Often side-tracked, often neglected, women put their health at least priority in the general scenario. Family, kids, everyone around comes first and by the end of it, she is too tired to think for herself. Let’s take time out today and talk about the nutrition and health of women. Eating healthy is a lifestyle to be followed by one and all, especially with women. Their bodies undergo a lot of developmental and hormonal changes in every phase of life and eating healthy is the right way to focus on staying healthy. A balanced diet with a routine pattern is essential to control cravings, manage weight, boost energy and look and feel at best.
Women have unique nutritional needs and with the everyday hustle of balancing the demands of family, work, kids, and more, it certainly becomes difficult for them to focus on themselves and maintain a healthy diet. Healthy eating is aimed to improve oneâ€™s health and prevent disease, by choosing food from all food groups in the right amount. It also means that one should avoid eating food with added sugar, sodium (salt), and saturated and trans-fat.
Eating more vegetables, snacking on fruits, eating freshly home-cooked food are simple ways of eating healthy.
What to include in your meal plan?
- Including Fruits & Vegetables every day, about half of your plate (two cups) at meals is a great start as most women donâ€™t get enough fruits and vegetables. Ensure eating a whole fruit and not juice and including a rainbow of vegetables through the week in your meal plan.
- Including different types of food with protein, like seafood, poultry, eggs, lean meat, legumes (beans and peas), lentils, tofu, seeds, nuts, and soy products to meet weekly protein recommendation of 8-10 ounces which makes for about 2 servings a week.
- Include 3 servings of dairy to serve the needs of mineral, calcium by eating low fat plain yogurt, or low-fat cheese, milk, fortified soymilk, and other fat free dairy products. Nondairy sources of calcium include fortified cereals, kale, broccoli, many fruit juices, green leafy vegetables help meet the calcium need of girls aged 9-18 and women above 50 years, who need more calcium for good bone health. Proper amount of Vit D in the body helps absorb calcium well which can be derived from leafy greens, fortified dairy, mushrooms, and more.
- Include plant-based oils in your diet instead of solid fats. Women naturally have more body fat and less muscle, so the consumption of calories needed on daily basis is around 1,600 and 2,400 based on age, height, weight, and activity level.
- Include iron rich foods like red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and some fortified ready-to-eat cereals along with vit-C rich foods for better absorption of iron.
- Folic Acid for women in childbearing age and during menopause is also equally important. 400 micrograms are ideal for normal woman whereas 600 micrograms is recommended for pregnant woman to meet the dietary needs. Food sources like fortified cereals, breads, green leafy and oranges help get folic acid in your diet.
There isnâ€™t one special ingredient or food source but a proper healthy, nutritious & balanced regime that helps you stay healthy and fit now and later in life. Remember a healthy woman helps keep the entire household healthy.