5 Key Nutrients Every Woman Must Take

 

Here are 5 key nutrients that may help protect women from heart disease, as well as lower the risk of other chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer and high blood pressure.

1. FOLATE

Folate is a member of the B vitamin family and is found naturally in foods, especially green vegetables. Folate is involved with DNA synthesis and DNA methylation, which essentially turns genes on and off. Because of these crucial functions, folate plays important roles in fetal development and nerve tissue health as well as cancer initiation and progression.multivitamins

No we are not talking about Folic acid.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is added to food or used as an ingredient in vitamin supplements. Folic acid is added to most enriched, refined grain products like bread, rice and pasta in the U.S. and Canada in an attempt to replace the nutrients lost during the processing of the whole grain. Since folic acid is added to so many refined grain products, it is very easy for a typical diet combined with a multivitamin to end up with high levels of folic acid, the synthetic form. Too much folate obtained naturally from food is not a concern. It comes naturally packaged in balance with other micronutrients and the body regulates its absorption. Folic acid is not found in natural foods.

Women who take supplemental folic acid increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30%, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers collected data on women’s folic acid intake from multivitamins over a 10-year period – they found that the women who took multivitamins containing folic acid were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those that did not.

Folate is abundant in all green vegetables. We do not need synthetic folic acid supplements to meet our daily folate requirements.

Here are a few examples of folate-rich foods (as a reference point, the U.S. RDA for folate is 400µg)

  1.  Edamame (1 cup cooked) – 482 µg
  2. Broccoli (2 cups cooked) – 337 µg
  3. Asparagus (1 cup cooked) – 268 µg
  4. Romaine lettuce (3 cups raw) – 192 µg
  5. Brussels sprouts (2 cups cooked) – 187 µg
  6. Spinach (3 cups raw) – 175 µg

 

Orange Creamsicle Blended Salad

blood orange vinger

 

Serves: 2

Folate per serving: 314 mcg

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s Blood Orange Vinegar
  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 6 ounces romaine lettuce
  • 6 ounces spinach
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 whole raw cashews
  • 4-5 ice cubes
Instructions

Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Note: In addition to the increased risk of later life breast cancer in women, folic acid supplementation during pregnancy is associated with respiratory tract infections, asthma, and cardiac birth defects in children. 35-38. Folic acid is not folate and does not deliver the cornucopia of nutrients that folate-rich foods do. All women must be aware that they may be endangering their health or the health of their unborn children if they choose to use conventional, prenatal multivitamins containing synthetic folic acid rather than eating a healthful diet rich in natural folate.

 

2. VITAMIN D

It is estimated that over 25 million adults in the United States have, or are at risk of developing, osteoporosis. Adequate storage levels of vitamin D help keep bones strong and help prevent osteoporosis in older adults. Vitamin D deficiency results in diminished calcium absorption, and has been linked to a higher incidence of osteoporosis-related bone fractures seen in post-menopausal women and older Americans.

 It is extremely important for individuals with limited sun exposure to ingest supplemental vitamin D.

Vitamin D is more effective than calcium for protecting and building bone.  Most people do not have adequate levels of vitamin D. Often a multi-vitamin containing the RDA for D is simply not sufficient to bring blood levels up to the ideal range, especially as we age.

Vitamin D regulates several genes and cellular processes related to cancer progression.  Some of the most groundbreaking findings in nutrition science in recent years have been evidence of the powerful protection provided by vitamin D against common cancers:

  • Breast cancer: About 75% of women with breast cancer are vitamin D deficient.4 A 2009 meta-analysis of 19 studies established a strong inverse relationship between circulating vitamin D levels and breast cancer – women in the highest vitamin D range reduced their risk of breast cancer by 45%.
  • Colorectal cancer: A 2009 review of 25 studies found that sufficient vitamin D levels were consistently associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer.6 Even after diagnosis with colorectal cancer, higher vitamin D levels are associated with reduced mortality.
  • Cancers of the prostate, pancreas, lung, and endometrium are also associated with vitamin D insufficiency.
3. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for important biological functions like red blood cell production, nervous system function, and DNA synthesis. Deficiency in B12 can cause a variety of problems including anemia, depression, confusion, fatigue, digestive issues, and nerve damage. Researchers looked at nearly 73,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the nine-year Women’s Health Initiative study. Among the women in the study, 5.5 percent were anemic. The researchers found that women with anemia tend to consume less protein, folate (also called vitamin B9), iron, vitamin C and vitamin B12.

Low levels of vitamin B12 tend to occur in women as they age. Older adults may not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin .Women who don’t get enough of B12 can experience fatigue, weight loss, poor memory, dementia and depression.

A health-promoting diet is the most effective way to maintain excellent health and protect against chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. But in order to enjoy the strongest protection possible, it is just as important to prevent deficiencies of certain nutrients that may be sub-optimal in an overall health-promoting diet, such as vitamin B12, zinc, DHA, iodine, and vitamin D, by taking the necessary supplements.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA and EPA)

DHA is important for pregnant and nursing women. DHA is one of the crucial building blocks of human brain tissue. Omega-3 fatty acids are structural components of cell membranes — DHA specifically accumulates in the cell membranes of the retina, brain, and nervous system. Adequate levels of DHA throughout life are important for vision and learning.

Health benefits associated with long chain omega-3 fatty acids:

  • DHA is a structural component of the brain at all ages*
  • DHA is crucial for fetal and childhood neurological and visual development*
  • EPA and DHA may promote healthy cognitive function, memory, and mood*
  • EPA and DHA may help to maintain proper regulation of the inflammatory response*
  • EPA and DHA may help to maintain normal lipid levels and cardiovascular health*
  • Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
5. CALCIUM

Osteoporosis is clearly a major problem in our modern world.  For example, a woman’s chance of having an osteoporosis-related fracture today is 10 times greater than being diagnosed with breast cancer and 5 times more likely than having a heart attack.  If you plan on living to at least 85, your chance of having a hip fracture is about 30 percent. So if you are a woman and not already thinking about protecting your bones, you need to start now!

The Best Food for Bones: Fruits and Vegetables

Millions of women have been falsely led to believe that there is a correlation between osteoporosis and the inadequate intake of dairy foods.  Bone health is much more than just calcium. Vegetables, beans, fruits, and nuts are rich sources of calcium, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, and vegetable protein, as well as the phytochemicals and micronutrients that are gaining recognition to be important for bone strength. Calcium is an important component, but like protein, we don’t need as much of it as most people think. The current U.S. daily calcium recommendation of 1200 to 1500 milligrams for postmenopausal women is an attempt to offset the ill-effects of the Standard American Diet which creates excessive calcium loss in the urine because most people consume so much sodium, caffeine and animal protein.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need dairy products to get sufficient calcium. Every natural food contains calcium. When you eat a healthy diet, rich in natural foods such as vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, it is impossible not to obtain sufficient calcium. In fact, the addition of more natural plant foods to the diet has been shown to have a powerful effect on increasing bone density and bone health.  Fruits and vegetables strengthen bones.  Researchers found that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables have denser bones. These researchers concluded that fruits and vegetables are not only rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients essential for bone health, but, because they are alkaline, not acid-producing, they do not induce urinary calcium loss. Green vegetables, in particular have a powerful effect on reducing hip fractures, for they are not only rich in calcium, but other nutrients as well, such a vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health.

 

Our Recommendation for You

Women

combo of dr

Post-Menopausal or Perimenopausal

General Recommendations:

Women’s Daily Formula +D3 (vegan): 2 capsules daily

DHA+EPA Purity: 0.75 ml daily

Immunotect™: 2 capsules daily

 

Premenopausal*

General Recommendations:

Women’s Daily Formula +D3 (vegan): 1 capsule daily

Gentle Prenatal: 1 capsule daily

DHA+EPA Purity: 0.75 ml daily

Immunotect™: 2 capsules daily

 

Pregnant, Planning to be Pregnant or Breastfeeding

General Recommendations:

Gentle Prenatal: 2 capsules daily

DHA+EPA Purity: 0.75 ml daily

Immunotect™: 2 capsules daily

Need Children’s Multivitamin and Mineral That’s Safe:

Children don’t always eat well-balanced meals, but Dr. Fuhrman’s Pixie Vites provide insurance that they get the vital nutrients they need plus extra phytochemical and antioxidant protection. Dr. Fuhrman’s Pixie Vites are a great-tasting, high quality, whole food-based, complete children’s multivitamin and mineral supplement. Pixie Vites have a kid-friendly wild berry taste with no added sugar, artificial sweeteners or colors, or preservatives. In addition to essential vitamins and minerals, a blend of 30 fruit and vegetable extracts provide great taste and natural phytochemicals.

pixie

 

 

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