At different stages of a woman’s life, proper diet, and optimal nutrition are the foundations of good health. Originating from adolescence to reproduction to menopause, a woman has unique nutritional needs, including needing more specific minerals and minerals during various parts of her life series. Many women tend to ignore their dietary needs because of their family responsibilities, work pressure, or busy schedules; hence they are more inclined to nutritional insufficiencies. The study has shown that there are a lot of superfoods which is added as a part of a daily diet in a woman’s plate can prevent against various diseases like cancers including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, pregnancy-related issues, PMS related issues, vaginal infections, and many more. To combat malnutrition, some essential minerals and vitamins play an indispensable role in a female's life.
Following are some superfoods that can provide micronutrients
- Curd: It is one of the essential food items for women because of its high calcium content. Women require more calcium than men. If calcium is deficient, it can lead to weakened bones or osteoporosis. In such a situation, the body takes calcium from the bones to ensure normal cell function. It is crucial to get plenty of calcium in the diet, as women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Curd helps in gut motility & enhances digestion; it is an excellent source of probiotics, which therefore reduces constipation or diarrhoea. Curd contains the right amount of protein which helps boost the feeling of satiety and to improve weight loss.
- Egg: An egg is a good source of Folate and Vitamin B12 – both essential nutrients for women's health. Vitamin B12 reduces the risk of anaemia. Folates lessen the risk for heart disease, mitigate the risk of congenital neurological disabilities during pregnancy, and several kinds of cancer in women. The egg is the best sources of vitamin A, calcium, vitamin D and nutrient Choline. Researches have shown that women with a high intake of choline were twenty-four per cent less likely to get breast cancer.
- Spinach: Spinach is filled with Folate, Iron, and Vitamin K. Anaemia is the most common problem among women. Haemoglobin is made out of iron which carries oxygen in the blood. During pregnancy and lactation, or due to blood loss during menstruation, the requirement increases for women. It has high fibre content and Vitamin A, which helps to ward off a variety of cancers, including lung and colon cancer. The antioxidants present in spinach helps smoothen the skin, which also helps in collagen production.
- Guava: Guava has Vitamin C content and is essential for good health in a woman because it helps in iron absorption and helps prevent anaemia in women. Its antioxidants and lycopene are good for skin health. Guava encourages our body to absorb other vital nutrients from the food because of its Manganese content. Guava also contains calcium which in turn prevents osteoporosis in women.
- Flaxseeds: They are an essential source of omega-three fatty acid, which is critical for brain & eye development. For women, omega three fatty acids ease the symptoms of PMS or premenstrual syndrome. Omega 3 is suitable for hair and skin too.
- Soybean: They are a great source of iron, folate, magnesium, calcium. Eating balanced amounts of soy food reduces the risk of breast cancer among women. Soy contains plant estrogen, phytoestrogen, which helps in a similar way like an essential hormone in women's bodies, human estrogen.
Conclusion: Along with a conventional diet, if a female can focus on the foods rich in several micronutrients, it would be beneficial for society too, as women are the backbone of society!
(Article by Chief Nutritionist, Soumita Biswas, Aster RV Hospital)
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