Why health supplements are important for women
Understanding the role of smart supplementation of a healthy diet is increasingly the focus of people looking to boost their immune system and take as much control as possible of their bodies.For women in particular, there are clear stages in life that impact on the needs of their bodies, with the supplements required also changing. Yes, there are certainly some supplements that have been carefully studied over many years and are widely considered beneficial for all genders, ages and circumstances, such as good quality vitamin C and magnesium, yet it is the specific supplements for women at each changing stage that brings opportunities for on-shelf differentiation.
Different stages, different needs
Up until puberty, a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and complex carbohydrates is advised for all, but when puberty hits, girls who experience heavy periods (menorrhagia) often experience iron deficiency. Research from NICE (the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) shows that around 14% of non-pregnant women of childbearing age in the UK suffer from iron deficiency and so would benefit from an iron supplement.
Pregnancy brings with it many positives and challenges, one of which is keeping both mother and baby healthy throughout. The need for folic acid is well-publicised, but other lesser known requirements depend on the pre-pregnancy health and diet of the mother, the experience of morning sickness (usually contained to the first trimester) and the access to the right food and beverages. Studies show that supplementation of vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin D is appropriate for pregnant women, with Omega-3 fatty acids also encouraged.
Pre-pregnancy and pregnancy vitamins are easy to find in chemists and supermarkets, with the branding often focused on peace of mind, which is understandable given the emotive topic.
The peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause seasons of a woman’s life are gaining greater understanding in recent years, particularly as knowledge surrounding the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is shown to debunk some previously-published issues. The changes in supplements required for women from around the age of 40 onwards continues to be an area of incredible growth, because it is these women who are now in positions of power, they have more money to spend, and also because the internet means people are generally more aware of the medical solutions that are available to them.
Women understand more that protein and vitamin supplements are a welcome addition to their healthcare journey throughout each stage of their life; the types of products they look for online or in the high street chemist reflects their knowledge of personal care and demand to not be patronised. Women want vitamins, supplements and protein bars that clearly have the information they need and look appropriate. This does not mean pink packaging with flowery claims; but neither does it mean the black-heavy packaging of male-targeted protein powders.
There is a great opportunity for vitamin and supplement brand owners to ensure their products are targeting women who know what they want and need to find somewhere suitable to spend their money, with health and well-being supplements tailor-made for each stage of their lives.