From an early age, we’re told to take our vitamins because “they’re good for us,” and the discussion usually stops there. However, here at PGOMG, we believe specific information tailored to your individual needs is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So let’s continue the conversation by discussing which vitamins are a must, and how they help a woman’s body perform at its best.

1. Vitamin B6

Vitamins are not only essential to your physical health—they’re critical for your mental health as well. Vitamin B6, for example, plays an important role in mood regulation by helping create neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which regulate emotions. Consistently low levels of these neurotransmitters are often linked to irritability, mood swings, and depression. In fact, these symptoms are quite common for women experiencing menopause, which causes drops in serotonin levels.

You can increase your vitamin B6 intake by consuming foods such as poultry, bananas, oats, and milk.

2. Vitamin C

Found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, vitamin C is a nutrient that our bodies don’t produce naturally, making it extra important for us to obtain in our diet.

Vitamin C gives us many benefits, including boosting our immune system and reducing our risk for heart disease. However, it also helps us absorb iron more efficiently, which is particularly important for women who experience heavy periods, since blood loss depletes the body’s iron.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D, which we commonly get from sunlight, can also be found in foods such as salmon, red meat, egg yolks, and some fortified foods. This vitamin is vital for optimal bone health; without it, our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is especially important for women since we naturally lose bone density during the aging process. Additionally, there is mounting evidence that low levels of vitamin D can be linked to increased risk of type 1 diabetes as well as cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries, and lymphatic system.

While the vitamins discussed can be obtained through a healthy and balanced diet, most can also be taken as supplements or multivitamins. However, be sure to consult your doctor to see which options are best for you. To learn more about ways you can optimize your health, contact Pacific Gynecology & Obstetrics Medical Group today.