Podcast Episode 45: Eat Your Vitamins: Essential Nutrients for Women’s Health

Is supplementing really necessary? What are some of the essential nutrients that you might be missing in your diet? Find out how you can have a strategic supplement regimen and use supplements along with natural food sources to really support the imbalances that you might be experiencing with your diet and nutrition.

You can find all the info and links about this episode at https://holisticwellness.ca/episode45.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • The 7 vitamins and minerals that are often overlooked but are really important for women’s health
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Chromium
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • What these vitamins and minerals do for you
  • How much of these vitamins and minerals you need daily
  • How you can tell if you are deficient in these nutrients
  • What happens when you don’t have enough of these nutrients
  • The best food sources of each of these vitamins and minerals


Key Takeaways:


  • Not only is calcium important for building and maintaining our strong bones, as we know, but it’s also really important for energy metabolism and muscle contraction. Because your body doesn’t produce calcium on its own, getting it from foods or from supplementation is going to be really important.
  • If your diet is lacking calcium, and especially if you’re physically active, your body will end up leeching off calcium from your bones, which, over time, can lead to osteoporosis. And as our estrogen declines, this can also start to have an impact on our bone health.
  • If you are eating a very acidic diet, this will also impact your bone health because, in order for your body to buffer that acidity, it will have to leech off the calcium from your bones.
  • Daily requirement: 1000 mg for women aged 50 and younger, and 1200 mg to 1500 mg for women over 50
  • Best food sources (other than dairy): Kale, colored greens, bok choy, sardines, and sesame seeds.


  • Zinc deficiency can directly affect strength and fitness, especially if you are over-exercising.
  • If you’re dealing with cystic acne, hormonal imbalances, issues with your cycle, PCOS, and PMS, then zinc can be really helpful.
  • If you find that you’re having a lot of issues with digestion or heartburn or acid reflux, this might mean that you have low amounts of hydrochloric acid, so using zinc is going to be great to support your HCl production.
  • Daily requirement: 18 mg to 30 mg


  • It’s an essential mineral that’s found in your red blood cells that helps to transport oxygen throughout your body.
  • If you’re feeling tired or you’re feeling exhausted, or you just can’t get the energy to maybe go work out, this can be because of iron deficiency.
  • Iron deficiency anemia is pretty common in women, especially those who are very active.
  • Daily requirement: 18 mg for 18 years and older, 27 mg for pregnant women, and about 10 mg for lactating women.
  • Best food sources: Spinach, pasture-raised organic grass-fed beef, turkey, and beans.


  • Chromium in an insulin cofactor, and it helps to transport branch chain amino acids into the muscle.
  • Without sufficient amounts of chromium, you could be at risk for uncontrolled blood sugar and insulin resistance.
  • Chromium deficiency will typically leave you feeling sluggish, fatigued, weak, moody, and maybe even anxious.
  • Daily requirement: About 25 μg for women between the ages 19 and 50, about 30 μg for pregnant women, and roughly around 45 μg for lactating women.
  • Best food sources: broccoli, white potatoes, green beans, and turkey.

B Vitamins

  • The B vitamins –  B12, B6, thiamine, riboflavin – are all required for energy production. Folate and B12, specifically, are required for red blood cell production and repair.
  • Research suggests that dieting and exercising can really increase your requirements for thiamine, riboflavin, and B6. And if you’re really, really stressed, you’re going to need some B5.
  • Daily requirement: A B-100 complex will pretty much cover the bases.
  • Best food sources: Leafy green vegetables and animal proteins.

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D has its hands in a number of physiological functions in the body. It helps to strengthen your bones by helping your body to absorb calcium, it supports your immune function, and it can reduce and control blood pressure. It always plays an important role in your insulin and blood sugar management.
  • Recommended daily amount: 600 IU
  • Best sources: Sunlight, fish oil, eggs, and wild caught fish.


  • Approximately 67% of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones and the teeth. This is why it’s so important when we are supporting our bone health that we make sure that magnesium is in the mix.
  • Magnesium is also important for supporting progesterone production as well as for detoxification.
  • It’s great for stress and for helping to relieve any coronary artery spasm that can lead to a severe heart attack.
  • Best food sources: Dark leafy greens, different seeds, and cacao.


Action Steps:

  • Take supplements, but also focus on eating a really clean whole foods diet at the same time.
  • Get tested and check your bone strength and bone health and make sure that there are no issues like osteoporosis. If there are issues like that, make sure that you’re not just supplementing with calcium but that you’re supplementing with a mineral bone complex.
  • Zinc and copper compete for absorption in the body, so make sure that as you are supplementing with zinc, you are also getting that tiny dose of copper.
  • Take an iron supplement that is chelated, like iron bisglycinate, which means it’s chelated with an amino acid that helps with its absorbability.
  • If you have a heavy cycle, get your iron levels tested and check your ferritin levels. If your levels are low, then you probably need to supplement with iron.
  • Take vitamin C along with your iron supplement for better absorption.
  • Take a B-100 complex to cover your B vitamin needs.
  • Get tested for your B12. If you’re really low in B12, then on top of the B-100 complex, supplement with a sublingual B12.
  • Get your vitamin D levels tested, and test at multiple points throughout the year after you start supplementing.
  • Go outside and get enough sunlight.


Samantha said:

“What we want to do is look at our diet and really be choosing a variety of whole foods in order to really use our diet as like our multivitamin.”


“You’re going to get way more support by taking these whole foods forms of fruits and vegetables or a greens powder, and I feel that those will oftentimes be more beneficial than a [multivitamin].”


Thanks for listening!


Important Announcements:

If you have any questions, come find me over on Instagram, @holisticwellnessfoodie.


You can leave us a rating or a review over on iTunes or Spotify or Stitcher, or whichever platform you listen to us to. That would mean so much!


Links to things we talk about in the show:


Recommended Products:

  • Bone supplements from AOR, Designs for Health, and Metagenics
  • AOR Zinc-Copper Balance
  • Iron supplements from Lorna Vanderhaeghe Health Solutions, Salus, Flora, AOR, Metagenics, Designs for Health, and Platinum
  • Magnesium bisglycinate
  • Magnesium L-threonate
  • Magnesium citrate
  • PaleoGreens
  • Organifi Green Juice
  • Chlorella powder
  • Juice Plus+


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