Nutrition for Women at all Ages
The importance of good nutrition can’t be disputed. Women need to eat a balanced diet including complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. Beyond the basics, it is important women get the right amount of certain key nutrients. But a woman’s nutritional needs change a bit as she ages. Particular minerals and vitamins become more important at certain times in a woman’s life.
Nutrition for women in their 20s
Your 20s often bring a lot of excitement. During this decade, you might be figuring out what to do with your life, starting a career, and perhaps starting a family. Eating the right foods may not be your top priority. But getting proper nutrition is important. It’s never too early to get into the habit of healthy eating. In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, it’s important to be sure you’re getting enough of the flowing nutrients.
Women hoping to become moms should include foods high in folic acid in their diet. Studies show a deficiency in folic acid increases a woman’s risk of having a baby born with certain birth defects. Aim for 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Foods high in folic acid include beans, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
Choline is a nutrient you may not have heard about. But it’s needed to maintain normal metabolism and transport of fats. It may also decrease the chances of neural tube birth defects. The daily recommended intake of choline is 424 milligrams for women. Good sources are egg yolks, beef, and Brussels sprouts.
Nutrition for women in their 30s
If you’re like a lot of women, your 30s are a busy decade. Between juggling work responsibilities and family life, you might be on the go nearly 24/7. Your nutritional needs may take a back seat to all you have to do. But make it a priority to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies along with foods containing the following nutrients:
Monthly menstrual periods can leave some women a bit low in iron. If your iron gets too low, it can lead to anemia. Adequate iron levels also help keep your immune system strong. Aim for 18 milligrams of iron each day. Iron fortified cereals, red meat, and pork are good sources.
Low vitamin D levels are linked to depression, pregnancy problems, and even heart disease. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, it’s likely your body is not working optimally. 600/IU a day of vitamin D is recommended for women. Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna, milk, and egg yolks are good sources.
Nutrition for women in their 40s and beyond
During your 40s and the years beyond, you might notice a few changes. Weight can creep up and your energy can decrease. But eating healthy can combat both weight gain and fatigue. Getting enough fiber, which helps you feel full, watching calorie intake, and eating healthy fats is a good place to start. Also, consider eating foods rich in the following nutrients:
Bone loss can start as early as your late 30s or early 40s. Eating foods high in calcium, such as yogurt, cottage cheese, and fatty fish can keep your bones strong. 1000 milligrams a day is recommended for women 19 to 50. Women over age 51 should aim for 1200 milligrams of calcium a day.
Omega-3 fatty acids offer several health benefits, especially for women in the 40s and beyond. Omega–3’s are thought to lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. They may also decrease symptoms of diseases including arthritis, which is more common as you age. Foods high in omega-3’s include salmon, chia seeds, and tuna, but a popular source is fish oil supplements.
Do you need assistance designing a nutrition plan to support your weight loss and fitness goals? The personal trainers and nutrition experts at Elite Triangle Fitness are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today!