It’s generally recommended that any adult take a multivitamin. While it’s not an adequate replacement for diet or exercise, a good multivitamin can be used to “top off” your nutrition and provide you with vitamins and minerals that might be missing from your normal diet.
That said, men and women are physiologically different. There’s a reason why there are distinctly different men’s and women’s multivitamins, and it could be argued that women can actually benefit more from the inclusion of multivitamins in their daily routine.
And while all women can benefit from multivitamins, women of different ages, races, and lifestyles have distinctly different needs.
Multivitamins at Different Ages
A standard multivitamin will generally be okay for the average woman under the age of 40, but as you start to get older, you may want to pay particular attention to a few minerals and vitamins.
As women begin to approach menopause in their 40s and 50s, iron deficiencies become a common risk factor. Considering that iron plays a role in both your energy production and your immune system’s continued success, keeping an eye on your iron intake should start to become a serious consideration.
Once women begin to approach 60, vitamin B deficiencies can also become an issue. Older women begin to have issues absorbing both vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12, so you may want to look at whole food vitamins. They come with trace minerals that allow your body to more properly digest nutrients and minerals.
Multivitamins For Unique Circumstances
There are generally two unique circumstances where women should pay especially close attention to their vitamin intake: pregnancy and stronger periods. Iron deficiencies are common in women, but they’re an even greater risk if you tend to have more aggressive menstrual cycles. Monitoring your health and making adjustments to your multivitamins during these periods can be crucial.
Vitamin intake and proper nutrition are even more important while pregnant or while trying to get pregnant. There are two considerations to take into account if you’re pregnant or ready to give birth. A healthy amount of iodine intake will help bolster the neurological growth of a baby, while folic acid is a critical component in reducing the risk of birth defects.
Finally, your racial makeup can actually have an impact on your body’s natural chemistry as well. Black American women and Mexican-American women have been surveyed as having a particularly low iron intake. If that’s the case for you, you should always keep one eye on how much iron you’re consuming.
Multivitamins For Specific Diets
A vegan or vegetarian diet can be perfectly healthy, but finding the right balance of nutrients can sometimes be a tricky struggle. Common necessities like vitamin B-12 are primarily found naturally in meat proteins. Calcium, iron, and zinc also have a tendency to be lacking or even absent in the diets of many vegetarians and vegans.
Finding a more balanced diet is obviously the best way to bolster your vegan or vegetarian diet, but that doesn’t mean that a multivitamin can’t fill in the gaps and prevent a lot of stress when you’re trying to figure out what meals to prep for the week.
It’s important to remember that multivitamins are a valuable asset for women of any age, but that the human body changes over time and other outside factors can also help determine what your body needs.
Consult with your doctor, get the proper bloodwork to evaluate your body chemistry, and look at ways you can improve your lifestyle. While you should always try and make sure that your nutrients come from your meals as much as possible, there’s no shame in getting a little help from a multivitamin for women.