A balanced diet is something which is essential for both men and women. It is important to follow dietary recommendations for a healthy lifestyle.
But when it comes to women, they have different needs. Rightly said:
Keep yourself healthy with the right mix of vitamins. But which Vitamin? and in what amount? are the things to wonder for.
Vitamins are essential for your overall health. Getting them in the daily recommended intake(DRI) amounts can be easy if you maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Most women can get all the essential vitamins they need by making smart food choices. However, some women may need vitamin supplements.
Here I am listing down some of the top vitamin essentials for a healthy woman:
Both men and women metabolize iron from food at almost the same rate. However, while men need around 8 mg of iron in their daily diet, women need up to 18 mg (or 27 mg if pregnant). Women need more iron than men to make up for the amount of iron they lose in their menstrual period. Around 1 mg of iron is lost for every day of bleeding.
Iron is essential for carrying out different functions in the body, including supporting immune function and oxygen flow throughout the body, maintaining muscle function, and improving energy levels. Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in women. It may lead to anemia. Common symptoms of anemia are tiredness and breathlessness.
During pregnancy, the need for the iron in women increases, as inside the womb, the baby’s blood system is developing. Iron deficiency in pregnant women increases the risk of having a preterm or low birth weight baby, which can have a negative impact on the short and long-term health of the baby.
Sources of iron:
Leafy green vegetables like spinach
Nuts and seeds
Legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils
Tofu and soybean
Red meat, chicken, and fish
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 has many roles in your body. It supports the normal function of your nerve cells and is needed for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. For most adults, the recommended daily intake (RDI) is 2.4 mcg, though it’s higher for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
It’s responsible for many bodily functions and may benefit your health in various ways, such as by preventing major birth defects, supporting bone health, improving mood, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that you must obtain through diet or supplements.
Sources of Vitamin B12:
fortified plant-based milk
Calcium is essential for the building and maintenance of strong and healthy teeth and bones. Calcium is also needed for the proper functioning of the heart, nervous, and muscular systems.
During the teenage years (particularly ages 11-15), your bones are developing quickly and are storing calcium so that your skeleton will be strong later in life. Nearly half of all bone is formed during these years. It’s important that you get plenty of calcium in your diet because if the rest of the body doesn’t get the calcium it needs, it takes calcium from the only source that it has: your bones.
The deficiency of calcium in women may also lead to "Osteoporosis". Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bones to become fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly and is usually caused by a combination of genetics and too little calcium in the diet.
Special care should be taken in the case of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Their need for calcium is a little more.
Apart from food sources, extra supplements should be taken to fulfill the calcium requirement.
Sources of Calcium:
milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy foods
green leafy vegetables – such as curly kale, okra, and spinach
Soya drinks with added calcium
Almonds and seeds
Beans and lentils
bread and anything made with fortified flour
fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and canned salmon
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that promotes good bone health by maintaining the body’s calcium pool. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are also said to help with immunity, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower the risk of some cancers.
It supports proper brain, muscle, and immune function and is also good for heart health and also maintains bone and teeth health.
Spending time in the sun is a good way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, sufficient sun exposure is difficult for many people to achieve.
Sources of Vitamin D:
The primary source is sunlight
Milk and Cheese
Cod liver oil
Fish - Salmon, Herring, and Sardines
Biotin is vitamin B-7 or vitamin H and is a water-soluble vitamin. Since our body does not store water-soluble vitamins, do we need to take such vitamins from food?
Biotin boosts the health of the hair and nails, supports a healthy pregnancy, and helps manage blood sugar levels, among other benefits.
Biotin helps the body convert food into energy — it supports a number of enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbs, fats, and proteins.
Sources of Biotin:
Legumes e.g soybean, peanut, etc
Magnesium is an essential mineral, which plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in our body. It carries out various functions like helping with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting the immune system.
Women should be taking in 310 to 320 mg of magnesium per day (350 to 360 milligrams for pregnant women). Magnesium helps in boosting mood, reducing symptoms of PMS, and reducing muscle weakness and cramps.
Sources of Magnesium:
Nuts and seeds
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