Friday, March 14, 2014

Four Important Nutrients for Every Woman

In a perfect world, a balanced diet, with a wide variety of food products, would give us all of the nutrients we need for healthy bodies and minds. (And yes, it is important to remember that nutrients feed our mind and therefore are necessary for keeping it healthy.) But modern lifestyles, dietary “fashions” and our own changing bodies often mean that we are not getting some of the important nutrients our bodies need to function at their optimum levels.

Of course, it is just as easy to remedy in our modern world, by changing eating habits or using supplements. Here are four important nutrients that many women may be lacking, and how to make sure you get enough of them:

Vitamin B12

This is a powerhouse vitamin and a veritable fuel for our nervous systems. A vitamin B12 deficiency can actually lead to problems not only with thinking, but with walking and moving, since those activities depend on cognitive acumen. B12 is also instrumental in producing red blood cells, and a B12 deficiency can lead to anemia.

The problem arises in modern diets because B12 is found in animal products, and so many health conscious people are now following vegetarian diets. Unless you are a strict vegetarian, you can get your B12 from eggs, fish and dairy products; otherwise, you will have to make sure you take a B12 supplement, especially as you get older and the B12 you do consume is not as easily absorbed into the body.


Potassium regulates the absorption of sodium into the body and so if you consume too little potassium, you have to be very careful of your sodium levels, or increase your intake of potassium, if you want to avoid high blood pressure.

The good news is that potassium is so easy to add to your diet. Bananas, of course, but spinach, avocadoes, salmon and white beans will all give you a healthy dose of this important nutrient. Supplements can be dangerous, since a too high level of potassium is dangerous for anyone with kidney problems or who is taking diuretics (frequently prescribed for women), since you will not be able to excrete any excess. Consult your doctor if these issues apply to you.

Co-enzyme Q10

This substance is absolutely essential for a healthy heart. CoQ10 is part of the ATP chain that powers every one of the body’s cells. But the cells that need it the most are the ones in our high energy organs: the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas. CoQ10 has been used to treat congestive heart failure: a study showed that patients who took a daily dose of CoQ10 within three days of a heart attack were less likely to experience another heart attack.

Heart disease is now the leading cause of death for women, and so this protection is really critical. Furthermore, CoQ10 works as an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants, which are also found in Vitamins C and E, protect the cells from free radicals. Statin drugs, popular today for reducing cholesterol, inhibit our body’s natural production of CoQ10, but we would have to consume an unhealthy amount of red meat, fish and chicken (the natural external sources) to supplement it with diet. Best to turn to supplements, but if you are on any medications, especially blood thinners, you should check with your doctor.


The B family of vitamins should be on everybody’s list of must have nutrients, and choline is an important family member because of its ability to help the body synthesize and release acetylcholine, which helps the body transfer nutrients into the brain cells, and toxins out. The problem is that choline is hard to find in foods.

Eggs are a good source, but so many of us no longer eat eggs today because of the fat and cholesterol. Moreover, women, who may be avoiding eggs the most, start to lose production of choline after menopause. Adding one egg a day to your diet will not boost your cholesterol levels significantly, but will boost your intake of choline.

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 10:52 PM


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