Busy lives can make it challenging for many women to maintain a balanced diet—so look to various supplements to help support a healthy lifestyle. Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? Many women’s supplements include folic acid and other important, heart-healthy nutrients. At different ages and life stages women have particular health and nutritional needs. To make sure you’re getting what you need, talk with your doctor.
Prenatal, Adult, & Senior Multivitamins
What they are: Prenatal vitamins and multivitamins are specially formulated for women, packed with nutrients such as vitamin E, calcium, folic acid, and iron. Based on where you are in life, look for multivitamins with targeted nutrient combinations for teens, pregnant women, and seniors.
Why to buy: A simple way to supplement your diet, women’s multivitamins contain a cross-section of the most important nutrients you need each day, generally in one or two easy-to-take doses. Most women’s formulas include calcium and vitamin D, both vital for bone health, as well as vitamin B6 and folic acid for heart health. During pregnancy and breast-feeding, many doctors recommend taking a prenatal vitamin with supportive nutrients for both mom and baby.
Things to consider: Talk with your doctor before adding supplements to your self-care routine, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medications. Vitamins should be taken with food and water to avoid stomach upset and help your body best absorb the nutrients. Be sure to read product labels so you know exactly what you’re taking and how best to use it. Vegetarians should note that capsules are often made from animal gelatin, so look for vegetarian capsules or consider hard tablets as a better option.
What they are: Over-the-counter menopause formulas include various combinations of vitamins and herbs shown to be helpful for managing menopause symptoms. Tablets, capsules, and even chewable formulas are available.
Why to buy: As women’s bodies change, their nutritional requirements do too. Explore phytoestrogens found in soy and flaxseed, soy and red clover isoflavones, evening primrose oil, black cohosh, and other nutrients shown to be helpful for reducing menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
Things to consider: If menopause symptoms are keeping you awake, look for nighttime formulas that include melatonin, valerian, and other naturally calming ingredients.
Creams & Lotions
What they are: Creams and lotions offer women nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like Aloe vera and lanolin—often enhanced with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, lycopene, and green tea.
Why to buy: Keep your skin hydrated and healthy with a variety of moisture-rich lotions and creams. Experts believe certain nutrients and antioxidants may help slow the effects of aging on your body. Most anti-aging products claim to support healthy tissue growth and help fight off free radicals.
Things to consider: Keep in mind that vitamins are better absorbed through the digestive system rather than the skin and there is little evidence to support the benefits of directly applying vitamins to the skin. Most anti-aging claims are not backed by much science. If you have sensitive skin, try hypo-allergenic and unscented creams and lotions.