“Take this supplement, and definitely avoid that supplement.”
Depending on which website you’re on, you’ll get a different answer about what you should take for optimum health.
As a woman in the information age, with ads being constantly thrown at you, it can be hard to know who to trust.
Doctors say one thing, and health bloggers may say something completely different.
Your health is one of the most valuable treasures you have, so choosing the right supplements is important.
How do you decide who to trust?
Ignoring the hype and drama, we did little digging (so you don’t have to) and came up with four supplements no woman should do without.
#1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You may know this supplement as fish oil or flaxseed oil, since most people take it in those forms. Omega-3 fatty acid is known as an essential fatty acid, which basically means your body cannot make them.
The only way to get them is through diet or supplementation and there’s a whole host a research behind why you should be taking them:
- Improves blood flow
- Reduces the risk of ADHD
- Improves brain function
- Thickens hair
- Helps the skin glow
- Improves heart health
- Lifts depression
- And others
For achy joints and stiffness, this can be a helpful tool in your bag.
Omega-3’s help reduce inflammation in the body, and can ease joint and arthritic pain according to Arthritis.org.
If you are a woman of childbearing age, it’s important to note that Omega-3 is vital for proper fetal growth. Lack of Omega-3 during pregnancy may impact your child’s development during early childhood.
Ensuring that you get enough Omega-3 in your diet is a good step, but also be sure to reduce the Omega-6 in your diet. This fatty acid is more prevalent in our diets, and in excess it can promote inflammation!
If you’re not eating salmon at least a couple of times a week, you should consider taking an Omega-3 supplement. One of the best brands out there that is also affordable is Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega-3.
Did did you know that the probiotics often found in yogurt truly are an important part of your health as a woman?
Our digestive tracts are full of bacteria, both good and bad. The proper balance of both is what we are looking for when we supplement probiotics in our diet.
But what are probiotics, and how can they help me? Check out this video to learn more about the who, what, and why of the good bacteria in your gut.
One of the most well-known benefits of probiotic supplementation is a reduction in gastrointestinal issues. Bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea can be relieved in some cases by adding the good bacteria back in.
If you have skin issues such as eczema or acne, consider supplementing with a good probiotic. Clear, healthy skin is dependent on proper digestion, which is aided by balanced gut flora.
Another sign of an increase in the ‘bad’ bacteria is frequent vaginal yeast infections. If you’ve taken antibiotics in the past, you may have reduced the number of good guys in your gut!
Our favorite brand is Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics by Essential Formulas. They were originally recommended to us by a nutritionist, and we’ve been using them for years.
They can also help you reduce weight…
We actually have a full article dedicated to How Probiotics and Prebiotics Help You Lose Weight Naturally.
During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.
You may already be familiar with the need for iron as a woman. Almost every women’s vitamin supplement has iron in it, because it is so important.
Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which is part of your blood. Without proper iron levels, your blood is unable to transport oxygen from your lungs to the tissues of your body effectively.
According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, dizziness, difficulty making decisions, and bruising easily. It also is a factor in proper metabolism, which is important for weight maintenance.
Women who menstruate lose blood (and by extension, iron) every month. It’s vital to ensure you are getting enough either through supplementation, or by the food you eat.
Iron can be found in higher amounts in foods such as red meat, poultry, seafood, white beans, and spinach. If you’re not a meat eater, consider supplementation as an alternative.
If you have chronically low iron levels, you may need to take iron supplements more regularly. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling any of the symptoms listed above.
Our favorite brand is New Chapter Organic Food Complex, because it is probiotic-cultured, non-GMO and made with organic fruits and vegetables, and can be taken on an empty stomach.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night, consider adding magnesium to your nightly routine. The Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology report that when taken right before bed, it may help you go to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
For those who exercise and suffer from sore muscles, magnesium can provide relief. Use it topically (as an oil) or internally to help reduce the effects of the lactate buildup in your muscles.
Another great use for magnesium is for its natural laxative properties. Taken just before bed in the proper amount, it can help you have a comfortable stool in the morning.
Be careful to read the package directions closely, however, as an overdose may send you running to the bathroom right away!
Magnesium can be found in foods such almonds and other nuts, as well as dark leafy greens and black beans. To get the quantity needed for the benefits listed above, you may need to add supplementation as well.
If you do choose a supplement, be sure it has added calcium as well. This is needed for proper absorption of magnesium.
Our favorite brand is Magnesium + Calcium by Rainbow Light, because it’s a food-based formula that is good for absorption.
Is it Better to Take a Combination Vitamin?
It’s wise to take a daily multivitamin to ensure you aren’t deficient in anything. But if you look at the amount of these four vitamins and minerals in your multivitamin, it probably does not contain enough for your needs.
You may still want to take additional supplementation to see the benefits mentioned in this article. Taken with your daily multi, you’ll have all your bases covered to keep yourself healthy.
For women, our favorite multivitamin by far is Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women, because it’s made especially for women and is one of the most well-known multi-vitamins out there.
Optimum Nutrition also makes Opti-Men specifically for men.
As with any change to your diet and nutrition plan, make sure to listen to how your body responds to certain vitamins and supplements. This can help you determine whether you have a deficiency in the future or whether a new supplement is working for you.
Please feel free to leave us your comments and questions below!
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