It can be hard to determine which supplements you really need, and which ones you don’t. Gender plays a big role in this decision as well, so we’ve outlined just a few of the best supplements for women.
“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 a 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 acids are known as essential fatty acids, 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 of 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 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 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.
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!
They can also help you lose 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.
The best way to start healing your gut and bringing back a balance of healthy gut bacteria is to start taking a probiotics supplement.
No matter what supplement you use, you want to take AT LEAST 50 billion units of probiotics daily from a minimum of 10 different sources for best results.
While you don’t need to purchase only refrigerated probiotics, make sure the packaging is well sealed. It’s also essential that the packaging is dark (or opaque, not transparent) to protect from light damage.
We have our own brand of Probiotics here at Avocadu called Gut-13.
Our specially formulated probiotic supplement contains:
- Over 100 Million CFU’s Per Serving
- 13 Different Gut Healing Strains
- Delayed-Release for Deeper Support
- Made in the USA
Probiotics are one of the best solutions for healing your gut, helping you lose weight faster, and providing you with a healthy source of gut flora every day!
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 (1). 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 reports 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 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 as 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.
Always remember that there is no supplement for a healthy diet!
People lose an average of 10-21 pounds in 21 days and absolutely love it! But even better than the weight loss is the feedback we get from people about how the program has taught them how to change their eating habits and find a diet that truly works for them in the long-term.
We have over 1,000 people in our private support group going through the Challenge together, and every day they are sharing experiences, results, motivation, and lots of recipes!
If you are ready to make some changes in your life, this is the ONLY place you should start. We will teach you exactly how to make the necessary changes in your diet and your lifestyle and how to keep them “beyond the diet.”
Please feel free to leave us a comment below if you enjoyed this article on supplements for women or have any questions!