Women's Health: What Vitamins Should Women Take Daily?

Dec 30, 2021 Women's Health 5 MIN

What Vitamins Should Women Take Daily

Women have special nutritional needs at various stages of life. Starting early in the reproductive years, there are certain nutrients that are key to overall health. Pregnancy and breastfeeding bring so much joy, but also come with their own nutritional demands. As women enter their mature years, they endure physical and physiological changes in their body.

So, what vitamins should a woman take on a daily basis? For starters, a daily multivitamin like our multivitamins for women, is important to consider as the foundation to a supplement regimen to help fill in dietary nutrient gaps.

Learn More: What Do Multivitamins Do?

Nutrients Young Women Need to Support Reproductive Health

Many women fall short with these important nutrients that help support overall health. Iron is necessary to transport oxygen to red blood cells. It is important to maintain healthy iron status during this time when menstruation is present. 

In fact, low iron status, which can progress and become  iron deficiency, is prevalent among specific populations in the U.S., including adolescent girls and women of child-bearing age. One in six women is iron deficient during pregnancy.[1] 

As a woman’s peak bone mass is occurring into the early to mid-twenties, adequate vitamin D and calcium intake is vital to support bone health.†[2]

Learn More: Is Vitamin C Safe During Pregnancy?

Nutrients Women Need During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are special times during a woman’s life and require special nutritional care.[1] Be sure to look for certain amounts of key nutrients in foods and prenatal vitamins to support the unique nutritional needs before and during pregnancy.†

Iron needs increase for pregnant women and is necessary to deliver oxygen to blood cells, tissues, organs and support the growth of the developing baby. 

Folic acid is critical during the early stages of pregnancy, even before most women even know they are pregnant. A healthy and balanced diet, along with adequate folic acid, are essential before and during pregnancy to reduce a woman’s risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect. At least 400 mcg of Folic Acid is recommended before pregnancy. This amount increases to 600 mcg during pregnancy which can be found in a prenatal supplement.

Learn More: Folic Acid vs Folate: What’s the Difference?

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that may help support fetal brain and eye development. 

Vitamin D is also an essential nutrient for overall health, which includes during pregnancy.† [3-6]

Learn More: What is Vitamin D Deficiency?

After delivery of your baby, postnatal supplements can help to fill in nutrient gaps and support the nutrition needs of nursing moms. Continue your prenatal supplement regimen or consider a postnatal dietary supplement to help meet the increased nutritional demands while nursing your baby. †

Learn More: Is It Safe To Take Melatonin While Pregnant?

Vitamins and Supplements Middle-Aged Women Need

As women approach midlife, a main focus should be on heart health. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease remains a risk for women.[7] In addition to regular exercise, it is important to consume a heart healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat and low in cholesterol. Show love for your heart by including these nutrients in your diet and supplement regimen:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Plant sterols and stanols

EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish and fish oil supplements. Wondering why you should take fish oil? Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Learn More: How Does Fish Oil Help Heart Health?

Products containing at least 400 mg per serving of plant sterols and stanols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily intake of at least 800 mg as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. One Nature Made® CholestOff® serving supplies 900 mg of plant sterols and stanols for a daily intake of 1800 mg.

Learn More: The Best Supplements for Heart Health That Nature Made  Offers

Vitamins Women Over 50 Need

As we age, a multitude of changes occur in our body. Changes in our gastrointestinal system may affect the absorption of some nutrients. For example, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods declines with age. 

Physical and sensory changes that occur with age may affect our ability to chew and swallow food, as well as our taste for healthy food options. It remains important to support bone health in our mature years, as well. With all of these changes occurring, nutritional status may need support over time with inadequate nutrient intake.

Here are some key nutrients to be sure to include in our “mature” years to help support good nutritional status and overall health:†

  • B vitamins (Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12/ B complex)
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

Learn More: Vitamin D Sun: How Much Do You Get?

For women, supporting their health through diet and nutrition is key.  It’s best to take a balanced approach and try to include foods from every food group. That means focusing on  whole grains, plant foods and green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, dairy and lean proteins. By consuming a diet that’s well-rounded, you increase your odds of getting the nutrients your body needs to function at its best. 

Healthy foods in each food group to consider include:

  • Whole grain bread, oats, brown rice, or pasta
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese; or fortified non-dairy products
  • Lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Veggies of any variety, the more colorful the better
  • Fruits of any variety, whether they are frozen, fresh, or canned[8]

Learn More: The Best Folate Sources 

The Bottom Line

When asking what vitamins women should take, it's important to understand that a woman’s nutritional needs change as she ages. The supplements you may have needed when you were 12 are not what you need when you’re in your 20s and likewise, what you need in your 20s will not be what you need when you’re in your 50s or 60s. Yes, there will be key nutrients that remain the same but the recommended daily intake will alter as you age. Always strive to eat well and when necessary, don’t hesitate to use nutritional supplements so that you know you’re giving your body all that it needs to thrive, not merely survive.† 

Learn More About Women's Health Supplements:

Follow @NatureMadeVitamins on Instagram for new product news, healthy lifestyle tips, and more.

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


  1. Priya M Gupta, Heather C Hamner, Parminder S Suchdev, Rafael Flores-Ayala, Zuguo Mei, Iron status of toddlers, nonpregnant females, and pregnant females in the United States, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 106, Issue suppl_6, December 2017, Pages 1640S–1646S, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.117.155978 
  2. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2011.
  3. Hermoso, M., et al. Critical micronutrients in pregnancy, lactation, and infancy: considerations on vitamin D, folic acid and iron, and priorities for future research. Ann Nutr Metab 2011;59:5-9. Epub 2011 Nov25.
  4. Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Vitamin D: role in pregnancy and early childhood. Ann Nutr Metab 2011;59:17-21.
  5. Thandrayyen K, Pettifor, JM. Maternal vitamin D status: implications for the development of infantile nutritional rickets. Rhem Dis Clin North Am 2012;38:61-79.
  6. Wagner et al. Does Vitamin D Make the World Go ‘Round’? Breastfeeding Medicine, 2008; 3 (4): 239 DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2008.9984 
  7. American Heart Association. Facts about Heart Disease. Internet: https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts-about-heart-disease/ . Accessed 12 May 2016.
  8. Healthy Eating for Women Published March 8, 2021. Reviewed January 2021


Lynn M. Laboranti, RD

Science and Health Educator

Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read More