Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Whether ingested in the form of a Flintstones character or a smiling gummy bear, vitamins influence the way your body functions. It isn’t news that vitamins contribute to overall health, but what exactly do they do, and why is it so important that we take them regularly?
Did you know that your body’s need for specific vitamins changes throughout the stages in your life? It’s important to stay informed and avoid deficiencies. Vitamins play a role in the reactions that occur inside the body’s cells: they boost the immune system, allow for normal growth and development, and make sure that cells and organs are working to their full potential. For these reasons it is important to make sure that your body is getting the nourishment it needs.
For young women, the vitamins to make room on your shelf for can go on forever and be quite intimidating, not to mention a hassle with regards to space. Instead of lugging a cart full of vitamin containers home, wouldn’t it be nice to find one little, magical pill that had it all? Well there is such a super-pill: a multivitamin.
To start, look for multivitamins that offer 100 percent of the daily Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of the most essential vitamins. RDA’s purpose is to estimate “the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (approximately 98 percent) healthy individuals,” according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Simply put, make sure that the multivitamin offers high amounts of the nutrient that your body needs at the current stage in your life.
Some multivitamins that take care of your dietary needs so that you don’t have to eat every food group of the pyramid daily and obsessively are Centrum A to Z, One a Day Women’s Formula, and Nature Made for Her.
Though the number of “good” vitamins reaches the sky, some vitamins and minerals that appeal most to the needs of young women are:
Folic Acid: Though having a baby is probably not #1 on your current priority list, it may be beneficial to prepare your body for future pregnancy by taking folic acid supplements in the present. This vitamin plays an important role in a baby’s normal development. Supplying your body with folic acid now can reduce the risk of abnormalities in your infant later on.
Zinc: A well-rounded mineral with many benefits. Some of the upsides that apply most to young women are: the reduction of acne, it decreases the severity and duration of colds (be the only healthy student not blowing their nose in the middle of class lectures), and indirectly allows you to lose weight.
Iron: For all women who experience menstruation, iron is a handy-dandy pal to keep around. During their monthly cycle, women lose blood: this means a loss of red blood cells. As the body needs iron to produce red blood cells, it’s an important mineral to stock up on.
Calcium: Everybody knows that “milk does the body good.” Calcium is essential from the time you pop till the day you drop, as it maintains good bone health. But make sure that it is taken with magnesium, as these two minerals go hand-in-hand. Enerex states that, “both minerals require each other for their [proper] absorption and utilization.”
Vitamin B: There is a series of Bs with benefits that range from skin improvement, to metabolism regulation, to mental development. Find which B is best for you!
Vitamin C: C is incredibly effective when it comes to immunity, and also remarkably safe: you can’t over-dose or harm yourself no matter how many oranges you eat.
Vitamin E: E helps contributes to DNA repair so that scars and other imperfections on the skin can swiftly smooth out. It also improves the metabolism.
Iodine: During her monthly cycle, a woman’s cell count increases in her breasts. At the end of her period, some of these extra cells must be removed in order for the body to return to its normal state. Elora Gabriel writes that iodine is responsible for the “mechanism that causes excess cells to disappear to complete this normal process of cell death.”
Omega 3 fatty-acids: Great for brain growth and cognitive memory and performance.
With these in mind, shop easy-breezy next time you enter a grocery store looking for your vitamins, and don’t stress about the endless options. Find the vitamins that appeal to your personal needs, consult a doctor if necessary, or pick up a multivitamin for general-body coverage.