Question: What are the best vitamin/mineral supplements for a woman to take?
Answer: According to Michael Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, who contributes to www.village.com, the top five combo of vitamins and supplements includes:
Probiotics: These are great for gastrointestinal health and are associated with a decreased infection and inflammation rate.
Vitamin D3: Essentially, D is calciumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best friend because without it, calcium has a really tough time being absorbed into your bones. Even better, making sure you have optimal levels of D is associated with decreased risk of memory loss, heart and vascular disease, and cancer rates. (Pop your D with a healthy fat, such as a DHA supplement, or with a meal that includes olive oil or avocado, for instance. D is absorbed only in the presence of fat.)
Calcium/Magnesium: Calcium is also associated with a decreased risk of death from bone fractures. But taking calcium alone can cause much constipation and bloating, so thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I always recommend taking magnesium along with it.
In addition to a whole range of benefits, including maintaining muscle and nerve function and supporting the immune system, this mineral also helps keep things moving along in your intestines at a nice, steady pace.
DHA: This omega-3 superstar is linked with decreased risk of heart attacks and strokes. DHA also supports memory and vision. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re pregnant, DHA is critical for your babyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s brain and eye development; thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also some evidence that this omega-3 may protect against postpartum depression.
Pregnant women and older folk will want to make sure to get at least 900 mg from a combination of food sources and supplements.
Multivitamin: NobodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s diet is perfect, so think of a daily multi Ã¢â‚¬â€ one that you divide in two; take half the pill in the a.m. and the other half in the p.m. Ã¢â‚¬â€ as an insurance policy for that imperfect diet.
A multi includes vitamins and minerals essential for wellness, such as pantothenic acid , B6, B12 and niacin, which you might not get in your daily food in adequate amounts and which help to support cardiovascular, eye and nerve health. Most women who are still menstruating or are pregnant will want added iron as well.