Five essential vitamins for women’s health

To stay healthy, you need a lot of nourishment. Make sure these five essential vitamins are in your diet to help prevent some of the health problems that many women face when they are older, such as osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Start boosting your nutritional intake when you are young, with a balanced diet that is packed with colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and good sources of protein.

Protect yourself with antioxidants

Antioxidants help protect cells from free radical damage, and they may play a role in preventing or slowing the development of some diseases—good reason to fill your grocery cart with antioxidant-rich foods! According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, adding antioxidants to your diet can help prevent macular degeneration, a chronic eye disease that affects over 10 million Americans. Women are more likely to develop this disease than men are. The Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians reports that adding them to your diet may help to prevent coronary heart disease, although taking supplements of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, is not recommended. Vitamins A, C, and E are all essential vitamins that have antioxidant benefits. The best way to include them in your diet safely is to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat green leafy vegetables every day. Sip on papaya and pineapple smoothies. Drink carrot juice. Even a decadent bowl of berries is a healthy treat.

Folic acid for women

Folic acid is one of the most important essential vitamins for women of all ages. It helps prevent birth defects, making is crucial for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant. It also may help protect your heart by regulating homocysteine levels. High levels of homocycsteine in the blood are connected with a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Leafy greens and beans are great sources of folic acid, as are enriched foods like breads, cereals, and pasta.

Vitamin D for bone health

Keep your bones healthy and strong with plenty of vitamin D. This nutrient helps your body absorb calcium. Getting enough is important for good bone density, something you may not be worried about now, but that may become a concern in 10 or 20 years. Salmon, eggs, and enriched dairy products are good sources. Soaking up a few solar rays for 20 minutes a day can help you get vitamin D too. Just be sure to wear sunscreen if you are going to be outside for long.

Vitamins A, C, E, D, and folic acid are all essential vitamins that women can really benefit from. Even if you aren’t plagued by health problems now, it’s always a good idea to keep your future health in mind. Make those golden years truly golden by nourishing your body now! Eat a variety of healthy foods, particularly lots of delicious fruits and veggies.