Vitamins are important for good health at any age. Combined with regular exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle, vitamins help your body function properly and prevent health problems. The vitamins you need – and their quantities – change throughout your life. Women in their 30s are often focused on preventing aging, staying healthy during pregnancy and keeping their energy levels high. Certain vitamins, acquired primarily through diet and sometimes via supplements, can help you achieve those goals.
Many women in their 30s look in the mirror and suddenly notice fine lines, thinning skin and other signs of aging. The good news is that some vitamins can help slow this process. A group of vitamins and minerals known as anti-oxidants fight free radicals, which are harmful molecules created by toxins in the environment that can contribute to disease and aging. In general, women in their 30s should aim for at least 15 milligrams of vitamin E each day to reduce the signs of aging and boost immunity. Vitamin C facilitates the absorption of vitamin E, boosts immunity and reduces risk of heart disease. Aim to get at least 75 milligrams each day. At least 2,310 International Units of vitamin A daily helps to protect your eyes and prevent sun damage.
Women of childbearing age, particularly those planning to get pregnant, should increase their intake of the B vitamin folate, known as folic acid in its synthetic form. Folic acid reduces the likelihood of neural-tube defects in fetuses, as well as pre-term and low birthweight babies. All women over 19 should get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day; pregnant women need 600 micrograms.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Women in their 30s need to begin thinking about preventing future diseases, such as osteoporosis, a thinning of the bones. You can help keep your bones strong by getting adequate calcium. While calcium is a mineral, not a vitamin, it is still vital for a woman in her 30s. The National Institutes of Health recommends that all women under 50 get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. If you are pregnant or nursing, that recommendation increases to 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams per day. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so make sure you get 400 International Units each day. A study in the December 2004 issue of "Pharmacological Research" explains that taking vitamin D and calcium together helps prevent bone loss associated with menopause.
Another especially important mineral for women in their 30s is iron. Women are at great risk of developing iron deficiency. This is especially true for women who have heavy menstrual periods or are pregnant. An iron deficiency can cause you to feel tired, increase your chance of infection and keep you from maintaining a comfortable body temperature. To avoid these issues, aim for at least 18 milligrams of iron per day or 27 milligrams if you're pregnant. If you're nursing, the recommendation actually drops to 9 milligrams per day. Vitamins C and A help your body absorb and use iron, so get adequate amounts of those vitamins.
- Clinical Interventions in Aging: Effects of Antioxidant Supplementation on the Aging Process
- Medline Plus: Calcium Supplements
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet - Iron Supplements
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet - Folate
- Pharmacological Research: Effect of Supplementation of Calcium and Vitamin D on Bone Mineral Density and Bone Mineral Content in Peri- and Post-Menopause Women; A Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial
- American Dietetic Association: Healthy Eating for Women