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El Civics, 2009, Retrieved from http://www.elcivics.com/lifeskills/images/healthy-foods.jpg

Nutrition and Women



As many believe living a healthy life consists of being stress free and being happy, perhaps the ultimate way to initially keep the human body healthy is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Eating well is a beneficial way in enhancing and supporting moods, boosting energy, and most important aiding in a higher level of self-esteem. (Help Guide, 2
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(Canada's Food Guide, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.putporkonyourfork.com/media/user/health_and_nutrition/canada_food_guide_2.jpg)
009) In terms of nutrition for women, eating a well balanced and sufficient diet can ease in the various changes a woman’s body may experience in certain stages of life. Adequate foods choices can help relieve painful symptoms of menstruation cycles, as well as make the ups and downs of pregnancy more comfortable to cope with. (Help Guide, 2009) Asides from relieving symptoms, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is also a key element in reducing stress and enhancing the overall feelings of an individual. (Help Guide, 2009)


The Important Food Groups:
In general women of all ages should have a well-rounded balanced diet consisting of all the necessary ingredients needed to maintain healthy weight and supply an ample amount of vitamins and proteins. (Help Guide, 2009) Meals which are composed of fresh fruits, whole grains, vegetables, healthy fats and lean sources of proteins will provide women of all ages with a good source of energy, and supply lifelong weight control. (Help Guide, 2009)


Consuming Calcium:
Certain vitamins and minerals are designed to manufacture and aid with certain aspects of a women’s body. For example, Calcium is a chemical element, which provides the bones with support to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis. (Student Health Services, 2009) Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by decreased bone mass as age progresses and is more common in women than men. (Tortura & Derrickson, 2009, p. 193) The peak time for osteoporosis to start taking over a women’s body is usually between the ages of 25-30, when a women is undergoing menopause she is also more prone to decreased bone mass, which will eventually lead to osteoporosis. (Student health Services, 2009) It is important for women to consume a sufficient supply of calcium by including foods such as yogurt, milk, and cheese as a part of a regular diet. (Iannelli, 2009) The average amount of calcium which should be consumed as a part of a women’s diet, in a woman aging between 19 and 50 years old is about 1, 000 mg/day. (Student Health Centre, 2009)


Folic Acid & Its Importance:
Folate Acid also known as folic acid or vitamin B is also an important element of a woman’s nutrition. Folic acid is especially significant for those women who are of childbearing age, as folic acid prevents risks of neural tube birth defects, which initially damage the brain and spinal cord. (Student Health centre, 2009) Excellent sources of folic acid come from cooked (boiled) lima beans, fresh or frozen orange juice; dry roasted peanuts and cooked spinach. (Folic Acid, 2009) The recommended daily intake for folic acid is estimated to be around 400 mg/day before pregnancy occurs, for safety purposes a woman who is considering the consumption of folic acid and is presently pregnant should consult a doctor. (Student Health Centre, 2009)
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Healthy Eating Guidelines, 2009, retrieved from http://www.healthy-eating-guidelines.com/images/HealthyEatingPyramid-resize.gif


Why Iron is Necessary:
Iron is also another dietary supplement which is crucial to the human body as it aids in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are essentially oxygen-carrying proteins. (Medline Plus, 2009) Initially, both hemoglobin and myoglobin are present in the blood, and during a woman’s menstrual cycle there is a significant amount of blood loss; which ultimately means the loss of iron. (Student Health Services, 2009) For this reason it is important for women to consume foods such as eggs, salmon, tuna and whole grains to make up for the loss of iron. (Medline, 2009)

A Short Video on Woman's Nutrition: Educate Yourself!

Nutrition: From Age 20 to 40
The female body changes at various ages, and consuming specific foods maybe more essential for women at certain ages. For example, in the early 20’s women should have a sufficient amount of calcium to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. (Cornforth, 2009) In the late 20’s, women who are considering becoming pregnant should increase their intake of folic acid to reduce birth defects in the fetus. (Cornforth, 2009) In the years of the 30’s, a woman’s metabolism is known to slow down 2-8 percent every decade, which initiates that women should consume 100 calories than they would have 10 years previous. (Cornforth, 2009) However, women should be keen on maintaining a balanced and highly nutritious diet.


Importance of Exercise:
As for any human being, aging is a lifelong process which is uncontrollable; however there are methods to make this very delicate process easier and less painful. As women approach the age of 40, muscles mass slowly starts to decrease and is usually replaced by fat. (Cornforth, 2009) Experts believe that exercise twice a week will lower the amount of fat on the body and will maintain muscle. (Cornforth, 2009) As well as exercise enhancing body image, it also aids in strength, flexibility, lowers risk of heart disease, controls blood pressure, relieves stress and most importantly enhances the general feelings of an individual. (Cornforth, 2009)

In Conclusion:
As women experience many different processes in life such as beginning to menstruate, which signifies they are of child-bearing age, this leads to the process of pregnancy and eventually the termination of menstruation through menopause. As women’s bodies are constantly under the stress of these various cycles, they can become more susceptible to diseases such as osteoporosis. It is important that women continue to eat an adequate supply of all the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain proper bodily functions. Asides from the types of foods, women should also be keen on eating regularly, and as people say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” which is essentially true. A solid breakfast provides high metabolism and energy to start off the day! (Help Guide, 2009)

References

Cornforth, T. (n.d.). A Lifetime of Fitness. Retrieved November 24, 2009, from http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/fitnessandhealth/a/fitatanyage.htm

Folic Acid. (2009). Important Information for Women. Retrieved December 4th, 2009,

http://www.folicacid.ca/faq

Help Guide. (2009). Nutrition for Women: Eating Right to Look and Feel Your Best. Retrieved

December, 6th, 2009, from http://helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_women_nutrition.htm

Iannelli, V. (2007). Calcium Rich Foods. Retrieved December 3rd, 2009, from

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/calcium/a/06_calcium_food.htm
Medline Plus. (2009). Iron. Retrieved December 5th, 2009, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000584.htm

Student Health Services, (2009).
Health Topics: Women’s Nutrition. Retrieved November 24th, 2009 from http://healthcenter.ucdavis.edu/topics/womens- nutrition.html

Tortura, G. J., & Derrikson, B. (2009). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. United States of

America: John Wiley & Sons Inc.