International Women’s Day is observed on March 8. Women are considered to be great at multitasking. From managing household work, office work to their social lives, women can do it all with a smile on their face. Yet, in an effort to maintain a balanced work and family life, taking care of their health ranks lowest on their priority list. With the rising cases of heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension prove that women pay the least attention to their health.
A good lifestyle, replete with regular exercise and proper diet is crucial to leading a happy, and fulfilling life. Irrespective of her age, every woman must make it a point to prioritise her fitness. We often match up proper diet to counting calories and cutting out carbs. Perhaps, question arises that are we on the right track, or have we completely misunderstood the concept of healthy eating? And, how different is the definition of healthy eating for every age group?
So, this International Women’s Day, here we are listing some healthy advice that women of different age groups need to follow to stay away from diseases and lead a healthy life. Read on.
Also read: Top Essential Nutrients That Should Be A Part Of Every Woman’s Diet
International Women’s Day: Here’s how nutritional needs change across different age groups
Teenager: Iron, an important mineral is crucial in the healthy maintenance of the blood cells. It becomes even more important for girls menstruating during puberty. With every period, iron is drained from the girl’s body, which in turn weakens her immunity, provokes lethargy and diminishes overall focus. During adolescent age it is vital for menstruating girls to maintain a proper intake of iron to keep up their health.
Leafy green vegetables are a rich source of iron
Photo Credit: iStock
Women in 20’s: In the 20’s, eating habits may not be good and women undergo several bodily and hormonal changes. So, there are no exceptions, that you’re at a peak bone-building time. During this age, the bones are in constant repair and need a high vitamin D intake for fast and assured absorption of Calcium. Further, a deficiency of vitamin D during this age could cause weak, brittle, easily breakable bones.
Women in 30s: In their late 20’s and early 30’s, reproductive health is of utmost importance for women’s general health and wellbeing. As the bodies change, so do the nutritional needs. A female’s body needs to be introduced to many new vitamins in order to prepare the body for child-bearing ahead. Folate is in-charge for the creation of new cells in the body and is also known for its preventative properties. A regular intake of folate such as dark green, leafy vegetables as well as taking a folic acid supplement before getting pregnant is a great way to make sure that the body is providing a cushion itself prior to pregnancy.
Also read: Why Pregnant Women Are At A Higher Risk Of UTI? Know Causes, Prevention And More From Our Expert
Women in 40s and 50s: Females in the age of 40 to 50 are in their perimenopausal stage, primarily at a higher risk of having iron deficiencies. Iron is a required for the reproductive organs and their functioning. So, foods rich in iron along with iron supplements are a must. The metabolism also starts to slow down a bit in your 40s, and one may find that you’re picking up a few extra pounds. So, keep tabs on the calories, and watch your intake of fats and carbohydrates. To this, there is a natural decline to lean body mass and skin elasticity but one can fight back with a one-two punch of resistance exercise, adequate protein and collagen boosting foods.
Women over 50s and beyond: Women above 50 years of age need more of the vitamin Bs than ever. Vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid also help the body in the production of RBCs, and functioning of the nervous system. Inadequacy of these essential nutrients can cause serious health problems. Additionally, the deficiency of calcium and vitamin during the 50s heightens the risk of bone damage, breakage, and osteoporosis. Post menopause, the female body has a reduced ability to absorb magnesium in the liver. a high intake of magnesium and proper nutrition can ensure that the body is meeting the levels.
Given the number of physical changes women face throughout their lives, it is important that you change their eating habits and lifestyle as they age.
Also read: Is Weight Training Important For Women? You Will Be Surprised To Know The Answer!
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)