Updated: Oct 19, 2021
The human body requires specific vitamins and minerals to function optimally. According to Dr. Joel Wallach, a famous Naturopath, and pathologist, everybody needs 90 essential nutrients to include 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids, and 3 essential fatty acids. According to Dr. Wallach, a well-balanced diet cannot reduce or even eliminate the need for the supplementation because the soil food is grown in can be void of many nutrients. It makes sense that if the soil is void of nutrients, the food is grown in the ground will not have the proper nutrients that it should. However, supplements can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet leading to optimal health.
Not Like A Man
The needs of women are similar to, but not precisely, the same as those of men. Women must understand the RDA (recommended daily allowance) and follow it to the best of their ability. One key to consider is that everyone’s need for supplementation is different. This no one-size-fits-all plan. Supplementation is impacted by many variables, including weight, activity, illness, etc. However, essential nutrients are a must for women to regain and maintain a healthy existence.
Consider these supplements to optimize your health:
1. Vitamin D. Many women are deficient in this vital vitamin. Your skin is indeed able to produce vitamin D in the presence of sunlight, but that might not be sufficient if you don’t spend enough time outdoors regularly.
● Vitamin D has many functions, but its roles in calcium absorption and boosting your immune system are among the most important. ● The current RDA for women under 70 is 600 IU per day. That number increases to 800 IU per day for those over 70, lactating, and consistently active women, which causes more utilization of nutrients that need to be replenished.
2. A multivitamin. Ideally, all the human body's vitamin needs would be met by the diet if the foods consumed were not filled with pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics, blocking the assimilation of nutrients. However, it’s not always easy to eat a balanced diet that addresses every vitamin and mineral. Soil is not as mineral-rich as it used to be. The healthy, nutritious food our grandparents ate is a thing of the past, thanks to overfarming, global warming, and the need for synthetic fertilizers. Thus, creating a need for supplementation.
A simple multivitamin cannot help to ensure that all of your daily requirements are met. Because of the many variations of nutritional deficiencies, few know what theory personal dietary needs are. For this reason, a simple hair test can offer valuable insight into what your body needs and what it may already be getting too much of that are causing a health problem. Too many vitamins & minerals are as devastating as not enough! 3. Calcium. Calcium is a primary component of bones. Osteoporosis is a real threat to all women as they age. But it is not written in stone that age is synonymous with declining bone health.
● Women under 50 years of age require 1,000 mg per day.
● Those over 50 need 1,200 mg per day.
4. Fiber. Fiber aids in gut motility and may help to lower cholesterol. Certain types of fiber also serve as food for gut bacteria. A healthy diet provides plenty of fiber, but if you’re not eating a healthy diet with ample fiber-rich food, a supplement can help. A natural form of fiber can be found in celery, Psyllium powder, apples, and watermelon.
5. Fish Oil. While you can live without most dietary fats, it is necessary to consume essential fatty acids. These are most easily consumed in fatty fish or fish oil supplements. If using fish as your primary source, please be mindful of getting wild-caught fish and not farm-raised. To be completely sure, either way, consider the hair test. The report offers specific dietary recommendations based on your body. Sometimes salmon, the most popular fatty fish, can be a contraindication for some. If you don't know that salmon is not good for you, you could create or make a hidden problem worse. ● There is no set recommendation for essential fatty acid intake. It doesn’t take much. As little as a gram, a day could be sufficient. Follow the label instructions.
6. Probiotics. Many health issues are believed to start in the gut. A healthy gut dramatically increases the odds of having a healthy mind and body. Probiotics, as found in yogurt, need to be fed prebiotics to maintain their survival. Imagine, we need to feed the good bacteria prebiotics to grow to outnumber the bad bacteria that can cause illness. A wonderful prebiotic is chickory root if you're looking for a coffee substitute!
● Again, follow the label instructions.
7. Vitamin B-12. This vitamin does many things in the body, including the building of DNA and red blood cells. If you eat a lot of meat, you probably don’t need a vitamin B-12 supplement. However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, supplementation will likely be necessary. B-12 is notorious for ramping up the energy. However, lack of energy may not always be fixed by a quick B-12 shot. Lack of energy can be attributed to a sodium/potassium imbalance or adrenal fatigue. Either of which can be easily found in the results of a Hair Tissue Analysis
● The Mayo Clinic recommends that all adults consume 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 per day.
8. Iron. Menstruating women lose blood, which contains iron. One of the primary roles of iron is oxygen transport in the blood. Low iron can lead to anemia. However, anemia is not only about iron but also copper. Too much copper in the tissues can have a profound impact on the level of iron. In this instance, the problem is not iron deficiency as much as it is about excess copper. Many don’t realize that minerals have a dancing partner. When one element is off, the other “partner” can be the culprit to your new symptom. When there is too much iron in the system that is not being used by the body, the excess can create hypertension.
The question for the person struggling with hypertension becomes; “Is supplementation the root of my hypertension or a malfunction of my heart?” Again, a simple hair test can help you sort out the answer, which could become the solution to getting rid of hypertension for good. That is the magic of Naturopathy. Its aim is always to get to the root of the problem to eliminate it.
● Premenopausal women are advised to consume 18 mg/day.
● Postmenopausal: 8 mg/day
9. Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is part of the sleep process. If you sleep well, melatonin supplementation is unnecessary. On the other hand, if you have difficulties sleeping, a melatonin supplement might help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Yet, relying on melatonin misses other causes of insomnia that can be addressed by proper utilization of other nutrients. Excess calcium in the tissues caused by eating too many carbohydrates can cause Type I insomnia-can’t fall asleep. Type two insomnia-not being able to stay asleep is a cry for magnesium. Instead of random supplementation, it makes sense to invest in a hair test to know for sure.
● Try 1-2 mg to start, 30 minutes before bed.
10. Folate. Folate is necessary for pregnant women to prevent a certain type of congenital disability. Folate has several other roles in the body, too.
● For women without risk of becoming pregnant: 400 mcg/day.
● Women with a risk of pregnancy: 800 mcg/day.
I would not advocate for you to go out and purchase these items. Of course, the best place to start is a talk with a practitioner that is well versed in nutrition, which may not be your PCP. However, you can get a wealth of knowledge from a Naturopath or Nutritionist. Feel free to contact me, Dr. Stephanie, your friendly Naturopath (Wellness Coach).
It’s also important to realize that it’s easy to get too much of a good thing. Taking too much of any supplement can be much worse than not taking it at all. Follow the directions on the label, or better yet, get a hair test. The results give insight into the right diet for your “biochemistry” and the proper supplementation based on your personal needs.
One question my clients ask all the time is, “How do I know what is the best diet for me?” The quick answer is, you won’t know unless you pay attention to how you feel. If you eat something and it makes you feel good and provides adequate energy, then your body benefited from what you ate-keep it. But, if you eat something and you become tired and experience any gastrointestinal disturbance, chances are your body couldn’t use what you ate-get rid of it!
Remember that many symptoms you may take for granted and explain away as nothing serious could be signs of nutritional deficiencies. Embarking on a supplementation plan without the support of a professional can be a disaster. Connect with a professional to get the correct information for your body and your unique nutritional variations. Remember, every woman is different. You are different!
Please feel free to comment. I love to hear your thoughts or question about this subject! Until next time... Be well!