Highlights

  • Every age has different dietary requirements
  • Here’s what women should eat in different stages of life
  • Also, know other factors that affect their health and well-being

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International Women’s Day Special: Know the ideal nutrition and diet for women

This Women’s Day, know the dietary requirements for women of different age groups.  

International Women’s Day Special: Know the ideal nutrition and diet for women

International Women’s Day 2022: The ideal nutrition and diet for women depend on a lot of factors. A woman who is an athlete, breastfeeding or suffers from diabetes will have different diets. However, a balanced eating pattern is key to good health. The variety of food that any woman should have in her diet includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy or low fats, fat-free dairy and lean protein.

Whole-grain and whole-wheat food is an essential part of the diet. Bulgur, quinoa, brown rice or oats are healthy options. One of the essential nutrients that women need in their diet is iron. Iron needs are higher during pregnancy and lower after reaching menopause. Foods that provide iron include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and some fortified ready-to-eat cereals. Plant-based sources of iron are more easily absorbed by your body when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods.

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Folate is an important component during the reproductive years. When women reach childbearing age, folate plays an important role in decreasing the risk of birth defects. Including adequate amounts of foods that naturally contain folates, such as oranges, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas, will help increase your intake of this B vitamin. Pregnant women would have a higher intake of folate than others.

Women need to eat calcium-rich and magnesium-rich food every day for healthy bones and teeth. Some options include soybeans, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified food. Food rich in magnesium includes almonds, spinach, cashews, pumpkin seeds and peanuts. Adequate amounts of vitamin D also are important, and the need for both calcium and vitamin D increases as women get older. Fatty fish, such as salmon, eggs and fortified foods and beverages, like milk are rich in vitamin D.

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The overall health of a woman depends on a lot of other factors too. Apart from eating healthy women need to restrict some eating and drinking habits too. Smoking and drinking are injurious to health. Try limiting it as much as possible. Avoid food and drinks that have added sugar and preservatives. Exercise regularly, engage in some physical activity, meditate and sleep for at least eight hours.

(Inputs by Dr Dini Gopinathan, Birla Ayurveda)


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