In this day and age, we know that a wellness approach should come first, a practice made easier once we discovered the best multivitamin for women. Dr. Jennifer Martin-Biggers, HUM’s vice president of science affairs and education, puts it this way: Multivitamins don’t replace a healthy diet, but rather supply missing nutrients.
The best multivitamins for women
What are multivitamins and why are they so useful?
“Multivitamins are dietary supplements that contain vitamins and minerals in varying amounts and often at levels recommended for general health support and to address dietary deficiencies,” says Martin-Biggers. “The body absorbs vitamins and minerals from multivitamins similar to the way it does from food. Nutrients are broken down in the digestive system and then absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are transported to different parts of the body to perform their functions.
According to Mastaneh Sharafi, vice president of scientific and clinical affairs at Ritual, there are a multitude of factors besides diet that could be creating these nutritional gaps. “Genetic variations, age, and current life stage” are some concerns that may lead someone to consider a multivitamin. “Multivitamins offer many of the vitamins and minerals essential to your health,” says Martin-Biggers. “For example, a multivitamin can help improve energy levels, a properly functioning immune system, improve mood and bone health.”
Who Can Benefit from Multivitamins?
So, should everyone take a multivitamin? Sammi Haber Brondo, MS, RD explains that their uses are highly personalized. “Overall, I’d recommend one for pregnant women (who should be taking a prenatal multivitamin) or anyone who knows from blood tests that they’re deficient in certain nutrients.” Otherwise, he says a multivitamin might be helpful for the following groups of people: “those who live in areas without much sunlight and therefore don’t get much vitamin D; those who follow a vegan diet, which is often deficient in vitamin B12; and those who do not eat a lot of fruit or vegetables, and therefore do not naturally consume many vitamins and minerals”. Dietitian Dr. Megan Rossi notes that due to potential nutrient deficiencies as we age, it may also be beneficial for those over 50 to also take multivitamins. That said, always consult a trusted healthcare professional before selecting an appropriate vitamin or supplement.
What should you look for in a multivitamin?
Below, Sharafi and Martin-Biggers detail the nutrients they would consider in a good multivitamin:
- Vitamin D and calcium: “[These] are two important nutrients to look for in a multivitamin, as they are critical for strong bones, the immune system, and skin health,” says Martin-Biggers.
- Omega-3 DHA: “It’s important for supporting brain, heart and vision health, but up to 95 percent of women 18 and older are not getting the recommended daily value of Omega-3s from their diets,” says Sharafi.
- folate: “Folate supports healthy red blood cells, normal energy metabolism, and neurotransmitters in the brain, which is why it’s important to include it in your multivitamin routine,” says Sharafi. “However, up to 1/3 of the population has a genetic polymorphism that makes it more difficult for them to use folic acid efficiently.”
- Vitamin E: “This important nutrient helps fight free radicals, but many women 18 and older don’t get the recommended daily amount of vitamin E through diet alone,” says Sharafi. “When it comes to this nutrient, it’s important to look for a multivitamin with vitamin E from mixed tocopherols.”
- Zinc: “Zinc is involved in over 300 enzymes and biological activities in the body and plays an important role in the health of our skin,” says Martin-Biggers.
- Vitamin B12: “B12 can often be hard to come by in a plant-based diet,” admits Sharafi. “Vitamin B12 is important in helping support energy metabolism and normal cell division.”
- Iron: “Iron is lost during menstruation, so boosting your iron intake with a multivitamin can be helpful,” notes Martin-Biggers.
- Vitamin K2: “Vitamin K2 may be more difficult to find in typical Western diets than vitamin K1. The MK7 form of vitamin K2 has been shown to be absorbed more efficiently than other forms of vitamin K and may help support bone health and vascular health,” explains Sharafi.
- Magnesium: “Magnesium plays a role in several different processes in the body (from bone health to cell division and more). The caveat is that we need plenty of it to do its job well, and many of us don’t get enough of it through diet alone,” says Sharafi.
Ready to find the right women’s multivitamin for you? Read on to discover the best supplements to consider.
Nature created a multivitamin for her
Where does Brondo turn for multivitamins? It is often Nature Made because”[the capsules] they usually contain amounts of nutrients specific to the population they are made for. The Multivitamin for Her is USP certified and contains 23 key nutrients to provide support for metabolism, bone, muscle and immune system, from folic acid to calcium and iron.
The enriched iron
HUM Base Control Women’s Multivitamin with Iron
“HUM Base Control is our women’s multivitamin with iron that provides 22 vitamins and minerals that can help you meet the recommended daily allowance for most nutrients,” says Martin-Biggers. Vitamin A, vitamin B3, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, copper and zinc are just some of the nutrients contained in each vegan tablet, free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
The delayed release
Essential Ritual for Women Multivitamin 18+
“The patented delayed-release capsule contains high-quality nutrients including omega-3 DHA from microalgae, vitamin D3 from lichens, and methylated folate,” says Sharafi of Ritual’s multivitamin known as an excellent supplement for women 18-50 . “It is USP Verified, Non-GMO Project Verified and, in a peer-reviewed clinical trial, was shown to increase vitamin D and omega-3 DHA levels in 12 weeks.” This is designed to help not only your hair, skin and nails but also red blood cell formation, antioxidant support, bone and brain health.
For women 50+
One A Day Complete Multivitamin for Women 50+
Brondo is a fan of One A Day Women’s Multivitamin, which offers a selection of supplements to support any concerns you may have. Formulated specifically for women over 50, this supplement aims to promote overall health of the eyes, bones, heart, joints, and immune system.
Thorne’s Basic Prenatal
Prenatal supplements help fill nutritional gaps to support a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby. One crucial nutrient is folic acid or folate. “Getting enough folate, a B vitamin, is especially important for women who could become pregnant, as adequate folate can help reduce the risk of having a baby with spina bifida or anencephaly,” says Rossi. Through additional nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, choline, manganese, and more, this appears to provide support from pre-conception through breastfeeding.
Postnatal Multivitamin Anya + Omega-3
How should you deal with post-pregnancy body changes? Enter Anya’s postnatal supplement. The multivitamin is powered by vegan omega-3s, vitamin C, vitamin D3, folic acid and iron to support the unique needs of a new mom.
Olly Women’s Multivitamin Gummy
Not interested in multivitamins in capsule form? This Choice Olly is a tasty gummy vitamin that makes filling dietary gaps that much easier. Not to mention, it’s enriched with a blend of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, biotin, and folic acid to support mental energy, glowing skin, and strong bones.
New Chapter One Daily Every Woman’s Multivitamin 55+
It is often recommended that postmenopausal women avoid iron supplements. Fortunately, there are good iron-free multivitamins that leave out the mineral, like this option from New Chapter. The NSF Certified supplement is packed with superfood vitamins, minerals and botanicals that are gentle enough to take on an empty stomach.
Care/of the Multivitamin Foundation
Housed in convenient day packs shipped right to your door, Care/of’s supplements take the guesswork out of your daily vitamin intake. Containing vitamins D3, K2 and B12, this appears to fill the nutritional gaps often found in a typical American diet.
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