While a healthy, balanced diet can help you to get enough essential nutrients, it’s important to understand which nutrients hold the most weight. Here are some of the important minerals for women to consume more.
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin. Its name is derived from foliage, as folate is richest in food sources such as leaves (spinach, asparagus) and fruits (cantaloupe).
Why is folate important? Women need folate to look healthy. Our cells need it to make DNA, and without DNA, cells wouldn’t function properly. Nor would they make new cells and tissue, such as skin and hair. During pregnancy, especially the first couple of weeks when women often don’t know they are pregnant, folate is critical in preventing abnormalities in the fetus. It’s also involved in supporting normal levels of homocysteine in the blood, a controversial heart risk factor.
B Complex Vitamins:
The B vitamins include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12) and biotin. These are water-soluble essential nutrients found in many foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Many foods are also fortified with B vitamins.
Why are B vitamins important?
An active woman can burn more than 2,000 calories a day. And B vitamins are essential for producing the energy necessary to meet the demands of everyday life.
Vitamin D: Down to the Bone
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be made in our bodies when exposed to sunlight. It’s also found in vitamin D-fortified foods such as cereal and mushrooms.
Why is vitamin D important? It helps our bodies absorb calcium from our diet and supplements we may take. Vitamin D also plays a role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones. And researchers are beginning to find that good vitamin D levels are important for general health and the prevention of certain diseases, including osteoporosis.
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