A balanced eating pattern is a cornerstone of health. Women should enjoy a variety of healthful foods from all of the foods groups, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat or fat-free dairy and lean protein because the women have special nutrient needs, and, during each stage of a woman’s life, adolescence, as a growing lady, pregnant ladies and after growing old all these needs healthy life changes.
Nutrient-rich foods provide energy for women’s busy lives and help to reduce the risk of disease. A healthy eating plan regularly includes:
- Cereals, pulses, dals and main grains like millets, wheat are very important to health.
- dairy products including milk, yoghurt or cheese; or calcium-fortified soymilk. (Non-dairy sources of calcium for people who do not consume dairy products include calcium-fortified foods and beverages, canned fish and some leafy greens.)
- Five to 5-and-a-half ounce-equivalents of protein foods such as lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds.
- One-and-a-half to two cups of fruits — fresh, frozen, canned or dried without added sugars.
- Two to two-and-a-half cups of colourful vegetables — fresh, try to avoid canned foods, try to eat farm-fresh veggies and vegetables from the organic markets and important for glowing skin is to drink lots of water and take in fresh juices and smoothies for a fabulous body and fit health.
Iron is important to good health, but the amount needed is different depending on a woman’s stage of life. For example, iron needs are higher during pregnancy and lower after reaching menopause. Foods that provide iron include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and some fortified ready-to-eat cereals. Plant-based sources of iron are more easily absorbed by your body when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods. To get both these nutrients at the same meal, try fortified cereal with strawberries on top, spinach salad with mandarin orange slices or add tomatoes to lentil soup.
Daily Calcium and Vitamin D Requirements
For healthy bones and teeth, women need to eat a variety of calcium-rich foods every day. Calcium keeps bones strong and helps to reduce the risk for osteoporosis, a bone disease in which the bones become weak and break easily. Some calcium-rich foods include low-fat or fat-free milk, yoghurt and cheese, sardines, tofu (if made with calcium sulfate) and calcium-fortified foods and beverages, such as plant-based milk alternatives, juices and cereals. Adequate amounts of vitamin D also are important, and the need for both calcium and vitamin D increases as women get older. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon, eggs and fortified foods and beverages, like milk, as well as some plant-based milk alternatives, yoghurts and juices.
Balancing Calories with Activity
Since women typically have less muscle, more body fat and are smaller than men, they need fewer calories to maintain healthy body weight and activity level. Women who are more physically active may require more calories.
Physical activity is an important part of a woman’s health. Regular physical activity helps with muscle strength, balance, flexibility and stress management.