International Women's Day: Here's How Nutritional Needs For Women Change With Age
International Women's Day 2021: Not just body weight, a healthy diet promotes overall well being. The right kind of nutrition is important for women during various stages of life. Read here to know about nutritional needs of women.
International Women's Day 2021: Women should consume a iron-rich diet to prevent anemia
- International Women's Day is observed on 8 March each year
- A healthy diet can help prevent nutritional deficiencies
- Add enough calcium, vitamin D, iron and B6 to your diet
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in a woman's life. The nutritional needs of women are different when compared to men, as women have to go through various transitions such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation and menopause. Thus, it is the need of the hour to stick to a balanced diet loaded with all the essential nutrients to keep nutritional deficiencies at bay and stay healthy! As International Women's Day is around the corner, here are some essentials every woman must add to their diet as per her age.
International Women's Day 2021: Nutritional needs for women
1. Childhood and adolescence
During the early days, nutrition plays a key role in the growth and development of the child. Thus, the vital nutrients that are needed for girls during adolescence are calcium that is required for a good bone mineral density and stronger teeth. Hence, lack of calcium in the diet leads to decreased bone health and conditions like osteoporosis in later life. The right amount of calcium can also help prevent weight gain in adolescent years. Get your daily dose of calcium from milk, tofu, cheese, nuts, green vegetables, and soy.
Iron is also necessary for general health and development. From menstruation to menopause may women experience iron deficiency anemia. Beans, apricots, and cereals are rich sources of iron. Even protein is a must and eggs, cheese and yogurt should be included to diet.
2. During child-bearing age or pregnancy
Nutritional needs differ and are higher during pregnancy. A healthy diet will aid in the growth and development of the foetus. Folate that is B9 helps in preventing neural tube effects. Opt for dried beans and peas to get folate. Calcium is essential during pregnancy for development of bones and teeth of the baby. So, eat broccoli, kale, and figs.
Iron can help in the growth of the baby and placenta during pregnancy. Eat whole grains and legumes.
Iodine is required for blood cell production and even regulates the body temperature of a pregnant woman.
Vitamin C is required for body tissue formation. So, eat berries and capsicum. Likewise, B6, zinc, folic acid, vitamin D, and choline are also crucial.
Moreover, balancing these nutrients during breastfeeding and lactation is also needed. Eat healthy foods belonging to each group like calcium, protein, iron, and vitamins. Don't forget to add fenugreek and flaxseeds to your daily diet. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should always consult their doctor to understand what eat and avoid.
During menopause a woman may experience low energy levels, low bone mineral density, poor memory and higher risk of several diseases. Mood swings, weight gain, and hot flashes are some of the symptoms that are seen in menopausal women. Thus, right nutrition is important to fight these symptoms effectively. Opt for calcium, antioxidants, vitamin A and C-rich foods/ Load up your diet with sprouts, peppers and citrus foods like kiwi, oranges, lemon and berries. Even omega-3 fatty acids can do the trick. Salmon, fish oil, and pumpkin seeds are helpful.
Also read: Routine Health Check Women Must Do
Vitamin D and calcium are required for healthy bones and muscle health during older age. Even B12 keeps the brain in good shape. Drinking fluids helps in flushing out waste from the body.
Every woman must ensure a healthy and well-balanced diet during different phases of life.
Happy International Women's Day!
(Dr. Ila Tyagi, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Apollo Spectra Mumbai)
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