People have their own health habits depending on their preferences and lifestyles, but their universal language can be pinpointed to the hunt for consuming the best nutrient-rich foods and compressing them into their diet. Nutrient-rich foods provide a wide variety of nutrients to humans. But, most essential nutrients required for women might slightly differ with men due to their differences in biological and genetic makeup.
Aside from consuming foods and beverages packed with nutrients, some women might prefer vitamins manufactured in different forms. These can be in capsules, tablets, or even liquid vitamins that are great for women of different ages.
Folate and Folic Acid
During a female’s childbearing age, to lessen the risks of obtaining birth defects – particularly neural tube defects – one should follow a diet consisting of folate and folic acid. Foods and vitamins fortified with folate and folic acid can also serve as a pregnancy supplement, as long as women follow recommended amounts of 400 to 800 micrograms daily.
Aside from the prevention of neural tube defects in babies, such as anencephaly and spina bifida, being equipped with folate and folic acid greatly contributes to the development of the baby’s nervous system. More importantly, women should immediately consume folate and folic acid in the early weeks of their pregnancy, a vital stage where the brain and spinal cord begin to form.
Primarily, having enough iron in your body leads to the formation of healthy blood cells. Moreover, iron also makes sure that the blood cells supply enough oxygen to various parts of the body, reduce tiredness and fatigue, and many more health benefits. As most people are mistaken that iron isn’t a nutrient, iron deficiency takes up the majority of the population, especially in women. In fact, women experience iron deficiency greater than men, due to these reasons:
- During the stage of puberty, teenage girls start menstruation, thus the need to be prepared in losing a good amount of blood every month. To compensate for these losses, iron helps increase the rate of blood cell formation and regulation.
- Low levels of iron in the body can affect the immunity and performance of teens at school. Even before reaching the period of menstruation, girls should regularly consume 8 mg of iron daily, and elevate these to 15 mg once they start to menstruate.
- Once women reach the stage of adulthood, particularly 19 to 50 years old, iron still stands as an essential nutrient for their body. Women between these ages should consume 18 mg daily but when they reach pregnancy, women’s volume of blood almost reaches twice than the original, requiring about 27 mg of iron per day.
Take note that after birth, lactating women need less iron due to the absence of menstruation, so they should stick to 9 mg daily. But, once they stop lactation, they should return to 18 mg regularly.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is an important nutrient for both sexes. However, women need to be extra attentive to their calcium intake during adolescence and early adulthood. During a woman’s teenage years, the teeth and bones develop quickly and the skeletal system starts to store enough calcium to strengthen the skeleton once the body ages.
Consuming vitamin D enables the body to effectively absorb calcium, especially when it’s supplemented with calcium-fortified food, beverages, and vitamins. Regularly, girls from ages 9 to 19 should have 1300 mg of calcium and 600 IU for children and adults.
As you begin to age and reach late adulthood, especially after menopause, your body will quickly experience its inevitable effects. However, you can slow down the effects of aging in your skeletal system by intaking enough calcium and vitamin D.
Since the body decreases its capacity to absorb sunlight into the skin as people age, the presence of vitamin D in sunlight might not help greatly, so most physicians advise seniors to take calcium and vitamin D in the form of supplements.
While you might not consider fluids as nutrients, they’re essential for women, especially during late adulthood. Staying hydrated regularly offers numerous benefits for the body, but a woman’s body during her senior years will require her to increase her intake of fluids, such as water.
As an inevitable effect of aging, the kidneys will become less efficient in flushing out toxins inside the body, especially if you’re always dehydrated.
Often co-existing with aging, your thirst signals will also likely decrease, so you might frequently forget to drink your water. To aid in this problem, always keep track of your hydration by writing it down or setting alarms on your devices, whichever suits you best.
Checking the color of your urine is an effective method in identifying how hydrated or dehydrated you are – darker urine indicates that you need more fluid circulating inside your body.
Curating the best diet and developing good eating habits are keys to achieve good overall health. While taking foods packed with a variety of nutrients, you might find yourself needing more nutrients in the form of supplements.
As a woman, your bodily functions and processes become complicated during important stages of life, such as adolescence and aging. By being equipped with the right nutrients for every age, you can achieve a great health advantage in the long run.