The most popular vitamin of all, vitamin C, helps form bones, teeth, muscle and skin. Most importantly for women, vitamin C is essential for iron absorption. Iron helps give you energy and prevent fatigue. "Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health," says Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan.
So how much vitamin C should is enough? The recommended daily amount is 75-90 milligrams. One cup of orange juice or 1/2 cup of red peppers will meet your full recommended amount! Check out more information here on getting enough vitamin C in your daily diet.
We need calcium from birth to adulthood, not only for healthy bones but also for prevention of colon cancer, dental care, maintaining a healthy weight, acid reduction and prevention of kidney stones. Calcium has even been shown to help fight those premenstrual blues, so if you're feeling bloated and fatigued, drink a glass of milk! The benefits of calcium don't stop there. The National Institute of Health recently found that increased calcium intake resulted in lower blood pressure. Calcium is a must for overall health!
Vitamin B12 (also known as Cyanocobalamin) is a key vitamin for women to include in their daily diet. Vitamin B12 helps prevent memory loss, nerve damage, anemia, heart disease and depression. Not only that, it has been found that women suffering from breast cancer are often deficient in vitamin B12. Suffer from fatigue? Add B12 to your diet, and it will help improve your overall stamina for those long days! How can you add this important vitamin to your daily diet? Add milk, eggs and poultry to your daily diet.
Folic Acid is a B vitamin that helps the body make new cells. Thinking about getting pregnant? Folic acid is a must. When women have sufficient amounts of folic acid in their body before and during pregnancy, it helps prevent major birth defects such as Spina bifida and Anencephaly. Folic acid is important for older women as well, helping to nourish the brain, improve vision and increase energy levels. All women should get between 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid every day. Add folic acid fortified cereal with milk to your diet and be sure to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Read more about the importance of folic acid in your diet.
Recently found to be even more important than originally thought, researchers believe Vitamin D plays a key role in regulating over 2,000 genes in our body. "It affects cell death and proliferation, insulin production and even the immune system," says Michael F Holick, Ph.D., M.D., director of the vitamin D, skin and bone research laboratory at the Boston University Medical Center. In fact, vitamin D has recently been shown to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins our bodies can actually make - from the sun! The bad news? Researchers say we need at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight on a large portion of our bodies to produce this essential vitamin. So how can you be sure you have enough? Add a glass of milk and serving of fish to your diet.