You need a variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet, especially if you are between the ages of 19 and 25. Your body is still growing and you need certain nutrients to support your growth. In addition to this, you are at the peak age for becoming pregnant which also requires special vitamins and minerals. You can get most of the nutrients you need from your diet, but you may need to add a dietary supplement. Talk with your physician before taking any sort of supplement.
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Water Soluble Vitamins
Water soluble vitamins are not stored in your body and are excreted when they are not used. These include all of the B vitamins and vitamin C. Folic acid is an important B vitamin for women of childbearing age. This vitamin is responsible for making new cells and protecting you against birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly, according to WomensHealth.gov. You need 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid which you can get from fortified breakfast cereals, leafy greens and citrus fruits.
Another important B vitamin for young women is B-12. Vitamin B-12 keeps nerve and blood cells healthy. Your body needs 2.4 to 2.8 mcg of B-12 everyday and you can get it from milk, eggs, poultry and meat. You also need 75 to 120 mg of vitamin C daily to keep your immune system healthy. Fruits, especially strawberries and citrus fruits, are high in vitamin C. You can also eat broccoli, tomatoes or peppers to get the vitamin C you need.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, D, E and K are stored in the fat in your body and cannot be excreted if you consume too much. Vitamin A supports your bone growth as well as cell division during reproduction. Your body needs 700 mcg of vitamin A which can be found in carrots, spinach and beef liver. Vitamin D works with calcium to build strong bones. You should consume 600 IU of vitamin D everyday. Milk and orange juice both offer varieties that are fortified with vitamin D.
Having vitamin E in your diet will help you fight infections, which is especially important if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. Consume 15 to 19 mg of vitamin E everyday from foods like vegetable oils and nuts. You can get the 70 to 80 mcg of vitamin K you need from green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting.
There are a few minerals you should pay attention to. Calcium, which is found in dairy products, is a major component for bone strength. You need 1,000 mg of calcium each day. Magnesium is another important mineral that is important to support your bones during your growth. Your body needs 310 to 350 mg of magnesium each day. Halibut, almonds and soybeans are all high in magnesium, suggests the Office of Dietary Supplements. Women of childbearing age need high amounts of iron. You may lose excess iron in blood if you have heavy menstrual periods. Your body required 18 to 27 mg of iron each day which you can get from oysters, turkey and tuna.
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets
- WomensHealth.gov: Folic Acid
- United States Department of Agriculture: Dietary Reference Intakes