19 July 2016

6 Vital Nutrients for Women and Their Sources

By
Nutrition plays a vital role throughout a women’s life cycle for appropriate development. Adequate nutrition promotes proper growth of a woman from conception through infancy to adulthood.

As women undergo complex changes over the years, their bodies need an array of nutrients. Eating a balanced diet may provide her all the essential nutrients but due to her hormonal changes certain nutrients may be needed at higher levels at different stages of her life.

Let’s know about the 6 vital nutrients a woman needs and their sources ...

6 Vital Nutrients for Women and Their Sources

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are crucial in a healthy diet plan. They provide energy for your brain, muscles and every cell in your body. They also contribute fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans are excellent sources of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates in these foods promote steady digestion and absorption there by giving a feeling of satiety.

Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre has multitude of benefits. It aids in weight management, reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Soluble fibre is important for lowering cholesterol and may help keep blood sugar levels steady. Insoluble fibre can be fermented by gut bacteria, producing substances that appear to be great for gut health. Providing ‘food’ for gut bacteria can also help increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut and thereby improving body’s immunity.

Calcium

Calcium is pivotal for healthy bones. By taking enough sources of calcium when young, can prevent the debilitating disease osteoporosis when you are old. Risk of this brittle bone disease becomes higher when your bones are deficient in calcium. Dairy products are highlighted as the best source of calcium but other sources include small boned fish (sardines, anchovies), green leafy vegetables, soya milk, tofu, nuts and oil seeds.

Folic acid

Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is indispensable during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies. Thus health experts recommends to take folic acid while planning for a baby and during pregnancy. Folate is also good for the immune system, energy production, preventing anaemia and may also help to protect against heart disease and stroke. Cereals, citrus fruits, lentils, some greens are prime source of folic acid.

Iron

Iron is the principal nutrient needed throughout the life. Iron is essential for the synthesis of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from lungs and supplies all over the body. The mineral is also part of many enzymes and is integral to the immune system. Women need more iron to make up for their menstrual loss. During mensus, 1 ml of iron is lost every day. Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include feeling weak, tired, breathless, unable to focus and more susceptible to infection. Good sources of iron include non-vegetarian foods like chicken, meat, egg yolk, greens, legumes, dried fruits and nuts.

Omega three fatty acids

Omega three fatty acids are vital for the development of a baby’s brain, which makes them a key nutrient for pregnant women. Better intake of omega-3 during pregnancy may help to ensure the baby develops a healthy brain and nervous system and possibly reduce the risk of having a premature baby. Omega­3 fats reduces LDL cholesterol levels and makes heart healthy, curbs arthritis and depression. Oily fishes, walnuts, avocado, flax seeds are incredibly rich in omega­3 fatty acids.

0 comments:

Post a Comment