There is no doubt that healthy nutrition is the foundation of a healthy life for all individuals at all ages, especially women that need a variety of nutrients in each period of their lives.
Why do women need different nutrition than men?
There are several differences between the nature of women and men’s bodies and this can be summed up as follows:
- The proportion of fat in women, compared to muscle mass in men: a woman’s body contains a higher proportion of fat, while a man’s body contains more muscle mass, which in turn burns more fat which requires a man to need more calories than a woman.
- Hormones: women suffer from hormonal fluctuations that continue throughout the month, before and during pregnancy, and may therefore increase the desire to eat more food, especially high calorie overfilling sweets and fats.
- Many of the women may resort to eating more food when exposed to nervous tension and pressures they face throughout the day, which in turn leads weight gain coupled with a lack of any athletic activity.
- Thus, women have a special nature of food requirements that differ from that of men. Let us highlight the necessary nutrients for women in different periods of her life.
The most important nutrients necessary for pregnant women
- For a pregnant woman, she only needs a little extra amount of protein than normal. A pregnant woman needs 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of her own weight.
- She also needs the essential fatty acids, and it is not recommended to over-reduce fat, as it must not be less than 10% of calories intake per day.
- It is also advisable to eat complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread – whole rice and breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins and minerals. These foods can increase the amount of fiber that is recommended to 28 grams per day during pregnancy.
- It is recommended to eat various fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli which contains folic acid and is essential during pregnancy, in addition to eating low-fat dairy products.
What about the necessary nutrients for aging women
Nutritional requirements for women differ for each age, where there are some changes in body shape like the reduction in bone density and a lack of immunity.Therefore your diet must contain essential nutrients to meet these changes and enjoy a healthy life.
How to get the full benefits of these elements
- Food is considered an effective treatment for integrated nutrition necessary during different periods of life. Exposure to sunlight is also a good source for vitamin D and is necessary to maintain the integrity of bones, particularly for women over the age of forty.
- Eating an adequate amount of fiber each day, which is found in whole wheat bread and breakfast cereals, brown rice and oats, also helps in reducing the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood and increase the level of good cholesterol.
- Eating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables every day, and not only on one type of vegetable or fruit so that the body can get different vitamins and minerals daily. Women should focus on more dark-colored vegetables such as spinach and various leafy vegetables.
- Eating meals that contain fish three times a week, preferably salmon, sardines and mackerel as they contain a good percentage of calcium.
- Eating a small handful of raw nuts on a daily basis, such as almonds and walnuts as they have a good percentage of omega-3 and vitamin E, which is essential for the body’s proper use of oxygen.
- Minimal intake of fat, which can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and to eat 20 to 35% of the daily requirement of calories while keeping away from saturated fats.
- Eating a meal containing beans or chickpeas or lentils once a week.
- Adequate intake of fluids throughout the day. The recommended fluid intake is 3,700 ml for men and 2.700 ml for women and can be obtained from both food and water.
- There are also several tips every woman should follow in all stages of her life to preserve the beauty and freshness of her skin and maintain an ideal body weight.
Some important tips:
- Choosing fat-free meat or poultry.
- Getting protein from various other sources for meat and poultry broad beans – beans – lentil
- Eating of food that is rich in potassium which can be found in vegetables and fruits, especially bananas.
- Reducing the use of oils and saturated fats and replace them with fat-free products.
- Reducing the amount of sodium used in cooking.
- Adoption of a steam cooking method, especially when cooking vegetables as it preserves the amount of vitamins and minerals they contain.
- Drinking 8 glasses of water a day to maintain skin freshness and help to burn excess fat.
- Eating dairy products, light or fat-free while minimizing amounts of cheese which is high in fat and salt.
- Walking for 30 minutes, 5 times a week.
- Refrain from smoking.
These are the tips that I follow for a healthy life. Thank you Quaker for letting me share my thoughts with our Quaker Friends.