Six must have Nutrients for Women!

Six must have Nutrients for Women!

News Women's Health

Women undergo a lot of hormonal changes during their lifetime due to menstruation, childbirth, and menopause. This means their nutritional needs are different and much more than men’s.

Women need several key nutrients to maintain their health. Their nutritional needs change throughout the lifecycle, specifically during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and stress from work. Poor dietary choices can lead to deficiency of calcium, Vitamin D, and iron. This may affect their health, immunity, and energy levels and may lead to feeling low.

Here is a list of certain nutrients that women of all ages must include in their diet:

  1. Iron: It is the most essential nutrient that women need to stay healthy. It helps generate red blood cells, which are responsible to transport oxygen between the lungs and cells in the body. Iron also supports muscle metabolism and connective tissue health. Further, iron is also essential for neurological development, physical growth, hormone synthesis, and cellular functioning. Women generally have a higher risk of developing iron deficiency called anemia due to blood loss during menstruation. Therefore, women must maintain adequate levels of iron for a stronger body and healthier life. Iron-rich foods may include seafood, red meat, beans, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, legumes, and dried fruit and nuts.

  1. Folic Acid: It is a nutrient that helps the body make new and healthy cells. Folic Acid is vital for women who are planning to conceive or are pregnant. It plays a crucial role in the fetal development, especially the neural tube. Having sufficient Folic Acid helps prevent birth defects. Folic Acid can be found in leafy greens, breakfast cereals, beans, and citrus food.

  1. Calcium: It is the most crucial mineral that helps maintain strong bones and teeth. Bones and teeth hold most of our body’s calcium and give them shape and hardness. Compared to males, women are more vulnerable to develop osteoporosis, a condition where bones weaken and become fragile. Thus, women need to consume calcium for good bone health and density. Calcium-rich foods include leafy greens, dairy products, almonds, fortified juices, cheese, and anything made with fortified flour.

  1. Vitamin D: It is a fat-soluble vitamin and helps calcium absorption. Vitamin D helps maintain sufficient calcium and phosphorus concentration in our bones. It is important for bone health and can prevent cancer and autoimmune diseases. Sunlight is the primary source of Vitamin D. However, it can be obtained through foods like fatty fish (salmon, swordfish, tuna fish), dairy products, egg yolks, red meat, and mushrooms.

  1. Omega 3 Fatty acids: They are healthy fats vital for heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial to pregnant and nursing women. Our body does not produce adequate omega-3 fatty acids, so it is essential to obtain them externally to maintain proper health. Good source of omega-3 fatty acids may include fatty fish (salmon and sardines), chia seeds, flaxseeds, cod liver oil, and soybeans.

  1. Probiotics: Apart from the above nutrients, another essential substance important for good health is probiotics. It is a mixture of good bacteria that live in our body and keep us healthy. Probiotics contain microorganisms that improve digestion and help maintain good gut health. They are effective for bowel problems, lactose intolerance, vaginal infections, and urinary tract infections. Good sources of probiotics are yogurt, curd, and sourdough bread.

We only have one body, and it deserves to be treated with care and attention. Women must maintain good health by having a balanced nutrient-rich diet and consuming the right supplements. In case of specific needs, a dietitian or nutritionist must be consulted for a tailor-made diet plan that can address individual needs. Additionally, regular check-ups can help address health issues at initial stage and aid in recovery.