footer logo

Women’s Health Month: Top 5 Supplements for Women

It’s May! Which means it’s officially Women’s Health Month and we know the question on everyone’s minds.

That is: How can we encapsulate such a complex and complicated topic as women’s health into one short, albeit gloriously warm, month?

It gets even more intricate when we consider the fact that medical science is constantly evolving, as is the abundance of misinformation and marketing schemes that, unfortunately, come with the topic.

How can women live genuinely healthy lives in a world that’s always selling miracle cures and snake oil?

By going back to basics! Read on, fellow lady, they-dy, or fan of females, to learn about the most common nutritional deficiencies women are facing in America today. And how addressing them can unlock a new level of holistic health for all women.

In This Article:

Women’s Health: Why Take a Nutritient-Focused Approach?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of the nutrients missing from our modern diets, we’d be remiss not to mention why this kind of approach is crucial.

While the medical and health science field has expanded rapidly in recent years, it’s not without its faults. Even something as logic-oriented as science is mediated by ideology, and as a result, women’s health remains largely misunderstood.

Take the 2008 discovery on women’s sleep needs that’s only just now hitting the mainstream, for example.

For decades, the general recommendation for adults has been to get around 8 hours of sleep per night for optimal daily functioning. As researchers at Duke University revealed, it turns out that women need closer to 9-10 hours every night to feel their best.

Or the fact that we’ve only just realized that substances — like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and even some medications — affect women differently depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle.

And speaking of menstrual cycles, what about the study that showed women on hormonal birth control have triple the suicide rate of women not on hormonal birth control?

The key takeaway: Many of our deeply ingrained ideas of what is healthy are based on men’s bodies, hormone cycles, and metabolic needs.

So instead of accepting what we hear at face value — be it about preemptive Botox, daily sleep guidelines, or a new diet trend — let’s do our own research. And let’s cut through the chaos by focusing on the things that every human needs to survive, let alone thrive.

Nutrients.

5 Nutrients for Women’s Health

There are five nutrients in particular that we’re all missing, men and women alike. And yes, that includes even the most self-righteous healthy eater you know!

Why? Because nutritional quality and consistency have taken a nosedive in recent years.

Dr. Neal categorized these nutrients into the vital5 to make strategic supplementation simple despite the inundation of false information and clever marketing speak on the internet. Rather than working backward from sales-centered details to find out what’s true about supplements, we work forward from what we know to be true about the current nutritional status of Americans.

Besides the fact these five nutrients are missing from our diets, the vital5 are vital because:

  1. They impact the health and functioning of more than one bodily system.
  2. They have mounds of clinical research to back up their benefits.

It might seem like pretty simple criteria, but of all the thousands of supplements available on the market, Dr. Neal only found five that meet these requirements.

1. Omega-3

Omega-3s are touted for their anti-inflammatory properties and the positive effects on brain, heart, joint, and mental health we see as a result. And… this is one nutrient-turned-supplement that does actually live up to the hype. 

Without enough omega-3 from our diets, we’re risking everything from dry, scaly skin and joint pain to worsened symptoms of depression and increased risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. On the flip side, getting higher doses of omega-3s comes with a whole host of benefits: Reduced risk for depression and cardiovascular disease, improved neurocognitive functioning and symptoms of autoimmune diseases, etc. 

For women, the benefits of omega-3 don’t stop there. Recent studies have shown the fatty acids to be beneficial for menstrual symptoms and menopause, as well as fertility and increased probability of conception. 

Learn More: Omega-3 Supplement Buying Guide: 3 Things to Look For

2. Probiotics

Probiotics have found their way to the top tier of trending supplements in recent years, too. Is this because roughly two-thirds of Americans report having one or more digestive issues? 

Probably! And because contemporary clinical research has revealed the gut microbiome to be crucial in overall health. It should come as no surprise, but the benefits of data-backed probiotic strains (reduced symptoms of IBS and anxiety, positive changes in skin health and neurocognition, etc.) far outweigh the consequences associated with gut imbalance: 

However, it might be surprising to learn that the vaginal microbiome is of critical importance for women’s health as well! Made up of bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic life forms, maintaining a balanced vaginal microbiome is key for reducing the risk of cervical cancer and even regulating the immune system

Learn More: Be Proactive: How Can Probiotics Improve Your Health?

3. Bone Support

When we say bone support, what we’re talking about is three ultra-important compounds that contribute to the health and longevity of your bones. 

Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.

Our bones naturally degrade as we age, but we can slow this process and maintain mobility by avoiding these three nutrient deficiencies that expedite the bone loss process. And there’s more good news: You’ll likely be addressing more than one symptom or potential risk factor by boning up on these bone-support nutrients. 

While everyone should care about their bone health, women should care twice as much. And twice as fast — women lose bone density at a faster rate and at an earlier age than their male counterparts. 

Learn More: Bone-Afide Bone Building Wellness Practices

4. Protein

And then there’s protein. As one of the core macronutrients that make up a healthy diet, the importance of protein isn’t lost on most people. 

Yet, even the 95th percentile of protein eaters aren’t hitting the upper limits of adequate intake. To translate: Most Americans are just barely getting enough protein day-to-day, and many of us aren’t even doing that

The amino acids we get from high-quality protein sources, like collagen peptides, are responsible for breaking down food, growing and repairing body tissue, providing energy, and much more.

Without them, we’re playing dice with things like major depressive disorder, insomnia, cognitive impairment, increased susceptibility to infectious disease, and muscle wasting

On the other hand, consistent protein intake is associated with lean mass and muscular endurance in women, as well as driving down the severity of menstrual pain. Sure, collagen is also linked to improved skin and hair health as well, but what matters most is that women are able to live active, fulfilling lives.

Right? 

Learn More: Choosing the Right Protein Supplement: 5 Questions to Ask

5. Multivitamins

At the other end of the spectrum, we have micronutrients. 

Small but mighty, the vitamins, minerals, and compounds that make up a multivitamin are imperative to overall health. But, despite what you may have heard, multivitamins aren’t magical one-a-day capsules that can replace food-based micronutrients. 

What actually happens when you take a multivitamin is you reduce your risk for diseases of deficiencies. Multivitamins can, indeed, bolster brain, nervous system, and immune wellness by filling the gaps in our diets and preventing deficiencies. But it’s these deficiencies that, when left unchecked, can develop into chronic or long-term diseases. 

Multivitamins are especially integral for women’s health as many have an increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies. Young women in particular have different bodily requirements for micronutrients, like iron and b12, during their childbearing years. 

Learn More: Multivitamins for Brain Health: 3 Things to Know Before Buying

Women’s Health Month is Just Getting Started

It would take years to cover all the intricacies of women’s health — in fact, it has taken years! And the science continues to develop and improve as we learn more about women’s bodies and unique health needs.

So stay tuned, okay? We have more women-centered topics coming up this month, and we’ll be the first to let you know of any truly groundbreaking studies on women’s health.

But if you’re itching for more information and just can’t wait until the next blog comes out, give us a call. Our supplement strategists and holistic health experts are only a phone call away — schedule your Counterside Consult today.

Logo

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the use of cookies on your device in accordance with our Privacy and Cookie policies