March is here! What are we all waiting for? Spring!!!
But before welcoming the springtime, March is also about #NationalNutritionMonth and at the same time, we’re also celebrating #WomensHistoryMonth and #InternationalWomensDay.
And so we thought… why not dedicate a blog for these celebrations?
In this blog, we’re going to celebrate women’s health by sharing with you some information on women’s nutritional needs and how to obtain them whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, or 50s.
Why Women’s Nutritional Needs Differ From Men’s
We know for a fact that as we age, our bodies go through physical and hormonal changes, which basically start once we hit puberty. Because of this, our nutritional needs continue to evolve which means our diet should keep up to meet these needs.
According to studies, women’s bodies need fewer calories than men, but require higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Women go through the season of menstruation, child-bearing, and later in life, menopause. These affect hormonal changes in women’s bodies, which call for more intake of iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and folate in amounts higher than what men need.
While health supplements are helpful in supporting the nutritional gap, the primary source of these nutrients is still a healthy and balanced diet.
Best Foods to Eat in Your 30s
Your 30s may be the season of your life where a lot of growth happens - career, family, and even your waistline. That’s why it’s important to note that your food choices at this stage will directly impact your health later on in life. Here are some of the top food picks for women in their 30s:
- Iron-rich foods like lean beef, pork, beans & breakfast cereals with 100% iron (1 serving)
- Folic acid-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, asparagus, beef liver, black eyed peas, and oranges
- Calcium-rich foods for the bones like low-fat dairy products, milk, cheese, and yogurt
Best Foods to Eat in Your 40s
At this stage, your hormone levels continue to drop, metabolism slows down, and cholesterol levels go up. This is when women are more at risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. To protect your health, you need more of these in your daily diet:
- Fiber (at least 25 grams per day) in berries, whole grains (3 servings daily) & nuts
- Potassium-rich foods (aim for 4,700 mg per day) like avocado, spinach, banana, yams, salmon
- Calcium-fortified foods like broccoli, bok choy, beans and lentils. Also cut-back on sodium and limit processed foods.
Best Foods to Eat in Your 50s
The challenge of women at this stage is to tame their hormones, control menopause symptoms, and boost heart and brain health. These are some of the top foods for women in their 50s:
- Because you need more B6 (1.5 mg daily) and B12 (2.4 mcg daily) to protect your heart health, opt for foods like bananas, potatoes, pomegranates, and oats. Get your B12 fix from eggs, fish, and chicken.
- Fortify your defense from breast cancer by boosting your antioxidants from dark greens, dark yellow, orange fruits and veggies.
- Ease menopause symptoms by taking phytoestrogens with cashews, apples, corn & soy.
- Strengthen your bones by boosting your calcium and vitamin D intake. Get them from low-fat dairy products, almonds, kale, and broccoli. Egg yolks, tuna, and mackerel are also good sources of vitamin D for women at this age.
- Don’t forget to take your Omega 3 to help prevent plaque in the arteries and keep blood sugar in check.
Getting the right nutrition is key to enjoying good health no matter what stage you are in life.
If you’re having a hard time getting all these vitamins and minerals in adequate amounts, there are a number of natural supplements for women’s health that may support the nutritional gap.
There are so many things that demand women’s attention - from family to work or business, the list goes on. It’s so easy to set aside the need to pay attention to what you eat.
Eating right is fueling your body right. Eat well at every stage of your life!
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