From being a toddler to womanhood, women’s bodies go through a multitude of changes, so you need to eat according to the requirement of your body. Dt. Meenaz Ahmed, Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, Bangalore explains the importance of nutrition for women of all ages.
Healthy nutrition is a must for everybody. Women especially go through so many hormonal and physical changes in their life that maintaining a balanced diet with rich vitamins and nutrients becomes key to building good health. Nutrition is a crucial element for women, and this must be followed right from birth to old age as the nutrient requirements can be different at every phase of a women’s life. As girls grow into women and undergo phases like puberty, pregnancy, menopause and everything in between.
Nutrition for women of all ages
Babies and toddlers
The most important and crucial way to supply a new-born with the right nutrients is through breastfeeding. There is no other supplement as nutritious as a mother’s own milk. Kids tend to be extremely active, and they burn a lot of energy with their daily activities during their toddler years. It is important that they are given a healthy portion of protein, carbohydrate, fats, calcium, folate, fibre and especially Vitamins A & C. These nutrients will ensure that the child has everything that she needs as she grows.
As a girl grows into her adolescent-phase, her nutrition intake has to be monitored carefully. During her adolescence, there will be a shift in the hormones in her body as it prepares her for puberty. Insufficient nutrients will result in her inability to learn and work at maximum productivity, puts a restrain on having healthy children in the future, affects her sexual maturity and growth and insufficient calcium will result in weak teeth and bones. During this phase of their lives, adolescent girls tend to burn almost 2,200 calories every day which is a significant increase from their previous requirements as a toddler. Lean protein sources, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the best sources to retain the needed energy for her body.
Every Indian household has followed the practice of providing a girl child with healthy, nutritious food the moment she attains puberty. Although it has become more of customary practice, this provides major health benefits if maintained. During menstruation, there is significant blood loss and energy loss and girls tend to feel tired and exhausted. Without the right nutrition, they can become very weak, which can result in giddiness and fatigue. So, it is crucial that a girl is given food rich in protein, calcium, Vitamin D, iron, carbohydrates, dairy products, whole-grains, fruits and vegetables. Anaemia is a very common concern for girls at this age and therefore special focus on iron-rich food is mandatory.
The next major phase in a woman’s life is pregnancy. You no longer only eat…
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