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Essential Vitamins for Women at Every Age - MyHealth


Essential Vitamins for Women at Every Age


Medically Reviewed By
Dr Divya Rohra

Written By Kirti Saxena
on Oct 11, 2023

Last Edit Made By Kirti Saxena
on Mar 15, 2024

Essential Vitamins

Women often juggle many responsibilities, putting their health at risk. However, prioritizing your nutritional needs isn't just about feeling your best today; it's an investment in a healthier future. 

Vitamins not only help us to stay healthy but also keep us strong and full of energy. The need for essential vitamins may vary in men or women because women have more specific vitamin requirements at every age. 

Vitamins are essential micronutrients and help in various body functions, including immune function, metabolism, and cellular repair. Deficiencies of these vitamins can lead to multiple health issues and complications. So whether you're looking to boost your immune system, maintain youthful skin, support your bone health, or stay energized, vitamins will help you. In this article, we'll explore the essential vitamins required for women, how our bodies change as we age, and why these changes make vitamins even more crucial. 

List of Essential Vitamins for Women 

1. Vitamin A

  • It keeps our eyes healthy so we can see well.
  • Vitamin A is like a shield for our skin. It helps to stay soft and protected.
  • It boosts our immune system, like our body's defense team against sickness.

Recommended Daily Intakes:

Women should aim for about 700 to 900 mcg of Vitamin A daily. 

  • For teens and young women, vitamin A helps with skin and eye health, which is important at this age.
  • It's crucial to develop the baby's eyes during pregnancy, so ensure you're getting enough. 
  • As you get older, your body's needs might change, so keep up with regular check-ups to ensure you're getting the right amount. 

Food Sources: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, eggs, and dairy products. 

2. Vitamin B Complex

  • They help your body turn the food you eat into energy. 
  • B vitamins are like helpers for your skin, hair, and nails, keeping them looking good.
  • Some, like B9 (Folate), are important during pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby.

Vitamin B complex consists of:

  • B1 (Thiamine): Helps turn food into energy.
  • B2 (Riboflavin): Keeps your skin and eyes healthy.
  • B3 (Niacin): Helps your body use sugars and fatty acids for energy.
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Helps make red blood cells and convert food into energy.
  • 6 (Pyridoxine): Supports brain development and function.
  • B7 (Biotin): Important for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
  • B9 (Folate): This is vital for pregnant women, as it helps prevent birth defects.
  • B12 (Cobalamin): Helps with brain function and makes red blood cells.

Recommended Daily Intakes:

  • The adults require 2.4 mcg per day. Teens and young adults need B vitamins for growth and energy.
  • During pregnancy, you need 400-600 mcg per day, especially B9 (Folate), to support the baby's development.
  • As you age, your body requires 2.6 mcg as it becomes harder to absorb B12 from food, so that you might need more.

Food Sources:

  • B1 (Thiamine): Whole grains, nuts, and pork.
  • B2 (Riboflavin): Dairy products, green leafy veggies, and eggs.
  • B3 (Niacin): Meat, fish, and nuts.
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Avocado, lentils, and chicken.
  • B6 (Pyridoxine): Bananas, chicken, and potatoes.
  • B7 (Biotin): Eggs, nuts, and sweet potatoes.
  • B9 (Folate): Leafy greens, beans, and fortified cereals.
  • B12 (Cobalamin): Fish, meat, and dairy.

3. Vitamin C

  • Keep your skin looking fresh and youthful.
  • Heal wounds and cuts faster.
  • Protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

Recommended Daily Intakes:

  • Adults need 75 mg of vitamin D per day.
  • Pregnant women require 85 mg per day.
  • Lactating women require 120 mg per day. 

As you get older, your body needs vitamin C. This is because it helps with collagen production, which keeps your skin firm and joints flexible. Also, it helps to protect your cells from damage caused by aging. 

Food sources:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
  • Berries like strawberries and blueberries.
  • Red and green bell peppers.
  • Broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

4. Vitamin D

  • It keeps your bones strong, which is super important as you age.
  • It boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infections.
  • It supports mood and mental health so you feel your best.

Recommended Daily Intake:

  • Adults require 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D daily.
  • People above 60 require a bit more, around 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D daily.
  • You may need extra vitamin D to support your baby's growth during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Food Sources:

  • Fatty fish (like salmon and tuna).
  • Fortified milk and dairy products.
  • Fortified cereals and orange juice.
  • Egg yolks.

5. Iron

  • It helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • Iron keeps your muscles, including your heart, strong and healthy.
  • It's crucial for overall energy and preventing tiredness and fatigue.

Recommended Daily Iron Intake: 

  • Adult women need about 18 milligrams (mg) of iron each day. 
  • If you're pregnant, you might need around 27 mg daily.
  • While breastfeeding, you'll need about 9-10 mg a day.
  • Women with heavy periods might need extra iron to compensate for blood loss.
  • As you age, your body's ability to absorb iron decreases, so you must pay more attention to your diet or supplements.

Food sources:

  • Red meat like beef and lamb.
  • Poultry like chicken and turkey.
  • Fish, especially the dark, oily ones.
  • Beans and lentils – they're like plant-based iron superheroes.
  • Fortified cereals and bread.
  • Spinach and other leafy greens.

6. Calcium

  • Build strong bones and teeth.
  • Keep your bones healthy and prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
  • It also plays a role in muscle function, blood clotting, and nerve signaling.

Recommended Daily Calcium Intake:

  • For most adult women, you should aim for about 1000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day.
  • You might need around 1300 mg if you're a teenager.
  • You'll need extra calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding to support your baby's bone development.

Food Sources:

  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Almond or soy milk, tofu, and leafy greens like kale and broccoli.
  • Canned fish with soft bones, such as salmon and sardines.
  • Nuts, like almonds and sesame seeds
Deficiency of Vitamin Causes

Vitamins Need in Women for Different Conditions

Different conditions and lifestyles can impact a woman's vitamin needs. Here are specific vitamin considerations for women in various situations:

  • Very Active women: Active women often have higher vitamin and nutrient needs due to increased energy expenditure. They require  B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12) to support energy metabolism and muscle function, vitamin C to repair tissues and support the immune system, Vitamin D, iron and calcium, and magnesium to ensure good bone health and muscle function and recovery. 
  • Women with Heavy Periods: Heavy menstrual bleeding can result in iron loss that causes iron deficiency anemia. Women with heavy periods may need extra iron to replenish what's lost.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnancy and breastfeeding increase nutritional demands significantly. They require folate, which is crucial for pregnancy to prevent birth defects; calcium for fetal development and maintaining maternal bone health; vitamin D, iron, and vitamin C for immune support and fetal development.

Role of Supplements

Most of the time, you can get enough vitamins from your balanced diet.  But if you cannot get enough vitamins through your diet, your doctor might suggest supplements. These little helpers in a pill can give you the extra vitamins you need. Just remember, too much of a good thing isn't always better. So, always talk to your doctor before taking vitamin supplements, especially in high doses. Regular check-ups and consultations with your healthcare provider ensure you fulfill your specific requirements, from pregnancy to managing chronic conditions. You can take the Vitamin Profile Comprehensive test from Redcliffe Labs to know your vitamin levels. 

Health Benefits of Vitamins

Vitamins For Living A Healthy Lifestyle

Whatever your age, the need for vitamins is always vital. It fuels your energy, supports your immune system, and maintains the health of your bones, skin, hair, and more. It fuels your energy, supports your immune system, and keeps your bones, skin, hair, and more healthy. From vitamin A for vibrant skin to vitamin D for strong bones, these nutrients are your allies in the journey to a healthier you. Prioritizing your nutritional needs is good for maintaining optimal health and wellness as a woman. A balanced diet of essential vitamins and minerals is your foundation for a vibrant and active lifestyle.

Leave a comment


  • Kiera

    Dec 28, 2023 at 10:07 AM.

    Great read!

    • Myhealth Team

      Dec 28, 2023 at 10:38 AM.

      Thank you Kiera!!

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