Know how women have completely different nutritional needs

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 23, 2017
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Quick Bites

  • Diet needs to be modified with age.
  • The nutritional requirement of the body during adolescence is increased.
  • All vitamins and minerals are important in formative ages.

Both men and women need to tailor their diet as per their age, height, weight and physical activity. A woman’s body undergoes significant changes in her life like puberty, pregnancy and menopause which calls for customized eating. Your diet needs to be altered as per your age also while catering to a woman’s specific nutritional requirements at certain stages in her life.

Making your body feed on nutritive food groups will help you in keeping fit and cope up with physical changes in life. An intake of balanced diet everyday and good food habits is for both men and women, but the calorie intake of women is slightly less than men. The kind of lifestyle you are living of course makes a difference on your calorie requirement as a sedentary lifestyle will mean lesser calorie intake than an “on-your-toes” kind of lifestyle.

Age specific diet for women 

Diet needs to be modified with age, as a child grows she will need more calories to achieve complete growth and development when compared to an adult. And as you approach your fifties, you have to customize your diet as per your body’s specific requirements and your metabolism rate. Let’s see how diet and nutrition alters in our lifetime according to a particular age group like: 

  • Childhood: Diet during childhood caters to no gender specifications as both boys and girls need equal amount of nutrition and energy for their body to grow and develop without any glitches. It is imperative to introduce a balanced diet and good food habits right from childhood so that their growing bodies get optimum nutrition. Childhood requires all vitamins and minerals for proper nourishment with increased need for proteins, energy and essential fatty acids. Avoid over-feeding your child as childhood obesity can prove to an early killer. A variety of foods prepared in different tastes should be introduced early to your child in order to avoid a finicky eater as well as to provide the benefits of all nutrients. Children of all ages mostly are active and playful which would mean more energy requirements by the body but these requirements may vary as per age, height, weight and physical activity. All vitamins and minerals are important in this formative stage but calcium, iron, protein and vitamin D are quite essential. For good bone health and development, calcium should be sufficient while vitamin D is important for the body to absorb the very calcium. Poor nutrition can cause many deficiencies which can not only affect health but harm the growth and development process.
  • Adolescence: The adolescent stage for girls is marked with a drastic change in the female body as menstruation begins at this point.
  • Puberty: A transitional time. 

While some girls as early as nine years can begin menstruating, the average age is around twelve to thirteen years. Puberty is a transitional time for the body as well as the mind as the changing body image can affect one psychologically. Girls often get anxious and uncomfortable with their developing bodies and feel ashamed of it. During this time, the diet of a teenager can get influenced with misleading images and information in magazines or even under peer pressure. A teenage girl can fall prey to fad diets which can affect normal growth and functioning of the body. 

Nutritional requirement of an adolescent 

The nutritional requirement of the body during adolescence is increased due to the developing and maturing process of puberty which when not nourished with the ‘right’ foods can affect health. The calorie intake of girls should be sufficient enough for normal growth but should be balanced with an active lifestyle.

Image: Shutterstock

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