Your recommendation for vitamins stays the same throughout your 20s, 30s and 40s, but at age 32, you might want to pay particular attention to certain nutrients. Meeting your recommended intake of key vitamins helps keep your bones strong as you age, lessens your risk of chronic disease and protects your baby, if you become pregnant. Ideally you should get the right amount of vitamins by following a well-balanced diet, but in some cases your physician may suggest taking a daily multivitamin to prevent a deficiency.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is the primary mineral component of bones. Women have a greater risk of bone loss from osteoporosis than men. The possibility of having fragile bones is more likely to occur as you get close to menopause. Keeping your bones strong and healthy in your 30s helps prevent bone loss, resulting in fewer fractures later on. At age 32 and up until age 70, you need 600 international units of vitamin D, which increases to 800 international units after age 70, the Office of Dietary Supplements reports. Vitamin D-fortified milk and orange juice are quick ways to boost your vitamin D intake. Exposing your skin to direct sunlight during peak hours of the day for just a few minutes allows your body to produce vitamin D on its own, further boosting vitamin D levels for strong bones.
Folic acid is a type of B vitamin that prevents neural tube defects in a growing fetus. During reproductive years, getting adequate folic acid each day is imperative, since defects occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before you know you are pregnant. You may hear folic acid, the synthetic form, referred to as folate, which is the natural form of the vitamin. Both types contribute to your 400 micrograms per day recommendation, notes the Office of Dietary Supplements. During pregnancy you'll need to boost your intake to 600 micrograms and then reduce it to 500 micrograms while breastfeeding. Some fortified breakfast cereals provide as much as 100 percent of your recommendation in one serving. Other folic acid and folate-rich foods include lentils, spinach, enriched noodles, avocados and asparagus.
Vitamin C boosts immune function, helping prevent illness. Another reason vitamin C is so important at age 32 is that it creates collagen, a component of skin. Collagen keeps your skin soft and elastic. Vitamin C also protects skin because it acts like an antioxidant, reducing damage to skin caused by environmental free radicals, like pollution and cigarette smoke. Because of this, many topical skin creams contain vitamin C to help keep aging skin healthy and smooth. Aim to get 75 milligrams of vitamin C each day, says the Linus Pauling Institute. If you are pregnant, your recommendation goes up to 80 milligrams, while breastfeeding requires you to get 85 milligrams. Smoking further increases your recommendation by an additional 35 milligrams per day, since smoking increases cellular damage from oxidative stress. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, spinach and red bell peppers.
As you get older, your risk of chronic disease increases. Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties. It works by neutralizing damaging free radicals that feed on healthy cells. As free radicals build up in your system, your risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions increases. As a 32-year-old woman, you need 15 milligrams of vitamin E on a daily basis, even if you are pregnant. When you start breastfeeding, your recommendation goes up to 19 milligrams, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. Vegetable oils, including olive, canola and corn oil, are some of the best sources of vitamin E, but they are also high in fat. You need to measure your portion according to the serving size on the bottle to avoid consuming too many calories. Avocados and all kinds of nuts are also high in vitamin E.
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.