Women's Day Celebration: Empowering Women Through Health Education
Women's Day is not only a time to celebrate women’s rights and women’s achievements but a time to rally for gender equality. This special day reminds us that women face ongoing challenges in many areas of life - not only in work, politics, and social life but in accessing healthcare and education.
While much has changed in recent decades, there is still a long way to go before women are treated equally across all spheres of life. On International Women’s Day, we can reflect on the progress made and continue to stand for change.
In this blog, we will discuss how supporting women's health education can support women’s empowerment and help promote positive health outcomes.
Understanding Women's Health Needs
Women have unique healthcare needs that are not always fully addressed by public healthcare systems, despite major advances in healthcare over the past few decades. In fact, the World Economic Forum has acknowledged that gaps still exist in the research and treatment of conditions unique to women, particularly those related to pregnancy and menstruation. Many health conditions may affect women differently from men.
These gaps can result in health issues and disparities in treatment that are largely preventable. The Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths could be prevented  and that black women are almost three times more likely than white women to die from a pregnancy-related issue.  This highlights not only the need for quality improvement initiatives in healthcare systems to ensure pregnant women get the right care but also that we should all be better informed about women’s health issues.
It’s been reported that people living in places with greater gender equality typically have a longer life expectancy.
Health education is crucial for helping women understand their own health needs. Women need to know how their bodies work and why, and how to care for themselves. They also need to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of health conditions that are specific to the female body.
Promoting Healthy Habits
Healthy lifestyle habits are among the most important determinants of health status, and basic education is a fundamental social determinant of health. A critical element of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) conception of health is that a person’s health is at risk if she or he doesn’t have the knowledge to make the appropriate changes. 
It is important for all of us to be more responsible for our own health. For women, being healthy is not only about avoiding illness but about their personal ability to adapt to stressors, manage roles and activities daily, and live life to the full.
Women's health education is the first step to self-care and improving the health of women and their families. The right education can help women to adopt and implement the behaviors that improve good health and wellbeing. These behaviors include a balanced diet, regular exercise, good sleep hygiene, and stress management - all of which can help to reduce chronic illness and support long-term health.
Physical activity and nutrition are particularly important for menopausal women as they can help alleviate menopausal symptoms and associated health issues.  Improving awareness of these positive outcomes could encourage women to integrate exercise and good nutrition during perimenopause and early postmenopause.
A study that assessed the effect of health education on nutrition and physical activity among 40–60-year-old women in Eritrea, Africa found a significant difference in how women practiced healthy diet and physical activity after educational intervention. This improvement was seen across all ages and levels of education and occupations in the group, indicating that education was beneficial for all women in helping them live healthier lives. 
A similar study in India found that women in India felt more empowered following their involvement in programs designed to improve female nutrition before conception, as well as improving the nutritional status of their families.
The Role of Supplements in Women's Health
Women require a range of essential nutrients for good health and wellbeing. While a healthy diet should always be the main source of nutrients, supplements can support women's health by filling in any gaps in the diet.
There is mounting evidence that nutritional supplements can significantly reduce the incidence of birth defects, premature births, and several chronic diseases. Some studies show that taking vitamin E supplements at 7–50 times the recommended daily intake by individuals aged 50 and under, along with daily use of multivitamin supplements containing folic acid and zinc by women of childbearing age could save $20 billion in annual hospital costs in the United States. 
Women’s nutritional needs vary over the life cycle. To support good health and improve longevity, nutritional interventions must be made over the course of a lifetime.
The US Office on Women’s Health states that women who could benefit from supplements include: 
• Postmenopausal women
Hormonal changes in menopause can cause women to lose bone density, which increases the risk of osteoporosis. Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D may be necessary if they are not obtaining enough from their diet.
Women who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet may not get enough vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iron.
• Pregnant women and women planning pregnancy
Folate is vital to prevent birth defects and support the mother’s health, as discussed below
Folate supplementation is crucial for women who are planning to conceive. The need for folate is much higher during pregnancy because it plays a major role in the growth and proper development of the fetus. Folate deficiency has been associated with abnormalities such as anemia and peripheral neuropathy in mothers and congenital abnormalities in fetuses. Dietary supplementation with folic acid around conception is shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies. 
However, folic acid supplementation is known to mask vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia) and can also result in a buildup of unmetabolized synthetic folic acid. Supplementation with l-methylfolate is highly recommended to avoid these risks. B-Methylated-II is ideal for pregnancy as it contains active forms of folate (as methylfolate) and vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin), ensuring rapid uptake and utilization in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing triglycerides, stabilizing membranes, and providing antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, or antiarrhythmic benefits. 
Increased intake of omega-3 is also shown to reverse the symptoms by decreasing the amount of omega-6 FA in cell membranes. Supplementation with omega-3 FA during pregnancy lowers the risk of premature birth. It can increase the length of pregnancy and birth weight by altering the balance of eicosanoids involved in labor and promoting fetal growth by improving placental blood flow. 
Magnesium is another vital nutrient for women. Oral magnesium supplementation provides multiple beneficial effects on metabolic status and fetal and pregnancy outcomes, including a lower incidence of newborn hyperbilirubinemia and a lower newborn hospitalization rate. 
Magnesium supplementation for women with gestational diabetes significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose compared with placebo and improved lipid profiles. 
Magnesium is also necessary for bone health, and supplementation has been shown to improve bone density in osteoporotic women and reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures.  Women are encouraged to take a highly bioavailable form of magnesium such as Sucrosomial Magnesium or Magtein® L-Threonate for their fast uptake in the body.
A quality multivitamin is a convenient and effective means of supporting women’s health, especially during pregnancy. The Methyl-Life® Chewable Methylated Multivitamin is a great option because it contains a range of active vitamins and nutrients, including methylfolate and patented Sucrosome® minerals, to support maternal and fetal health. This scientifically formulated multi also supports energy production, cognitive function, and healthy detoxification at any stage of life.
Women and supplements: why education matters
Health education is an important step towards better health and wellbeing for all women. Research shows that when women have the necessary knowledge and skills, they are better able to make informed decisions about their health and nutrition.
Nutritional supplements can play valuable roles at different stages of a woman’s life, particularly during pregnancy and menopause. Understanding how and when to use certain supplements is important to women’s health education and information. By filling nutritional gaps in the diet, supplements may help to reduce the incidence of illness and disease and improve overall vitality.
The supplement industry is currently saturated with products marketed to women. Most of these target women who are pregnant or going through menopause, but many are also marketed at other age groups, including teenage girls and seniors.
Knowing how to select a supplement that caters to specific needs is a pivotal advantage of health education. However, identifying high-quality ingredients and understanding the function of each ingredient is even more crucial for optimal health outcomes.
The annual Women's Day celebration reminds us that women continue to face challenges in many areas of life, including in women’s health care. But by providing quality health education, we can empower women to support their own health and wellbeing through good lifestyle choices. Information about the benefits of a balanced diet, physical exercise, healthy sleep patterns, and stress management can all contribute to better health outcomes. In addition, educating women about the benefits of nutritional supplements - and how to use them - can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses while improving overall quality of life. Many supplements are not only recommended but necessary for good health, particularly folate during pregnancy. Magnesium and Omega 3 also have clinically proven benefits for women’s wellness throughout life.