green pepper. It is a touted cure-all vitamin, especially in preventing common-colds. Therefore, try to get as much of it from what you eat. It is also fine to take Vitamin C pills one daily, especially if you are a smoker or if you are exposed to secondhand smoke. This is one of the best multivitamins for everything. You will find more of this vitamin in non gmo fruits.
It is necessary for helping the body absorb calcium and better bone health. Healthy sun exposure is the best way to get your daily value of Vitamin D. Likewise, fatty fish and fortified milk are also good sources.
There are different studies about the benefits of vitamin D. Deficiency in Vitamin D is said to contribute to the development of osteoporosis.
On the other hand, too much of it is linked to the increased risk of pancreatic cancer. In essence, a bit of sun exposure can provide the body enough vitamin D along with aliments that are fortified with it. But if you get too little sun, have dark skin, or you are more than 50, ask your doctor if you need these complements first.
This essential antioxidant helps protect the cells from free radicals and strengthen your immune system. Likewise, vitamin E also helps slows down macular degeneration. Commonly sourced out from food like sunflower seeds and wheat germ, this potent antioxidant is said to help protect the heart. On the other hand, too many complements can increase the risk of bleeding in the brain. Therefore, avoid pills and source it from vitamin E rich aliments like non gmo fruits, peanuts, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals.
Are taking Multivitamins for Women Recommended?
There is mixed research about the efficacy of multivitamins in providing necessary vitamins and mineral needs of the body. Some of the latest studies don’t show that they can lower the risk of getting diabetes, heart diseases, or cancers. On the other hand, taking more multivitamin can give you the energy and protection that you need in case you have any vitamin deficiency. Thus, multivitamins are not a bad idea if you are always on the go. There are no significant life-saving benefits that you should expect. However, you must also avoid taking too much of one single vitamin. It is best to source out your vitamins through a well-balanced and nutritious diet from fresh produce, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Vitamins That You Can Stop Taking
The body can get much of its needed essential vitamins and minerals including zinc from various food sources. You can stop taking these supplements if you have access to a variety of nutritious aliments.
Most people consider Zinc to help prevent common colds and flu. But studies about its efficacy is inconsistent. Instead of relying on Zinc supplements, you should get it out from natural sources like seafood, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
Contradictory to what most people think, standard multivitamins are not as beneficial as they are. There is no substantial evidence that taking multivitamins to lower the risk of having cancers or chronic diseases. Likewise, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you have better immunity if you are taking multivitamins. If you are eating a well-balanced diet and you get enough nutrients, you don’t need to take any more supplements one daily. More so, there are people that offset a lousy diet and binge of unhealthy food choices just because they are taking multivitamins.
Pills You Should Stop Taking
Women today face a lot of challenges, and everyday stress can drain your energy and vibe. It is why most women think that taking more supplements can help them recover. On the other hand, having too much of some things can also impact negatively. Here are some pills that you must avoid.
Too Much Iron Pills
It is possible to get too much Iron, and when you do, you can experience different health issues. Too much iron can lead to upset stomach and liver damage. If you are not pregnant, you only need 18 milligrams of iron per day, and you can quickly get this from regular food choices.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid or Fish Oil
Omega 3 fatty acids are said to have lots of health benefits; thus, pills and supplements flooded the market. While it has some health benefits, indeed, most of these pills can become harmful blood thinners. They contain high amounts of vitamins A and D, which is hard for the body to absorb and use up. It can build up and cause health hazards. Get your dose of healthy fatty acids by eating fish or by using olive oil.
High Dose Antioxidants
A lot of women believe that lots of antioxidants can do wonders for their health and beauty. However, excessive vitamin E and beta carotene are linked to adverse health effects like heart and lung problems. Getting them from fruits and vegetables are healthier because of the compounds that facilitate effective nutrient absorption. Therefore, it is better to eat aliments from each group of the food pyramid for you to feel better and younger. It is also better for your health and your wallet. Try to buy those foods non gmo as they have more antioxidants in them.
Things to Consider Before Taking Multivitamins for Women
Here are some thoughts for you if you are considering whether or not you need to take multivitamins and supplements one daily .
More Expensive Does Not Mean Better
Plant-based vitamins are being sold at health-food or organic stores. They can cost as much as three times as the usual vitamin C from the drug stores, but they are just the same thing. Likewise, this vitamin from rose hips are not better regular C, and calcium from oysters are no different from calcium from dairy sources.
Organic Versions Are Not Free From Contaminants
While choosing your multivitamins and supplements, you will also encounter organic products. However, keep in mind that natural sources can still have contaminants, especially if the soil where the plants are grown are also contaminated.
Avoid Vitamin Products with Herbs
In choosing your multivitamins, remember to avoid those that add herbs. Most supplements for women have dong Quai or red clover. Keep in mind that these herbs may contain high levels of arsenic, cadmium, or lead. If you want to take a herb one daily, take a single herb on its own to avoid any contamination.
Avoid Candylike Formulations
Some manufacturers have created multivitamins in candylike formulations like gumballs, gummy candies, chews, and mints. It is harder for them to control the number of ingredients in these products. Likewise, it is easy to go overboard with these types of products because they taste good.
It’s Okay to Take Less than the Suggested Amounts
Since you are also getting vitamins and minerals from what you eat, consider products that give less than the Recommended Daily Allowance. Supplements should only be a secondary source if you have some deficiency.
Multivitamins for women are essential at any age. However, it should not be expected to treat or prevent any health conditions. In case you are taking medications, or if you are pregnant, it is best to consult with a medical professional before taking vitamins and minerals with your daily diet. There are special diets and vitamin needs for pregnant women to ensure the healthy development of the fetus. More so, it doesn’t matter what time of the day you take your best multivitamin. What matters is that you maintain a well-balanced and nutritious food for your body to effectively absorb the vitamins that you are taking.
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