by Shabana Praveen
Today’s modern woman is a multi-tasker, sometimes tiring schedule can make it difficult for any woman to maintain a healthy diet. Hormonal changes associated with menstruation, childbearing, and menopause mean that women have a higher risk of anemia, weakened bones, and osteoporosis, requiring a higher intake of nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B9 (folate).
An unbalanced caloric and protein intake due to incorrect food consumption, responsible for severe under- or overweight. During this age, women are most active at their workplace and household chores.
A correct balance of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in the daily diet provides essential benefits for optimal female health and provides adequate energy for daily activities. Focus on certain nutrients and food sources to compensate for bodily changes starting around age 30. These include foods to help build lean muscle mass, strengthen bones, and prevent diseases.
A balanced diet rich with fruits and vegetables and going low on processed food and saturated fats are a must for woman in 30’s for monitoring weight.”
Increase the intake of complex carbs whole grain cereals, millets, ragi, jowar, bajra etc.
You need to increase your protein intake to improve metabolic rate and calorie burning potential. Protein is an important macronutrient for muscles, skin, bones, hair, and body tissues. The Dietary Guidelines recommends 0.8 grams to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein rich sources are legumes, beans, pulses, soya bean, nuts, chicken, fish, eggs etc.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for certain vital functions and benefits. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is essential for the eye, nerve and membrane development. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are important for the production of prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance, that usually help to regulate blood pressure, inflammation, neurological functions, hormones production etc. It alleviates rheumatoid arthritis, to prevent osteoporosis and reduces cancer risk.
Sources are Fish and other seafood (fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines), nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts), plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil).
Vitamin D and calcium:
important for bone metabolism, supports muscle strength and function. Vitamin D also helps in calcium absorption. Low blood levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, or high blood pressure. In pregnant women, low vitamin D levels are linked to pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
According to the ICMR -NIN, recommends 600 International Units of vitamin D for adults. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, and good food sources include egg yolks, fish and liver, dairy products, fortified cereals. Always consult a doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
As you grow old, your estrogen level declines, which in turn affects your bone density adversely. Therefore, an increased calcium intake coupled with vitamin D becomes essential at this juncture. Women need around 1000mg of calcium a day. Good sources of calcium include low fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fish, tofu, almonds, foods fortified with calcium like orange juice and cereals.
When your body doesn’t have enough Iron, your blood will lack adequate healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Some of the common symptoms of iron deficiency include tiredness, shortness of breath, noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations) and pale skin. women in their 30’s fell into the category with the greatest risk of iron deficiency.
Rich sources of iron are dried fruit, nuts, iron-fortified bread and breakfast cereal, legumes (mixed beans, baked beans, lentils, chickpeas), dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, broccoli)
For better iron absorption it’s also important to include vitamin C in your diet, sources like all kinds of citrus fruits, lemon, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, etc
Fibre, vitamins and antioxidants:
Fibre, vitamins and antioxidants are very important for healthy metabolism, boosting immunity and repairing cellular damage.
Good sources are: wholegrain cereals oats, barley and rye, fruits such as berries, pears, melon, and oranges. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn, peas, beans, pulses, nuts, and seeds.
(The author is Nutrition & Dietetics Expert Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)