Give your body a boost with these essential vitamins and supplements for women of all ages
Busy, stressful days combined with last minute meals means missing out on the essential vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. While supplements can’t replace a balanced, varied diet, taking a vitamin, mineral or herbal aid can help keep you looking – and feeling – beautiful inside and out…
Supping on coffee might be one way to ward off that post-lunch lull, but increasing your iron intake with the latest superjuice is a much healthier option. Women need 14mg of iron a day, yet very few of us manage to eat that anything near that amount. Boasting more iron than spinach, goldenberries (or Physalis fruit), which hail from the Andean foothills, will certainly get you moving again.
Why not try? Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and Whole Foods now stock Terrafertil's Goldenberry Juice, £3.99 which is sugar-free and high in fibre too.
Did you know that your gut is considered the 'second brain' by scientists because it contains 95% of the body's serotonin? This feel-good molecule helps keep depression and anxiety at bay. Early research suggests that a daily probiotic could be the secret to a healthy body and mind because the cultures helps to maintain optimum gut serotonin levels.
Why not try? Yoghurt and fermented foods like pickles or sauerkraut that haven't been over-heated contain high levels of live cultures, but check which strain they boast before stocking up. Not all cultures are good for the gut. Holland and Barrett Probio 10 Capsules, £22.99, are an easier option. Each little capsule contains 10 billion active cultures, from 10 different species of micro-organism - and will aid effective digestion if nothing else.
Horseradish is the alternative remedy for winter colds and coughs - it's long been used in Australia to successfully boost immunity during the colder months.
Fatty acids are vital for enviable nails. Up your intake by adding an omega supplement to your diet - evening primrose oil is rich in the essential fats which prevent the nail peeling or cracking. Magnesium, zinc and calcium are key for healthy growth too. Instead of taking these individually as tablets, buy a liquid which combines all three - it helps with absorption.
The brain needs a helping hand to stay in tip-top condition too, especially during periods of worry, stress or over-stimulation. Along with eating a diet packed with brain-friendly foods like oily fish and berries, try taking scientifically-proven supplements to boost brain power. Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) helps with cell renewal and memory.
Why not try? Holland and Barrett Neuro PS, £16.99
Bloating affects your mood and your confidence. Some sufferers take a digestive enzyme supplement after a few mouthfuls of food to aid easier digestion, others rely on the calming effect of peppermint oil capsules. Small scientific studies suggest both can help.
The hair and scalp often shows the signs of ill health or a poor diet first. Stocking up on B vitamins will help restore shine while preventing breakage and greys. Look for a supplement high in biotin - this important B vitamin strengthens brittle locks and halts hair loss.
Why not try? Holland and Barrett Complete B Vitamin B Complex, £14.25
Before you reach for the sleeping tablets, try the herbal remedy, valerian root. According to recent studies, valerian root acts as a light sedative in small doses so it should help you to doze off more easily. It's available in tablet form from most health food stores. Always read the label.
Why not try? Holland and Barrett Valerian Root Extract, £9.99
Puffy, sore eyes might not be simply a symptom of hayfever. The body needs plenty of antioxidant vitamins (A, C and E) to maintain the eyes' optimum health - the carotenoids found in these vitamins encourage cell and tissue growth. An all in one eye vitamin with added carotenoids is an easy way to get your fix.
Why not try? Visionace Tablets, £7.99
Stay wrinkle-free for longer by adding a specialist supplement to your daily regime. Imedeen's anti-ageing supplements combine collagen-boosters with essential vitamins to fight skin aging from your thirties onwards. No wonder they're such a hit with beauty insiders!
Why not try? Imedeen Supplements, from £35.99
Taking a multi-vitamin each morning which is designed specifically for women has real benefits. The Wellwoman range might sound expensive, but it contains key nutrients for skin, nail and hair health, energy release, the immune system and the monthly cycle. A great way to start the day.
Why not try? Wellwoman Original Capsules, £17.99