How do you choose the most appropriate nutritional supplement for your daily activity and your age?
Individual nutritional needs vary according to age, general health status, diet, and effort. Women have greater diversity than men; Women need more vitamins and minerals in different stages of their life, and their hormones, especially with pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, so it is difficult for them to choose the optimal nutritional supplement among many commercial products on the shelves of pharmacies.
The childbearing years last from puberty to menopause, and hormonal factors and menstruation can affect a woman’s nutritional needs at that time; The US National Library of Medicine published in 2017. study Focused on undernutrition of more than 15,000 people.
The results showed that women aged between 19 and 50 years – in general – and breastfeeding or pregnant women – in particular – are more likely to suffer from undernourishment than men and children.
This included low levels of vitamin B6 (pantothenic acid), vitamin D; Women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 15 milligrams per day of vitamin D, and 1.3 milligrams per day of vitamin B6.
Women do not get enough iron, and excessive blood loss during heavy periods can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. Therefore, women who have heavy periods may benefit from eating more iron-rich foods such as red meat, poultry, white beans, lentils and spinach, and taking iron supplements of up to 18 milligrams per day.
Pregnancy and lactation
Pregnancy is a dynamic period with physical and physiological changes for both the mother and her developing fetus. A woman’s need for certain vitamins and minerals tends to increase, and a deficiency in them poses a threat to the health of the mother and fetus.
Women need iodine during pregnancy for the normal development of the baby’s brain; he found a report The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that women have lower iodine levels than men, especially women between the ages of 20 and 39, who are most likely to become pregnant.
A pregnant woman’s iodine need rises to 220 and 290 milligrams during breastfeeding, however, iodine supplements should not be taken unless recommended by a doctor, because its excess may negatively affect thyroid functions.
Many women suffer from iron deficiency during their childbearing years, which reduces their bodies’ ability to produce energy; Therefore, a woman may need 27 milligrams per day during pregnancy, and 9 milligrams during breastfeeding.
More than 80% of pregnant women suffer from vitamin D deficiency, and women at that time need 4,000 international units, and up to 6,400 international units per day during breastfeeding. The woman also needs to take up to 1.9 mg per day of vitamin B6 during pregnancy. , and 2 milligrams while breastfeeding.
Folic acid reduces the risk of a baby being born with birth defects of the brain and spine, and women planning a pregnancy take it as a dietary supplement. Folic acid is known as vitamin B9, and it is found naturally in foods; Like beans, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits, women 18 and older who are not pregnant need 400 micrograms per day, 600 micrograms per day during pregnancy and 500 micrograms per day while breastfeeding.
Many prenatal vitamins do not contain choline; Therefore, most women eat less than 450 milligrams per day of choline during pregnancy, which is less than what the fetus needs for healthy growth, and to enhance this element, beef, eggs and soybeans can be eaten.
Nutritional needs change after menopause; Low estrogen levels and the aging process can increase the risk of various types of deficiencies, such as vitamin B6, B9 (folic acid), B12, calcium, and vitamin D, all of which are essential to overall health.
These vitamins help with red blood cell production, energy production, protein metabolism, nervous system function, and bone protection; So, women should take vitamin B6 from 1.3 milligrams to 1.5 milligrams after the age of 50, to support the immune system, take vitamin B12 regularly, take 15 micrograms of vitamin D, and 1200 milligrams of calcium, and rely on a diet that includes dairy products and vegetables with green leaves;
Do you do exercise?
Women’s bodies are biologically and physiologically different from men’s; This is likely due to the estrogen hormone that prevents the oxidation of fats, making it difficult to lose them, their metabolic rate decreases and their body mass decrease.
Women also have to deal with the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone, which affect energy and water retention, and the reasons why they need more supplements are different from those of male athletes.
Women who are physically active or who have physically demanding jobs should talk to a doctor or dietitian about adapting their diet, or taking nutritional supplements to meet their specific needs. An active woman’s body needs more iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, and increases her risk of vitamin D deficiency.