BALANCED DIET FOR WOMEN
A healthy diet helps a woman look and feel better. But, here the questions arise that, how much should be woman eating in a day? Is there any ideal time to consume fats,carbs or proteins?
A balanced diet is the foundation of health. Women should enjoy a variety of wholesome foods from all the food groups including dairy products, wholegrain, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins.
WHAT IS A BALANCED DIET?
A balanced diet gives the body proper nutrients it needs to function in a proper way. A body can be maintained healthy by drinking plenty of water and consuming a balanced diet which includes:
No mater whatever a woman age or situation may be a healthy and nutritious diet always helps in keeping her look and feel better. Healthy foods canreduce the PMS, boost fertility, make pregnancy and nursing easier and better, it also eases symptoms of menopause and help is keeping bones strong.
DOES WOMEN’S NUTRITIONAL NEED DIFFER FROM MEN?
Children’s; boys’ and girls’ nutritional needs are largely similar but when puberty begins, women’s body start to develop in such a way that their nutritional needs starts changing and as they age their bodies go through a physical and hormonal changes which makes their nutritional needs expand making it important that there should be changes in the diet.
As compared to men women are in need of lesser calories but for certain vitamins and minerals the requirements of women are much higher.
Women have higher risk of anemia, weakened bones and osteoporosis when it comes to hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy and menopause requiring a higher intake of iron, calcium, magnesium,Vitamin D and B9.
The number of calories in the food is the amount of measurement of energy stored in that food. Our body uses calories from walking, thinking, breathing and other important functions. The number of calories needed by a person in general in his everyday life to maintain their weight is 2000.Nonetheless a person’s daily calorie intake depends on his age, gender, weight, height and physical activity level. Women who exercise need more calories than women who do not.
The following are the daily calorie intake based on UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ARGRICULTURE guidelines.
Girls ages 9 to 13 years:1400-1600 calories
Active Women ages 14 to 30 years:2,400 calories
Inactive women ages 14 to 30 years:1800 to 2000 calories.
The USDA defines empty calories as calories that come from sugars and solid fats, such as butter and shortening.
HOW DOES BALANCED DIET HELPS IN CONCEIVING?
Women who eat well and follow a healthy diet plan are more likely to conceive and stay healthy during their pregnancy and while nursing, a study suggests.
Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish and olive oil and cutting down red meat can help boost chances of conceiving.
Greek researchers studied 244 women who were undergoing IVF treatment and asked detailed questions on their eating habits. There answers were used to score how “Mediterranean” their diet was.
Half the women in the third with the most Mediterranean diet became pregnant, compared with 29 per cent in the third whose diet was the least Mediterranean.
After conforming for their age, weight, stress and physical activities factors those women who were on the least Mediterranean diet had 68 percent less chances of getting pregnant, results published in the journal Human Reproduction Show.
Nikos Yiannakouris, of Harokopio University in Athens, who led the study, said:
“Our study sends an important message that women trying to achieve fertility should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, because greater attachment to this healthy dietary arrangement may help increase the chances of successful pregnancy.”
“If you double the amount of fruit and vegetables and halve the amount of meat, or a combination like that, you could increase the chances of pregnancy by three times,” Professor Yiannakouris said.
He also said that the antioxidants present in the vegetables and olive oil were among the many other factors in which the diet helps in boosting chances of pregnancies.
WHY WOMEN ARE DEPRIVED OF THE NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES?
Women are likely to neglect their own dietary needs. Women always feel they are too busy to eat and follow a healthy diet plan, while putting their family’s needs first or while trying to go on a crash diet makes them feel cranky, hungry and low on energy. Women’s dietary needs are often neglected by dietary research too.
Women should always keep in mind that what is enough for one woman might not be sufficient for the other, the necessary thing is that one should build their dietary choices around their vital nutrients needs. Thesenutrition tips are helpful for women to keep them healthy and vibrant throughout their life changeswhether they are looking to improve heir mood and energy or overcome stress of PMS,boost fertility or have a healthy pregnancy or ease the symptoms of menopause.
TIPS ON ACHIEVING A BALANCED DIET
Following are the food groups that are essential parts of balanced diet.
Fruits makes tasty snacks besides being a great source of nutrition. Seasonal fruits are the fresh ones and provide more nutrients. Fruits are high in sugar. The sugar in the fruits is natural and is better than the added sugar in other foods. If a woman wants to avoid sugar intake or is a diabetic she can opt for fruits with low sugar content like Lemon and Limes, Raspberries, Blackberries, Avocadoes, Grapefruits, Watermelons, etc. Women who are watching their carbohydrates intake can eat fruits like melons and avocadoes.
Vegetables are the sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy green vegetables generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten with any meal. Eating varies of vegetables can help in boosting the nutrient content in the body.
Dark leafy green vegetables include:
Meats lentils and beans are the primary sources of Proteins. Protein is the nutrient essential for proper muscle and brain development. Lean low-fat meats such as chicken, fish and beef are the best options. Removing the skins off the meat and trimming of the fat content is the best way to avoid the intake of fats and carbohydrates while eating meat.
The health and diet of animals also matters, so the grass-fed choices are ideal.
Nuts and beans are also a very good source of proteins and contains fiber as well as other nutrients. The following foods should be included in the diet plan of a woman.
Dairy products provide calcium and Vitamin D, these are also major sources of fat according to some studies so it is ideal to choose portions of full fat cheese and reduced-fat or fat-free milk and yoghurt
Women who are lactose intolerance can opt for plant-based milk such as that from flaxseed, almond or soy, these all are also fortified with calcium and other nutrients.
Oils should be used sparingly and one should opt for fat free salad dressings and mayonnaise. Good oils like Olive oil should replace fattier vegetable oil in the diet. Deep fried food should be avoided as hey contain empty calories.