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How to get it: In addition to supplements, folic acid can be found in orange juice, beans, and green vegetables, and in foods such as breads and flour that have been fortified with it.


Beta-carotene is one of the most powers antioxidants around. Antioxidants help protect your body from cell damage and help fight off cancer.

How to get it: Food sources are best ways to get in your beta-carotene, so be sure to include carrots, apricots, papaya, cantaloupe, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and mangoes in your diet. Orange is good!

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps in the formation of red-blood cells.

How to get it: Some of the top food sources for vitamin B6 are sunflower seeds, pistachios, tuna, chicken, dried fruit, bananas, avocados, spinach and bran.


B12 is an essential vitamin with roles throughout the body. It is needed for the development and maintenance of a healthy nervous system, the production of DNA and formation of red blood cells.

How to get it: Chicken breast, eggs, yogurt, milk and fortified cereals. However, it’s important to note that women over 50 should make sure that their multivitamin also contains B12, since as many as 30 percent of older people may lack sufficient stomach acid to absorb adequate amounts of B12 from natural sources.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These acids have been shown to act like natural anti-inflammatory substances in the body. They may also be important in helping to keep your heart healthy. As a woman gets older, her levels of estrogen decline, and that puts her at greater risk for heart disease.

How to get it: Fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, is a great source of omega-3 fats, and pure orange juice is often fortified with omega-3s. In addition, or as an alternative, fish oil capsules are excellent sources as well.

How Much Is Enough?

Did you notice that, while reading about various types of essential vitamins and nutrients, the exact amounts you should be taking weren’t included? This is because there is much speculation that the amounts of nutrients you need depends greatly on your age, your current health conditions, etc. So, in order to figure out much of a certain nutrient you need is to talk to your doctor, since they’re the ones who have a more complete picture of your overall needs.

How To Find A Great Multivitamin

Although most nutritional needs can be met through a healthy, well-balanced diet, many women, especially older women, can benefit from a good multivitamin. But how do you know what a “good multivitamin” is? In addition to checking with your doctor or a pharmacist, When looking for multivitamins check to see that the bottle has a USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or DSVP (Dietary Supplement Verification Program) stamp. These organizations assure that the content claims on the label are true.

Which Vitamins Do Women Really Need?  was originally published on

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