For women, life is a balancing act. Juggling relationships and family responsibilities on top of work expectations (don’t forget a social life!) can make us forget to take care of what’s most important: our bodies. Luckily, women’s vitamins are there to help fill in the gaps.
Unless you keep an ongoing list of everything you eat, you may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet. There are also special moments in a woman’s life when a supplement comes in handy.
Hormonal changes from periods, pregnancy, and menopause are tough on women’s minds and bodies. Multivitamins contain crucial nutrients to support female health.
8 best multivitamins for women
This list covers ingredients featured in many of the best multivitamins for women:
Skin + Hair Health
Some days, tired-looking skin and hair loss make it hard to look in the mirror. Nutrient deficiencies contribute to brittle, dry hair, as well as flaky, irritated skin. Some of the best supplements for women include biotin (plus other B-vitamins), zinc, and iron for skin and hair health.
Getting enough antioxidants is also important, especially vitamins C and E. The sun can wreak havoc on our skin and hair, but these vitamins reduce the harmful effects of photodamage, which causes wrinkles and dryness.
Look for women’s vitamins that include a well-rounded mix of vitamins and biotin. An additional perk: these ingredients strengthen your nails.
Germs are everywhere, but hand sanitizer and soap only do so much. We can build up our immune systems with multivitamins, though, to defend ourselves from infection.
When you feel a cold come on, you’ve probably heard about vitamin C. This is by far one of the most popular vitamins for immune health, but not the only one to look for. Vitamins A (sweet potatoes), D (salmon), and E (nuts) may keep you from falling ill or at the very least, shorten the number of days you’re stuck in bed.
Other minerals like zinc (meat), iron (broccoli), and selenium (fish) play a role in immune response, so go for supplements with these elements.
Ladies, poop doesn’t need to be an embarrassing conversation. There are good and bad types of bacteria. Multivitamins with probiotics are the good kind since they support gut health.
If you’re constipated or susceptible to gas, probiotics may regulate digestion. They’re also known to prevent UTIs, another reason to take a woman’s multivitamin.
A healthy V is a happy woman. If you have ovaries, then you’re familiar with estrogen, the hormone involved in (but not limited to) menstruation, fertility, breastfeeding, vaginal lubrication, and mood swings.
Iron (meat and spinach), folic acid (kale), and vitamin E (peanut butter) support ovarian health, which is important for pregnancy and women with ovarian disorders. Vitamin E is also good for menopause because it’s an antioxidant, which may help with depression and hot flashes.
There are tons of energy-boosting supplements on the market, but as a general rule, go for products that include iron, B-vitamins, and magnesium. All three are involved in energy production, but iron, in particular, transports oxygen to the mitochondria. In other words, iron is like a cheerleader that supports cells and energy production.
No woman is immune to mood swings, especially around her period. Supplementing with calcium has been shown to help with PMS symptoms.
Women managing depression and anxiety may also benefit from supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish). One study examined the effect of omega-3 supplements in women with postpartum depression. Compared to the placebo group, those who took omega-3 had an easier time coping with their depression.
As always, remember to get enough sunlight and supplement with vitamin D during colder months to stay ahead of the winter blues.
Instead of a regular multivitamin, most OBGYNs recommend pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin. Key ingredients such as iron and folic acid help prevent birth defects in growing babies.
Prenatal vitamins usually contain other essential nutrients such as zinc, vitamins B, C, E, iodine, and calcium—all crucial for new mommies and unborn babies.
Researchers aren’t exactly on the same page when it comes to taking vitamins for sleep. Some evidence suggests that multivitamins (especially B-12) cause sleep problems, but this is still under debate in the scientific community.
Feel free to supplement with melatonin if you’re looking for a natural solution. Hemp has known sleep-inducing properties to help you relax at night. As busy as women get, getting enough zzzs cannot be overstated enough.
To sum it up
Multivitamins deserve a place in a woman’s medicine cabinet. Considering all of the unique changes a woman’s body goes through, vitamins promote balance when your mind is on overdrive.
As a general rule, women’s vitamins work best alongside a balanced diet, not on their own. Keep your doctor in the loop and remember to make time for your health needs (even when things get busy).
What are the best multivitamins for women in their 20s?
Not being mindful of your diet in your 20s is one reason to take a multivitamin. Look for supplements with vitamin D and B to help your mood and immune health.
What are the best multivitamins for women over 40?
Vitamins B and D, along with calcium and magnesium (for bone health), may help women going through menopause. Vitamin E, in particular, is said to reduce hot flashes, according to women.
What are the best multivitamins for women over 50?
Multivitamins don’t have an age requirement, but for women over 50, lower estrogen and bone density can be particular challenges. B-vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D may help ladies in this age bracket overcome depression (post-menopause) while supporting bone and immune health.