Living Well

The 5 Most Essential Supplements For Women – According To An MD

October 18, 2023

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Supplement adverts are everywhere – from the TV to the bus stop to your social media feed. 

But which vitamins are really necessary for us women, and how can they actually help us?

If you’re confused about the many types of supplements on the market, this week’s article and YouTube video is for you. 

I’m delving into the bewildering world of vitamins to reveal the five most essential supplements for women (of all ages) and why they are so vital for our physical and mental health.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly found in fish oils. They are mostly known for their brain-boosting and heart-helping benefits, along with their potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not just one of the most important supplements for women due to their multiple benefits. They are crucial because, unlike some other vitamins, our bodies cannot produce them on their own. 

This means we can only get omega-3 fatty acids through our diet or supplements. 

Now, if you eat lots of fatty fish, you may be getting a sufficient dose of omega-3. But if you’re not much of a seafood fan or are vegetarian or vegan, you’re likely lacking these highly beneficial fatty acids.

While most omega-3 supplements are derived from fish or krill oil, you can get vegan-friendly versions made from algae. 

  1. Vitamin D

If, like many of us, you live in the Northern Hemisphere, Vitamin D supplements are a MUST. And if you work nights or long hours in a workplace with limited sunlight, they are even more critical.

According to clinical research, 42% of adults in the USA are deficient in Vitamin D. The percentage is even higher in children, where 50% of children between one and five years old and a staggering 70% of children between six and 11 years old have insufficient vitamin D stores!

Why are these numbers so high? 

Well, sunlight is the primary natural source of Vitamin D, as there are very few sufficient food sources. So, unless you live in a country blessed with all-year-round sunshine, there is a high chance you have a deficiency. 

This “sunshine supplement” supports our health in many important ways, including:

  • It helps to maintain strong and healthy bones – Vitamin D supports calcium absorption in the gut and helps regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. This boosts bone mineralization and growth and reduces the risk of fractures.
  • It supports our immune systemScientific research has found that the cells in our immune system synthesize and respond to vitamin D, which helps regulate our immune response and prevent infection.
  • It boosts our mood – Low vitamin D levels have been associated with mental health conditions like depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Increasing your Vitamin D consumption may help to lift your mood and boost your energy.
  • Improves cardiovascular health – Vitamin D has also been shown to support blood pressure regulation and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  1. Collagen Peptides

Collagen is widely known for its skin benefits, particularly its ability to reduce and prevent signs of aging.

Collagen’s benefits are backed by science, as studies have shown it improves skin hydration and elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Researchers have also found we can enjoy these benefits by taking collagen as supplements.

As you may already know, we naturally lose the firmness and elasticity of our skin as we age, which largely contributes to the development of fine lines and sagging. Therefore, as collagen can counteract this natural process, this supplement is a must for women of all ages.

Yes, even if you’re in your 20s, starting collagen supplements now can help to prevent and postpone the decline of collagen production. 

Note that collagen supplements often come from various sources, most of which are animal-based, including bovine (cow), marine (fish), or porcine (pig). However, you can get plant-based collagen supplements derived from algae. 

  1. Iron

Iron is another essential supplement for women, especially those of childbearing age. This is because we lose a significant amount of blood during our menstrual cycle. The heavier your periods tend to be, the more susceptible to iron deficiency you are. 

Another cause of iron deficiency is a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is because the primary food source of iron is red meat. 

You can also find it in some beans and nuts as well as fortified breakfast cereals, but these sources (known as non-heme iron) are less easily absorbed than heme iron found in red meat.

Common symptoms of low iron levels include fatigue, low mood, or hair falling out. If you’ve been experiencing any of these, it is well worth checking your iron levels. 

The primary function of iron is to carry oxygen in the blood. Taking iron supplements boosts the production of red blood cells, which supports general blood health, prevents disorders like anemia, and improves immunity.

  1. Probiotics

Lastly, most of us do not have enough probiotics, commonly known as “good” or “friendly” bacteria.

Probiotics are crucial in maintaining a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. When we do not have enough, we may experience digestive distress or an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, leading to infections.

Many things can cause a lack of probiotics, including overuse of antibiotics, chronic stress, and sleep deprivation. 

It is particularly beneficial to take probiotics after any of these things or if you suffer from digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

However, I recommend taking them daily regardless, as probiotics benefit more than just our guts:

  • Supports a healthy immune response and gives protection against infections
  • Helps to improve mood and support mental well-being
  • Promotes healthy, glowing skin while preventing ailments like eczema, atopic dermatitis, and acne.

So now you know the five most essential supplements for women, you’re probably wondering how to ensure you buy the highest quality products on the market.

Watch the full episode on YouTube to learn which forms of these five supplements are best and how much you should take each day. 

If you prefer an audio-only version, here’s where you can listen to the podcast episode:

I hope this helps to clear any confusion or overwhelm you’ve had about supplements. 

I’d love to know, are you currently taking any of these vitamins? Or is there another supplement you find beneficial that I didn’t mention?
Let me know in the comments, or find me on Instagram and send me a DM!

Resources Mentioned:

Download my FREE Supplements Cheatsheet here: https://drkimfoster.com/supplementscheatsheet

Apply for the Wellness Coach Academy today: https://wellnesscoachacademy.com

More Helpful Resources:


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