Let’s face it, the quality of ingredients isn’t what it used to be, and it’s hard consistently incorporating a variety of nutrient rich food into your diet. Fortunately, adding in a few basic vitamins and supplements can go a long way in helping every woman reach optimal health. Kimberly Slider from Hybrid MMA & Fitness explains why it’s so important to take vitamin supplements, and which ones are best for women looking to improve their health.
Why do I need to supplement?
Supplementation is important for us to ensure our body is functioning properly and optimally. Having an adequate amount of vital vitamins and minerals helps to ensure we have a good quality of life.
As women especially, we go through multiple hormonal journeys: puberty, menstrual cycles, ovulation, pregnancy, post-partum, breastfeeding, pre- and post-menopause. Our health and quality of life is constantly changing with each different hormonal journey. When it comes to supplementation, we are all different and require supplements that are catered to us individually. However, no matter where we are in life, there are some basic vital vitamins and minerals that the body requires.
Here are five staple supplements that all women could benefit from:
Magnesium: ‘The Master Mineral’
Magnesium is the catalyst to allow the body to function optimally and is required for optimal energy production, as well as for cellular respiration to exist and thrive. Magnesium leads to less muscle cramps, a healthy heartbeat, better body movement, improved brain function, cell health, and relaxed blood vessels. Magnesium deficiencies will have negative impacts on the nervous system and increases risk of high blood pressure, clogged arteries, muscle damage, poor blood circulation (which may lead to varicose and spider veins), poor recovery and hormonal imbalances, which for females can result to a poor menstrual cycle and fertility issues.
For women on the contraceptive pill: supplement with magnesium daily, as the pill depletes the body of magnesium. There are many forms of magnesium out there, so speak to your physician or a health coache at Hybrid MMA & Fitness to find out which one would best suit your needs.
Vitamin B Complex: Anti-aging, Detoxification, & Protection Against Heart Disease
Did you know that heart disease affects one in five women and is the leading cause of death around the globe? Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin) can help lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Having hormonal issues? Vitamin B is an essential vitamin required for the body to detox: hormones can’t be ‘fixed’ unless the body can detoxify. Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin is an anti-oxidant which protects the body against free radicals.
The contraceptive pill also depletes the body of its B Vitamins. Vitamin B can also help to reduce stress levels. We all know stress is bad, but chronic stress increases the risk of chronic illness and lowers the body’s immune system. Also, for healthy skin, hair and nails, Vitamin B7 (also known as Biotin) can help prevent unwanted hair loss, brittle nails and wrinkly skin (ladies, anti-aging).
Vitamin B is also essential for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as the body is actually depleted of Folate (vitamin B9) outside of pregnancy, even though it is necessary for a healthy pregnancy and breast milk supply—so it’s extra-essential when you’re expecting.
Zinc Picolinate: Growth & Immune Function
Zinc is necessary for proper growth and maintenance of the human body in general. It is yet another vital mineral that the body gets depleted of if you are on contraceptive pills. Not only is it needed for immune function, wound healing, and blood clotting, it is also important for proper function of the thyroid.
Zinc helps produce key sex hormones in the body, which will help women who have an irregular menstrual cycle or who have lost their cycle: this is a huge sign that something is not going right in the body hormonally and often times, due to a nutrient defficiency.
During pregnancy, zinc is required to help with the development of a healthy baby and is also important for breast-feeding due to healthy lactation. There are many forms of Zinc, however Zinc Picolinate is recommended as it has better absorption. Zinc Picolinate may also help with acne and painful periods.
Omega-3: Anti-Inflammatory & Mood Boosters
Omega-3s are fatty acids which are made up of EPA, DHA and ALA. This is especially important vitamin supplement for women, as fatty acids create hormones. Without these fatty acids, our bodies can’t create hormones such as estrogen, which may lead to an irregular menstrual cycle.
Additionally, Omega-3 can improve cardiovascular health, lower inflammation, develop cell membranes (which plays a vital role in anti-aging) and can even reduce the symptoms of depression and hot flashes in menopause. For new mothers, these essential fatty acids can also help with “mommy brain” and aid in the prevention of postpartum depression. For expecting mothers, Omega-3 can also reduce the risk of preterm labour during pregnancy.
If you suffer from painful periods, supplementing with Omega-3 that contain GLA (Gamma Linolic Acid) may help to reduce period pains. There are many types of Omega supplements out there which all serve a different purpose—speak to a health coach to work out the best one for you.
Collagen Peptides: ‘The Fountain of Youth’
A widely known anti-aging essential, collagen helps to reduce wrinkles, increase skin elasticity, strengthen bones and connective tissue, and increase hydration in the skin. Not so widely known is that collagen is an important building block in the body which can also help with gut health, detoxification and brain health. Craving sugar and chocolate during certain times in your cycle? Collagen may also help to curb those cravings, while also helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite and help with weight management.
Bonus: CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)
We may have said five supplements, but here’s a bonus one we just couldn’t leave out: CoQ10. This supplement is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and plays a vital role in metabolism. It is needed for women coming off contraceptive pills, and is best paired with Vitamin B. CoQ10 can also help to reduce oxidative stress as well as improve fertility. For women who travel a lot, supplementing with CoQ10 will help to reduce free radical damage from radiation.
If you are interested in learning more about what supplements you should be taking for your specific health goals, or purchasing approved supplements from Hybrid, contact them at [email protected]