Like Men, women also require a balanced diet including foods such as lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat dairy. However, women need special vitamins and nutrients and these needs change during different stages of woman’s life.
We list you the five essential nutrients for women that helps protects from chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer, high blood pressure and more as woman goes through different life stages.
1. Vitamin D
Lack of Vitamin D can lead to Brittle bones or Osteoporosis. The nutrients help absorb calcium and keep bones stronger. Several research studies found that taking good doses of Vitamin D can help lower the hip fractures in older women by about 30 percent. Vitamin D can be obtained from skin, diet and from vitamin supplements. But as you age, your body produces less Vitamin D. However, women can obtain the Vitamin D intake by increasing their dairy products via milk, yoghurt, cheese.
2. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
B-complex vitamins are essential nutrient for expectant mothers, older women and in fact for all ages of women. The folic acid or folates are cardio-protective and helps build new tissue. Low folic acid levels can lead to anaemia, weight loss, weakness, headaches and high levels of homocysteine in the blood or heart risks.
Include leafy green vegetables, citrus, berries, nuts and olive oil in your diet for reaching the recommended daily allowance of 400 micrograms of folic acid
Adequate amount of calcium helps the body make new bone cells and is associated with lowering the risks of Bone fractures and improving bone health. Consuming milk alone is not enough however, and so include in tofu, cereals, soy, strawberries and rice beverages, vegetables such as kale, broccoli and Chinese cabbage, and fish such as salmon and sardines in your daily diet along with the dairy products.
4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
A diet rich in Omega 3s can help women with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and heart risks. The fatty acids in Omega 3s can help soothe inflammation, and the fish oil supplements can aid in cartilage and bone. Omega 3 fatty acids are also present in flax seeds, watermelon seeds, besides fatty fish like salmon, tilapia or codfish and these foods can reduce inflammation.
5. Vitamin B12
As women age, low levels of vitamin B12 may occur and this is due to the lack of hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin. Lack of Vitamin B 12 can experience fatigue, weight loss, poor memory, dementia, anaemic and depression. Vitamin B 12 can be obtained by including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and cereals in diet, and the recommended daily amount of B12 is 2.4 micrograms daily for adults.