Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Essential Nutrients Every Woman Needs

By Rachel Reiff Ellis
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD

Any woman who’s ever cared for a newborn can tell you -- it’s a lot of work. But after Amy Brennan had her second child, she says she was so tired she couldn’t function.

“I was dealing with crippling fatigue almost to the point of not being able to care for my kids,” she says. 

Recommended Related to Women

Stop Procrastinating – Right Now!

By Melissa Kirsch6 ways to outsmart your paralysis and actually get something done I procrastinate horribly — not about everything, just about phone calls. Sometimes I put off making dinner reservations until all I can get is a 10 p.m. slot at my third-favorite restaurant. I regularly run out of prescriptions because I can't manage to phone the pharmacy for refills. I dial my mother so rarely that, when I do, she thinks someone died. For no reason I can understand, the prospect of making even...

Read the Stop Procrastinating – Right Now! article > >

Even more troubling, she also began having heart palpitations and shortness of breath. “I started worrying about heart issues,” Brennan says. And with good reason. “My dad had his first two heart attacks at age 45, a triple bypass, and died at age 59.”

A blood test revealed that her symptoms weren’t signs of heart trouble. They were caused by a severe case of anemia, a blood disorder. Her body was low on iron, a common culprit behind the condition.

Now she takes two iron pills a day, plus vitamin C. "And I eat my leafy greens!” she says. “It took several months, but I finally returned to normal.”

Women aren’t the only ones who get anemia, but they’re at the highest risk. That’s because they lose iron during their periods. From puberty through menopause, they need more of this mineral in their diets than men do -- and as much as three times more during pregnancy.  

Iron is just one crucial nutrient you need to stay in tip-top shape, ladies. Here's how to get the right nutrition throughout life to help maximize your health.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
 
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
woman in bathtub
Slideshow
period
VIDEO
 
bp app on smartwatch and phone
Slideshow
estrogen gene
Quiz
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
Slideshow
hot water bottle on stomach
Quiz
 
question
Assessment
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
Quiz