- International Women's Day is observed on 8th March each year
- #choosetochallenge is the theme for Women's Day 2021
- Women require adequate nutrition during different phases of life
Women's bodies go through such tremendous changes during the different phases of life. Each year 8th March is observed as International Women's Day to celebrate women all across the world. The theme for the International Women's Day 2021 is #choosetochallenge. On this day, it is vital to highlight the nutritional needs and overall well being of woman. When you surf the internet about women's nutrition, you will find a plethora of articles about vitamins, super supplements, diets and whatnot. Do you know if your body does not have optimal levels of the below mentioned 5 key nutrients, you are at risk for multiple health issues? keep reading to know more about these nutrients you must not miss.
International Women's Day 2021: Essential nutrients for women
The top nutrient for women's health and an often-forgotten mineral is zinc. It is a trace mineral in the body that is extremely important to complete day to day functions effectively. From proper growth, development and functioning of the cells, to keep the immune system in order, there are multiple important functions of zinc. It also assists in fast wound healing, efficient breakdown of carbs to keep the thyroid gland and hormones function in a clockwork and much more.
If you're suffering from skin diseases, you might want to check your zinc levels and up your zinc intake. Now, before you pop a pill, try out natural food sources that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Some of these are pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, Kabuli chana, rajma, almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, bajra, jowar and ragi.
Another very important but forgotten mineral is phosphorus. Women's bodies, especially with the amount of work and stress they undergo, need a lot of calcium and phosphorus for optimal bone health, muscle maintenance and proper protein synthesis. A deficiency or low levels of phosphorus can lead to poor focus and low energy levels.
Women need at least 600 mg of phosphorus every day to keep energy levels and concentration levels balanced throughout the day. Your kitchen has all the answers when it comes to asking where can we find easy and reliable sources for phosphorus. Moth beans, urad, masoor, moong dals, dalia, steel-cut oats and paneer are some good sources.
Also read: Routine Health Checks Women Must Do
This one is a very important but often forgotten mineral that is essential for women's health. The thyroid affects more women than men. Iodine levels have to be optimal to keep the thyroid gland healthy. It keeps the cells healthy and good levels of iodine help keep the metabolic rate in check.
Where do you find natural sources of iodine? Strawberries, potatoes with skin, green beans, leafy veggies, watercress, yogurt and bananas are great vegetarian sources of iodine. Seaweed, eggs and fishes available easily in the market are other sources.
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for overall wellbeing. It is so important for women to have optimum magnesium levels at all phases of their lives. Heart health is often overlooked in women, but it is an increasing problem. Magnesium is a super mineral that lowers high blood pressure, acts as a blood sugar regulator, ups exercise performance and lowers inflammation in the body. It is also beneficial in reducing PMS symptoms.
Get your magnesium naturally from bananas, roasted almonds, pumpkin seeds and peanuts.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
This one is a crucial nutrient and is relatively well promoted. Omega-3 not only does wonders to your skin but also keeps your cardiovascular health in check by lowering triglyceride levels, increase HDL and helps prevent the hardening of arteries due to high inflammation in the body.
Great vegan sources of Omega 3 are walnuts, sabja seeds, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Eat healthy and take note of these essential nutrients.
Happy Women's Day to all!
(Lovneet Batra is a Delhi-based Nutritionist)
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