You’re busy. We know. We’re all busy. Too much to do and not enough time. And when it feels like the clock is set to fast-forward, what’s the first thing that gets knocked off the to-do list? Yourself.
After all, your boss won’t reprimand you if you don’t exercise or if you forget your lunch. And they probably won’t notice if you haven’t shaved your underarms. So you fall into a vicious cycle of working long hours, sleeping poorly, eating toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and failing routine “upkeep” (guilty).
But maintaining your health from the inside out should be top of your priorities. And it doesn’t have to be time consuming. By ensuring you’re getting the right vitamins every day, you can support both your mental and physical self, improving your mood, skin and much more.
As women, our vitamin needs (among other needs) differ to that of men. But if you’re too pressed for time to make a nutritious, vitamin-dense meal, don’t let your health suffer. Ensure you’re getting at least these five nutrients and you’ll maintain your health and beauty from the inside out.
5 Essential Nutrients Every Busy Woman Needs
Stress is an inevitable symptom of the busy lifestyle. But did you know that prolonged stress wreaks havoc on the body, affecting your metabolism, sleep, sex drive and more? To keep our stress levels at bay, we can source the benefits of the vitamin B complex: thiamine (B1), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin, folic acid, and the cobalamins (B12). Research has shown this class of vitamins can work to improve mood, sleep, and the formation of several important neurotransmitters associated with stress. A great way to ensure you receive adequate dosage of each is by taking a multivitamin, preferably in the morning. Look for one that contains at least 40mg of B6.
For women, balancing our hormones is essential for our mood, skin, reproductive health and more. And to keep them in good nick, all it takes is a good bush. Vitex agnus – castus, that is. Known as the ‘women’s herb’, vitex is used to support female reproductive health, help regulate the menstrual cycle and ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as moodiness, irritability, pain, bloating and fluid retention. Vitex comes in many forms: loose herbs, capsules, tea, tincture and powder. But dosage is easiest to control in tablets.
Silica is a mineral found in the body that is essential for healthy skin, nails and hair. Together with vitamin C, silica supports the production of collagen, the structural protein required for the formation of healthy cells. Ensuring you have enough silica in your body will promote long-term beauty benefits including supple skin, shiny hair and strong nails. This mineral can be found in oats, bananas and whole grains, and you can supplement for a higher dose. Be sure to source organic forms as the body more easily absorbs them.
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Ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI)? 50% of women have. And I’ve had enough for the other half. They’re horrible. Anything that stings, itches AND burns is. But such large grief can be soothed by something very small: the cranberry. Cranberries possess anti-adhesions qualities, which help reduce the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract. So if you’re prone to UTI’s or want to prevent them (trust me, you do), incorporate cranberry into your diet. While it’s great to eat the fruit, you’d have to consume a lot so it’s best to supplement as well. Also, beware of drinking cranberry juice, as it is believed to be less effective, and the high sugar component could be counterproductive.
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Women are notoriously low in iron. When we lose blood through our cycle, we also lose iron, resulting in fatigue, impaired immunity and weakness – dirty words to a busy woman. To prevent lacking energy when you need it the most, ensure you are receiving enough iron. Incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet, such as meats, beans and tofu, or try taking a supplement that also contains vitamin C, as this improves absorption.
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