Vitamins for Women in Their 30s

Carrots help you get lots of vitamin A.

Carrots help you get lots of vitamin A.

You have a lot of things going on in your 30s. Maybe you're still busy having children, or you might be prepping your body for perimenopause. While all vitamins and minerals are important, there are certain ones you need to focus on. Ideally, you should get these vitamins through foods, but you can further boost your intake with a daily multivitamin, as long as you have your doctor's permission.

Vitamin A

As you get older, your vision naturally starts to decline. Getting plenty of vitamin A in your diet preserves your good vision, lessens your chances of having night blindness and lowers your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, a condition that leads to blindness. In your 30s, you need 700 micrograms of vitamin A, says the Office of Dietary Supplements. However, if you are pregnant, your intake goes up to 770 micrograms and increases further to 1,300 micrograms while breastfeeding. Foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots and cantaloupe, are all loaded with vitamin A.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and protects your entire body by neutralizing harmful free radicals that destroy healthy cells. Free radicals damage your skin and increase your risk of developing several chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. As a woman in your 30s, you need 75 milligrams of vitamin C each day, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. Pregnancy requires you to boost your intake to 85 milligrams, but if you breastfeed, you'll need 120 milligrams of daily vitamin C. Smoking increases oxidative stress and free radicals in your body. If you smoke, you'll need to further increase your vitamin C intake by an additional 35 milligrams above your recommendation. Citrus fruits are some of the most common sources of vitamin C, but red bell peppers, strawberries and broccoli are also rich in vitamin C.

Folic Acid and Folate

Folic acid and folate are the same form of a type of B vitamin. Folate is the natural version of the vitamin, while folic acid is the synthetic type added to fortified foods and supplements. In your 30s and all throughout reproductive years, it is imperative to get adequate amounts of this vitamin. Folic acid and folate prevent neural tube defects that occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy. These defects can lead to permanent brain damage or possibly miscarriage of the fetus. You need 400 micrograms of folic acid or folate each day, reports the Linus Pauling Institute. If you are pregnant, you'll need to boost your intake to 600 micrograms, and then reduce it to 500 micrograms while you breastfeed. Fortified breakfast cereal or fortified breads are some of the quickest ways to get lots of folic acid. Spinach, lentils and garbanzo beans, which are used to make hummus, add lots of folate to your diet.

Vitamin D

Poor intake of vitamin D lessens your body's ability to absorb calcium, resulting in weak bones and a higher chance of suffering from osteoporosis. Your risk of bone loss goes up as you get older, especially as you get closer to menopause. Keep your bones strong by getting the recommended 15 micrograms of daily vitamin D, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. Your recommendation stays the same if you are pregnant or nursing a young one. Vitamin D-fortified milk or orange juice pack lots of vitamin D into your diet. Other sources include salmon, sardines and whole eggs. Vitamin D is nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin," because your body makes it when your skin is exposed to sunlight. On your lunch break, during peak daylight hours, go for a quick walk and stretch your legs. Exposing your skin to direct sunlight for a few minutes two or three times a week, further boosts vitamin D levels in your body.

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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