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Eating a balanced diet and making sure we consume all the nutrients our bodies need to function properly and stay healthy can be challenging. Multivitamins are designed to fill any gaps that may exist in our diets to ensure we receive the beneficial vitamins and nutrients needed to perform essential bodily functions and avoid nutrient deficiencies. A woman’s body has different nutritional needs than a man’s body, so it only makes sense that women should choose a multivitamin formulated specifically for them.
So, what is the best multivitamin for women? If you’ve done a quick online search looking for a women’s multivitamin, you probably already know that there are numerous options on the market. This can be a benefit in that you have many choices, but at the same time it can make it quite difficult to make a decision. We’ve reviewed some of the top products on the market to help you narrow down your options and select the best multivitamin for women. Continue reading to learn more about our top selections, as well as why you should consider taking a women’s multivitamin.
Here are some we recommend:
Ritual Essential Multivitamin for Women
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin
One a Day Women’s VitaCraves Multi Gummies
What to Look for in a Women’s Multivitamin
What are Multivitamins?
A multivitamin is a dietary supplement that is designed to be taken daily. The exact formulation of multivitamins varies from one manufacturer to the next, but they can provide individuals with vitamins and nutrients that may be lacking from their diet. Adding these vitamins and nutrients by way of a multivitamin can help prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Women’s multivitamins are formulated for use by women. They contain different ratios of vitamins and minerals specifically designed to support a woman’s body and nutritional needs.
It is also important to note that the needs of a woman’s body can change throughout her life. Pregnant women or women of an advanced age will benefit from different concentrations of vitamins and minerals. For this reason, you may notice that some multivitamins are labeled for use by pregnant women or senior women. If you are unsure which multivitamin formulation is right for you, consult with your physician.
Research on the performance of multivitamins is a bit mixed. Despite studies showing that vitamin deficiencies are linked to cancer, osteoporosis, and coronary heart disease, the direct benefit of taking a multivitamin hasn’t been shown. One review in 2013 concluded that there was not a clear link between taking a multivitamin and decreasing one’s risk of cognitive decline, cancer, heart disease, or premature death.
However, other studies have shown that taking a multivitamin can give users a more positive outlook on their health. An improved outlook on one’s health and life can have its own benefits, and is certainly an important factor to consider.
It is always a good idea to consult with a medical professional before making a change in your diet or trying a new vitamin or supplement. Consider the possible benefits of adding a multivitamin to your routine and our product suggestions below, and have a discussion with your doctor to determine whether one of these vitamins for women is right for you.
Ingredients Found in Multivitamins
As we mentioned above, each women’s multivitamin may include different ratios of vitamins and minerals. Some multivitamins may have just a few key vitamins and minerals, while others may contain a wide array of ingredients.
It is also important to note that the FDA does not review vitamins or authorize them for use. So, it is imperative to conduct some research and chat with your physician prior to purchasing a multivitamin to ensure that the makeup of vitamins and minerals it contains is appropriate for your needs.
According to health and nutrition experts, some ingredients to look for in a multivitamin include:
· Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential in making sure our bodies can absorb calcium. Additionally, when you don’t get enough vitamin D, your chances of experiencing bone or hair loss, dealing with back pain, or getting sick can increase.
While you can get a healthy dose of vitamin D by spending 15 minutes in the sun each day, many individuals still don’t get the recommended amounts. Couple this with the fact that sunscreen can block vitamin D synthesis and that getting sufficient vitamin D from foods is difficult, and it is easy to understand why you should look for vitamin D in the multivitamin you choose.
According to the NIH, adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should consume 600 IU of vitamin D each day (this amount increases to 800 IU for individuals over 70).
· Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B-12 is an important B vitamin that ensures our blood cells and nerves remain healthy. It also assists our bodies in making DNA.
Vitamin B-12 is primarily found in poultry, meat, fish, and eggs, so if you are a vegan or vegetarian, finding a multivitamin with it is likely even more important for you.
Experts recommend consuming less than 3 mcg of vitamin B-12 each day, so choosing a multivitamin with 1 or 2 mcg of B-12 is generally a good idea. If you can find a multivitamin with methyl-B12, it will allow for easier absorption.
· Calcium: You likely already know that calcium is the mineral responsible for keeping your teeth and bones strong and healthy. Since women begin to lose bone density earlier than men, it is especially important for women to consume enough calcium.
Women should consume about 1,000 mg of calcium each day. This doesn’t all need to come from your multivitamin, as long as your diet contains some other sources, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, beans, lentils, and nuts.
· Magnesium: Our bodies need magnesium for energy production and to support bone health. Magnesium can also help balance our blood sugar levels, reduce stress by calming the nervous system, and contribute to proper nerve and muscle functions.
Magnesium is found in foods like spinach, artichokes, soybeans, brown rice, and pumpkin, but many individuals don’t consume enough magnesium-rich foods to give the body what it requires.
When adding a magnesium supplement to your diet, the NIH recommends avoiding supplements with more than 350 mg. For ideal absorption, choose either asparate, lactate, chloride, or citrate forms of magnesium.
· Folate: Folate can help promote hair and nail growth, decrease inflammation, and reduce symptoms of depression. Multivitamins with folic acid, which is one form of folate, are essential for pregnant women. Folic acid can help promote proper development of a fetus and prevent a number of birth defects.
400 mcg of folate is the recommended amount for most women. This amount increases to 600 mcg for pregnant women. Interestingly, your body will absorb 100% of folate when it is taken on an empty stomach, but only about 85 percent of it when it is taken with food.
· Zinc: Zinc is naturally found in oysters, organ meats, spinach, wheat germ, tahini, pumpkin seeds, and grass-fed beef. Many of these foods are not commonly found in the diet of most Americans, so looking for a multivitamin containing zinc is often important.
Zinc can help support the immune system, enable our bodies to make energy from protein, carbohydrates, and fats, help wounds heal more quickly, and reduce stress.
Our bodies are also not able to store zinc, another reason why you should look for it in the multivitamin you choose. The NIH recommends consuming between 8 and 11 mg of zinc each day. Depending on how much zinc is in your diet, you should look for a multivitamin with 5 to 10 mg.
· Iron: Consuming enough iron can help our brains function at peak levels, increase our energy levels, and ensure our red blood cells remain healthy. The iron requirements for a woman can vary based on her diet and her stage of life. For example, women who are pregnant, going through puberty, and those who are currently on their menstrual cycle may benefit from consuming increased levels of iron.
Because red meat is one of the primary sources of iron, vegan and vegetarians may also need to look for a multivitamin that offers higher levels of iron.
Generally speaking, choosing a multivitamin that has about 18 mg of iron is best.
Ways Women Can Benefit from Taking a Multivitamin
Talk with your doctor to see if you can benefit from taking a multivitamin for women. There are a few key groups of women that may see the greatest benefits from adding a multivitamin to their routine. These include:
· Women who are pregnant or may decide to become pregnant: If you’re pregnant, choosing a pre-natal multivitamin with high levels of folic acid is essential for proper development. However, even if you’re not already pregnant, but are considering becoming pregnant, you should add a multivitamin with folate to keep your levels up. Key fetus development begins before many women even realize they’re pregnant, so making sure your body is prepared is important.
· Individuals with a restricted diet: If your diet is restricted due to food allergies or other reasons, you may be missing out on some important vitamins or minerals. Adding in a multivitamin can help ensure you get what you need to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
· Vegans and vegetarians: Many of the essential nutrients our bodies need are primarily found in animal products. Vegan and vegetarians may need to add a multivitamin to make sure they consume the vitamins and minerals their bodies need.
· Those with a nutritional deficiency: If your body is lacking in one (or more) essential nutrients, choosing a multivitamin to provide those nutrients is important. If you are not sure whether you have a nutritional deficiency, talk with your doctor about having your levels checked through a blood test.
The Best Women’s Multivitamins
Below you’ll find our selections for the best vitamins for women. Read through our picks and have a discussion with your doctor about which formula will best meet your body’s needs.
POWHER Multivitamin for Women
If you’re searching for the best female multivitamin, POWHER should certainly be towards the top of your list. This multivitamin is specifically formulated to support the nutritional needs of a woman.
A team of registered dieticians worked together to create POWHER. They formulated their multivitamin with higher levels of iron, folic acid, biotin, and choline than you’ll find in many other options. These increased levels work to keep the body’s blood cells functioning properly, to support healthy hair growth, and to make sure the body is ready for pregnancy (for those looking to get pregnant soon).
The other key vitamins and minerals found in POWHER include:
· Vitamin A
· Vitamin D
· Vitamin D3
· Vitamin K1
· Vitamin E
· Vitamin B1
· Vitamin B2
· Vitamin B3
· Vitamin B5
· Vitamin B6
· Vitamin B12
· Coenzyme Q10
POWHER is a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)-certified vitamin. It is made in FDA (Food and Drug Administration)- or BRC (British Retail Consortium)-registered facilities. Individuals should feel confident in the safety and authenticity of this multivitamin.
The makers of POWHER recommend taking this daily vitamin with an 8-ounce glass of water and a meal. It can be taken at any time of the day; so, you can choose the time that works best with your schedule.
You can sign up for automatic delivery every 30 or 90 days to make sure you never forget to order your multivitamin. The 90-day subscription plan offers a 20 percent savings and free shipping as well.
Ritual Essential Multivitamin for Women.
When you’re looking for vegan multivitamins, you may want to consider the Ritual Essential Multivitamin for Women. This vitamin is formulated to fill nutrient gaps and meet the needs of women between the ages of 18 and 49.
Ritual carefully selected nine key ingredients to meet the nutritional needs of women when creating this multivitamin. Some of these ingredients include omega-3 DHA and vitamin B12 for brain health, magnesium, boron, and vitamin D to help support healthy bones, vitamin E for antioxidant support, and chelated iron and methylated folate for the formation of healthy red blood cells.
All of the ingredients in the Ritual Essential women’s multivitamin with iron and other key nutrients are traceable, gluten-free, and vegan. The company also does not use any artificial colorants or synthetic fillers when making their multivitamin.
Ritual uses a patented beaded in oil technology for their vitamins. This special technology allows them to offer both dry and oily ingredients in the same vitamin capsule. Their capsules also feature a delayed-release design. This helps ensure the vitamins and minerals will be dissolved in the small intestine, where they’ll be put to the best use.
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin
The Opti-Women Multivitamin from Optimum Nutrition is a contender for the best women’s multivitamin for active women. It is formulated with 40 active ingredients, 23 of which are vitamins and minerals that can help make sure an active woman’s nutritional requirements are met.
Each two-capsule serving of this multivitamin provides 150 milligrams of calcium, 18 milligrams of iron, and 600 micrograms of folate. Additionally, the capsules used for this multivitamin are approved by the Vegetarian Society, making it a good choice for those looking to avoid any animal products.
In addition to the 23 vitamin and minerals found in this multivitamin, Optimum Nutrition also added 17 specialty ingredients. These special ingredients include Dong quai, alpha lipoic acid, lutein, and lemon peel powder.
One a Day Women’s VitaCraves Multi Gummies
The One a Day Women’s VitaCraves Multi Gummies are another one of the best daily vitamins you may want to consider. The gummy vitamins have a tasty fruity flavor and may be easier to take for those who find it difficult to swallow pills. They are free of artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, synthetic colors, high fructose corn syrup, dairy, fish and shellfish, eggs, and soy.
The One a Day Women’s Multivitamin benefits include vitamin D to support healthy bones, vitamins A, C, D, E, and zinc for a healthy immune system, vitamins A, C, E, and zinc for healthy eyes and skin, and vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid for a healthy heart.
What to Look for in a Women’s Multivitamin
As you’re shopping for a women’s multivitamin, use the considerations outlined below to help you make the right decision for your health.
· Formula: First, consider the overall formula and ingredients found in each multivitamin. We outlined some key ingredients to look for above, but you should also consider your stage of life, nutritional needs, and recommendations from your doctor to help you select a multivitamin with the right nutrient make-up. Also, consider whether you are looking for an organic multivitamin for women or a natural multivitamin for women, as these can help you narrow down your choices.
· Good manufacturing practices: The FDA has created a set of good manufacturing practices that supplement manufacturers should follow. These practices are designed to help ensure supplements are made using pure ingredients and without unnecessary contaminants. Finding a vitamin with a CGMP label will indicate that it was produced using the standards outlined by the FDA.
· Use of third-party testing: Finally, consider choosing a multivitamin that has been tested by a third party. Third-party testing is voluntary, and not all vitamin manufacturers choose to have their supplements tested by an outside source. Third-party testing, however, can help you feel more confident that the breakdown of vitamins and minerals found in each vitamin match the claims laid out by the manufacturer.
U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF Certified for Sport, NSF International, ConsumerLab, and LabDoor are among some of the third-party testers for supplements.
With a proper diet, multivitamins aren’t necessary for many individuals. If you eat a balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, your physician may not recommend taking a multivitamin.
However, some groups of women face a higher risk of suffering from a vitamin deficiency. These include pregnant women, women with a lower income, women who don’t eat a balanced diet, older women, adolescent women, and young girls.
If testing reveals a nutritional deficiency in a key vitamin or mineral, chat with your doctor about whether adding a multivitamin or just one specific vitamin is best for your body.
Adding a women’s multivitamin to your routine can help ensure you are consuming the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy and operate at peak levels. We hope our recommendations for some of the best womens multivitamin options on the market has helped you identify a few good products to try. As with any other medical or health decisions, have a conversation with your physician before making any changes to your diet.