Woman is the powerhouse that keeps everyone else around her alive and kicking. Her duty towards her family is most adored and the balance that she maintains between her work life and personal life is a legendary tale that a man seldom beats. The nutritional requirements of a woman amidst all the other achievements of her day many times takes a back seat. Here is a write up about the nutrients that are most required by women. Though some amount of these nutrients is present in the foods that we consume on day to day basis, special attention is required to fulfil the recommended level of vital nutrients.
Folate or Folic Acid:
Folate is also called Vitamin B9 and is one of the nutrients that is needed by women throughout her life. Especially women need 100 micrograms of folate a day and during pregnancy, the demand of the body goes up to 400mg a day failing which, there will be immediate and long term disadvantages. Some of the best sources of folate are orange, avocados, salmon, whole grains and root vegetables. Pregnant women are also given a folic acid supplement to compensate the deficit. Here are the benefits of consuming folate up to expectation:
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid keeps methionine in check, failing which the cholesterol increases and may cause heart related problems.
- Folate is vital for cell health, to avoid cell degeneration and required for faster brain response and the deficiency also might lead to symptoms of sluggishness.
- Folic acid is great for maintaining colon health by avoiding chances of colon cancer.
- For women of childbearing age, folate maintains a healthy blood count by production of RBC and thereby preventing anaemia.
- Folate is one of the key requirement in early pregnancy to keep neural defects at bay.
- Folate influences perinatal mood fluctuations. Adequate amount of folate keeps perinatal depression away.
Iron is a mineral which is a part of red blood cells. Iron is usually stored in liver, bone marrow, spleen and muscles. Body requirement of this mineral is 10 mg for men, 15 mg for women and 20 mg for pregnant women per day. Iron is an essential mineral throughout one's life. Iron is needed to stay oxygenated since they carry oxygen throughout the body. It also aids in production of energy. Women need more iron due to menstrual cycles lead to loss of blood and a need to replenish it before the next cycle begins. Iron can be supplied through regular consumption of beans, red lean meat, pulses, and leafy vegetables. Also eat good amount of Vitamin C rich foods like orange & berries to help in the absorption of iron.
Being building blocks of bones, calcium has a higher demand in women’s body since the metabolism of a woman in case of calcium degeneration is high and we tend to miss out on calcium by choosing to ignore calcium foods. Calcium prevents low bone mass and osteoporosis (degeneration of joints) during later stage of life. Women need 1000 mg of calcium per day and post-menopausal women need 1200 mg. calcium is found in milk, curds & other dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, fish with soft edible bones like sardine. Calcium can also be absorbed with consuming calcium fortified products like health drinks, soy products, cereal products and juices. Make sure those ready to have products are low in sugar, to keep lifestyle diabetes at bay.