Feeling confused by all the nutrition information out there? Don’t know which of it applies to you? Find yourself constantly wondering which foods are important for you? In the next few posts, I thought to focus on foods and nutrients that are specifically important for women. They are simple and without frills and fuss and will provide you with a good starting point.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and Vitamin D work hand-in-hand and vitamin D is a key role player in the way our bodies use calcium. As you may know, calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, but it’s also important for regulating blood pressure and keeping your heart beating normally. The average adult woman needs 1000mg of calcium and 200IU of Vitamin D per day. The recommendation for calcium increases to 1200mg for women over 50.
Monthly cycles mean that pre-menopausal women need more iron than men and iron deficiency is fairly common in young women. The recommended iron intake for pre-menopausal women is 18mg, and the recommendation increases to 27mg for pregnant women. So make sure to eat plenty of iron-rich foods – examples are lean meats (beef and sardines are excellent sources), beans, lentils, enriched breakfast cereals and pumpkin seeds.
Aim to get at least two and a half cups of vegetables per day and make sure you include dark green ones. Green veg such as spinach, Bok Choy, broccoli, asparagus and green beans are packed with Vitamins A and C, fibre and phytochemicals. They are also high in folate, a very important vitamin for pregnant women to prevent neural-tube defects in infants. So if you’re planning a little one or have the bump already, focus on the folate.
Focus on these to start off with and watch out for the next post…
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