A Wonder Diet for Wonder Women
“When women take care of their health, they become their own best friend.”
– Maya Angelou
From juggling career paths or navigating motherhood to exploring hobbies and discovering herself, there’s nothing the modern woman can’t do, as long as she has ample Nourishment by her side! Learning to live with a pandemic has only emphasised the importance of good health and nutrition, especially key nutrients that need to be included in daily diets. On International Women’s Day, here’s a low-down on women’s nutrition and what foods to eat for maintaining optimum health.
The importance of a balanced diet
While a balanced diet is important for everyone to remain fit and healthy, the nutritional requirements of men and women differ considerably. Although both men & women need approximately the same amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, men usually require a higher calorie intake, while women have higher vitamin and mineral needs. Thus, it becomes especially important for women to pay special attention to what they eat, and include all the required nutrients in their daily diets.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important nutrients that women must include in their diets, as well as foods that can fulfill these nutritional requirements:
Iron: Iron is important to both men and women for energy metabolism, oxygen transportation, optimum cognitive and immune function, and formation of red blood cells. However, did you know that women actually need up to twice as much daily iron as men? Men need around 8 mg of iron in their daily diet, while women require up to 18 mg. This is mostly because of the blood loss caused by menstruation, which is why iron deficiency is actually the most common nutritional deficiency in women. Consuming leafy vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, peas, beans, pulses, iron-fortified cereals, bread and pasta, etc can help you meet your daily iron requirements. For non-vegetarians, poultry, seafood, and eggs can fulfil this need. You can also try our Fruit and Nut Medley or our Pumpkin Seed Mix for a quick, iron-rich snack!
Calcium: When women go through the phases of menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause, the body’s nutritional requirements increase. In fact, as women reach menopause, their ovaries stop producing estrogen, which is a hormone that helps the formation of bone-forming cells in a woman’s body. As the levels of estrogen drop, the absorption of calcium by the bones also reduces, leading to weaker bones. Since women have lower bone density than men due to the hormonal changes in their bodies, calcium becomes an especially important nutrient that must be consumed for bone health. Some sources of calcium include dairy, soy, leafy greens, fortified cereals, figs, chia seeds, almonds, and amaranth.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential as it helps transport calcium and phosphorus into the bloodstream. However, if you do not have enough Vitamin D, the body starts taking calcium and phosphorus from your bones, which, over time, can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis. Some sources of Vitamin D include sunlight, fish, mushrooms, and fortified
Magnesium: Though magnesium is an important nutrient for men and women alike, it plays a special role for women as it helps build and repair the tissues of the body, especially during pregnancy. In addition to helping strengthen bones and teeth, it can also help with PMS and menstrual cramps. Studies have shown that women who suffer from PMS have lower levels of magnesium than other women. Magnesium can help reduce symptoms of PMS such as bloating, mood swings, breast pain, cravings and insomnia. It can also help relieve uterine muscle cramping and discomfort that happens during menstruation. Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat and oat bran are all rich in this nutrient. Try our Almond Buckwheat Cookies or our Lime Chia Bars for a magnesium-rich treat! In addition to meeting their daily nutritional requirements, women also face a
host of challenges and concerns on a daily basis that can be dealt with by paying a little extra attention to their diet. While tweaking your diet may not completely remove these concerns, it can certainly help in managing and alleviating them.
Here are a few dietary tips to manage these concerns:
For the heart:
Cutting back on foods rich in sodium, trans fat, and sugar, and consuming foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fibre can go a long way in improving your heart health. Incorporate foods such as dark chocolate, chia seeds, walnuts, and other nuts and seeds in your diet for maximum benefits, or try our Omega Seed Mix and Chocolate Coconut Cookies for a tasty way to help your heart!
For skin and hair:
Consuming nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Omega-3, selenium and Zinc will definitely make your skin glow and your hair shine! Eat foods such as nuts and seeds, seafood, dairy products, and citrus to get your dose of these nutrients, or you can supplement your diet with our Lime Chia Bars and Pumpkin Seed Mix for an easy fix.
If you’re the kind of girl that likes to be on top of her game, you’ll find it comes with a whole lot of multitasking! Multitasking efficiently requires a lot of energy and focus. Keep yourself nourished with our handy, ready-to-eat health bars or power-packed trail mixes that you can munch on anytime, anywhere for a quick energy boost.
Phew…It’s time for a well-deserved break!
Making some time to pamper yourself is especially important for your physical and mental well-being. Put your feet up, apply your favourite face mask, put on your favourite TV show (or read a book!), and just relax. Add a warm mug of green tea and some chocolatey granola (or some namkeen, if you’re craving something savoury) to the scene for a healthy, wholesome, and calming day off.
To all the women who inspire us every day with their strength, beauty, kindness, and spirit— Nourish Organics wishes you all a very Happy International Women’s
Here’s hoping you stay happy, healthy, and well-nourished, always!