Trying to balance the demands of family and work or school can make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet. As women, we are prone to neglect our dietary needs
Try this simple healthy eating tip
Change your focus from “special dietary for me” to “adding nutrient-rich food to my diet will also add nutrient-rich food to my family’s diet”
The items you choose to eat are the same as what your friends or family will eat, just in different proportions. Focus on nutrition. Eliminate empty calories and non-nutritive foods such as carbohydrates and sugars. Fill the cooking jar and chip bags with crunchy fruits and vegetables.
While women tend to need fewer calories than men, our requirements for certain vitamins and minerals are much higher. Hormonal changes associated with menstruation, child-bearing, and menopause mean women have a higher risk of anemia, weakened bones, and osteoporosis. Life changes as we age require a higher intake of nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B9 and B12 (folate).
Whether you’re looking to
- Improve your energy and mood
- Combat stress or PMS
- Boost fertility or enjoy a healthy pregnancy
- Or easing the symptoms of menopause
these nutrition tips can help you to stay healthy, active, and vibrant throughout your ever-changing life.
Let’s take a look at a more focused nutritional information plan by age group
Rockin’ Your 20’s
So many things are new; You move into your first apartment, you start your first real job, new friends, and maybe marriage.
Will you be a Slave to the stove and groceries – probably not going to happen?
Make fast food healthy. This does not me the drive-through window. There is no nutritional food out of the window.
- Find meal prep companies and pick up your food a week at a time.#spirited food company, #dream Dinners, #prep to your door, #Meal Proz #Blue Apron
- Your local grocery store has premade meals. In the morning blend up a smoothy, and at lunch enjoy some fruit and leftovers. Dinner will be in the fridge waiting to be popped into the oven.
- There are many 30 min meals and easy options. Planning a little ahead of time will save you money, food will taste better and your energy levels will soar. Check out this link for some Protein focused food options.
Critical nutrients to be mindful of:
Protein – A must for muscle building. Recommended 60-70 grams a day. Protein supports hormones, immunity, hair, skin, and muscle. Protein is your workforce that keeps the body running smoothly. If you are working hard on cardio and strength training an ideal amount of protein would be 1 gram per pound of body weight.
Potassium – For your heart muscles. Recommended – 2 cups of fruit and veggies daily. Two great additions are Avocados and Spinach
Omega 3 fatty acids – boosts serotonin and supports the brain. Vegan suggestions are flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
Shifting to the top of the world – women in their 30’s
Do you feel like you are constantly juggling the demands of work, home, and friends? You didn’t think life could get busier but it did.
A few tips to consider:
- Exercise smarter not harder
- Work with your hormones not against them
- Transition your plate to more plant-based foods
Nutrients to remember:
Folate – B9 (folic acid) is an important vitamin that helps the production of DNA and RNA. Folate is also a critical vitamin for a healthy pregnancy. Studies also show that folate will lower the risk of cardiovascular and strokes. B12 and B9 supplements are recommended if you are planning on pregnancy. Try snacking on some chickpeas, broccoli, or ½ an avocado. Toss an orange into your afternoon snack with the kids or co-workers.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the neurological and early visual development of your baby and for making breast milk after birth. Seaweed is a rich vegetarian source of Omega-3s.
Phytonutrients are antioxidants that slow aging: this is the fun nutrient you can find in dark chocolate, red wine, and a good organic coffee.
Calcium – We begin to lose bone mass in our 30’s. Now is the time to add calcium-rich foods into your diet. Foods such as yogurt, cheese, and almonds.
Skipping breakfast is a no-no
This sets you up for sugar cravings and overeating later in the day. A fiber-rich healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need in your busy day and will help keep your blood sugars and mood in check until lunch. You can start your day with all the important nutrients by enjoying a quick bowl of oatmeal and coconut milk, and top it off with some berries and a handful of almonds.
You are the boss in your 40’s
This is the time women seem to begin giving a little back to themselves. We think more about what we eat and get involved in fitness. The body begins to change and puts on weight. Estrogen levels also begin to change which may lead to estrogen withdrawal or estrogen dominance
A few tips to incorporate:
- Cut back on the caffeine and address the mid-day energy dip with whole foods.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Cut out empty calories – chips, soft drinks, and latte syrups. Learn more about unhealthy food and calories.
Vit D and calcium – are very important for a strong immune system and help protect the body from breast cancer. Stress is a big factor when it comes to depleting the immune system. Protect the body and stay on your toes with Vit D Recommended is 1000 IU a day.
Calcium – Your bone-building estrogen is on a decline. Supplement with calcium. The recommended goal is 1000 mg daily. Here is a list of Calcium rich foods everyone will love.
Fiber – decreases cholesterol and the risk of colon cancer. With the proper amount of fluid intake, fiber keeps the colon happy and moving. Add figs, peas and black beans, lentils, Quinoa, and bananas to your shopping list for great sources of fiber.
Protein – supports lean strong muscles. Less muscle mass means a higher body fat percentage.
A time to be you, find you, and a little something special just for you – 50’s and 60’s
At this stage of your life, learn to choose wisely and purposely. There is really good cake at the wedding and not so good cake. Stick with the blueberries and a nice glass of Sirah. Aging is normal – take steps to encourage healthy and productive aging by eating more whole foods. Nutrition plays a large role in reducing chronic disease and muscle loss.
Changes to watch for are increases in blood pressure and cholesterol. Limit your sugar intake, and be aware of diabetes in your family history.
Tips to focus on:
- Ease menopause symptoms with these few dietary changes. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids can help boost hormone production and give your skin a healthy glow. Evening primrose oil and blackcurrant oil are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that can help balance your hormones and alleviate hot flashes. Try flaxseed for hot flashes. Flaxseed is rich in lignans, which help stabilize hormone levels, and manages hot flashes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your daily diet. Try sprinkling it on soups, salads, or main dishes.
- Limit wine, sugar, white flour products, and coffee to ease hot flashes.
- Boost calcium intake (along with vitamin D and magnesium) to support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
- Eat more good fats. Nuts, avocado, Salmon, and dark chocolate to name a few.
Nutrients to focus on:
Our bodies really love protein!
Protein is essential for preserving muscle mass, a strong metabolism, and a strong immune system. As women age, the demand rises to .9 grams per healthy pound of body weight. You can supplement with a good protein powder in your morning smoothie. Remember to read the ingredients and be careful not to get added sugars or fake protein sources. Check out the best protein powders for women
Fiber – supports a healthy heart, slows sugar absorption and helps to stabilize blood sugars, and promotes a healthy bowel movement- Think of beans, nuts, lentils, and whole grains. Try having a plate of just steamed veggies a few times a week.
Calcium and Vit D go hand in hand – our risks for osteoporosis increase with hormonal changes. increase calcium to 1200 mg per day – get out in the sunshine 20 min a day to help boost these levels. Poor Vit D levels are associated with mental decline, depression, and type 2 diabetes.
Vit B12 This vitamin plays a key role in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, DNA repair, immune function, and brain and heart health. After age 50, your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 declines, so it becomes even more important to get this vitamin in your diet. B9 pairs well with B12 improving the absorption of these important nutrients. Adults over 50 should aim to consume 2.4 mcg per day of vitamin B12
Potassium – Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that you need to get through your diet. Sufficient potassium intake is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Further, it helps support healthy bones
Antioxidants – Antioxidants help neutralize free radical compounds that may lead to oxidative stress — one of the main contributors to aging and chronic disease. Antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E and minerals such as zinc, copper, and selenium. Incorporate into meals dark chocolate, artichokes, strawberries, blueberries, and red cabbage. Like how we snuck in the dark chocolate first.
Glowing beautifully over 70
The Italians have this one right – “Buon appetito”! Enjoy your food
The nutrients are all essentially the same. How you get those nutrients is slightly different. This is the time to sit with friends and family and enjoy eating whole, natural, and organic food. Take time to enjoy meals. Spend more time with friends over a good snack in the afternoon. Bring healthy snacks full of calcium, antioxidants, and protein to the book club Group. (a selection of fruit and cheese plate with your favorite whole grain crackers) Seniors eat less and so the importance of nutrient-rich food increases.
The USDA’s food pyramid notes that as we age, we get less active.
- Focus on smaller meals.
- Eat whole fresh nutrient-rich foods and fiber-rich foods.
- Several glasses of Water a day are very important. Dehydration becomes common as we age and can have enormous effects on the brain and digestive health.
- Wise choices on groceries, fruits, and vegetables are important.
- Be wise about prescription drugs and choose health over pharma.
- Balance calories with activity.
As women age, nutritional needs can be affected by physiological processes and changes in social circumstances. Barriers like physical difficulty in getting around, decrease in taste sensation and emotional lows from losing close friends, can make eating an optimal diet challenging.
Whole food nutrients to be mindful of:
Choose 2-3 cups of fruits and vegetables per day, this provides both fiber and antioxidants.
Include a good serving of whole grain each day – enjoy a good slice of toast filled with nuts and seeds, find a good cereal and add some
5 oz. of Protein a day for muscle mass and immune function, healthy vision. Beans provide a good source of protein as well as broccoli.
3 servings of calcium and Vit D. contribute to muscle health, immune health, and protection of older adults from Osteoporosis
Fiber for digestive health, at least 21 g a day
Potassium – is essential to senior nutrition for regulating fluid balance, boosting your nervous system, regulating heart contractions, and maintaining proper kidney function. Potassium is also an excellent way to naturally lower blood pressure for seniors with high blood pressure.
“Good food is the Foundation of Genuine Happiness” – Auguste Escoffier
Women, like men, should enjoy a variety of healthful foods from all food groups, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. your nutritional needs will shift with each passing decade. There’s no one “normal” diet plan chart since your nutritional needs change with your age. Focus on Nutrient-rich foods that will provide energy for busy lives and help to reduce the risk of disease.
Live long, live smart, live happy and healthy.
At WilcoWellness, we believe that health is a state of physical, mental, and social well-being. It infuses positive energy into the body, mind, and spirit. The best journey is living to support a complete state of harmony.
As always, it is essential to discuss any changes in your diet or exercise routine with your primary care doctor. While our information is necessary, every individual must be responsible for their due diligence concerning their health routine and guidelines.
If you are looking for a clinician or nutritionist, please feel free to contact and schedule an appointment with one of the appropriate clinicians on our directory website.
#Dream Dinners, #prep to your door, #Meal Proz #Blue Apron #Healthy Lifestyle #Nutrition