Top 5 nutrients women need

It’s sometimes hard amongst the noise of ‘health’ & ‘nutrition’, to really understand what the requirements are for your body.  As a woman there are 5 nutrients your body needs to function at its peak.  Adding these nutrients into your diet is super simple;

 

  • Omega-3 Fats

  • Calcium

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

  • Folate

Omega-3 Fats

In recent years we have heard about Omega-3’s and why they are important.  You can find them in fish varieties such as salmon, sardines, mackerel & tuna.

Can’t stomach fish?  Well you’re in luck! Wild rice, walnuts, soya beans, eggs and enriched dairy products are also good sources of Omega-3’s. Chia seeds are my pick as they are one of the best known plant-based sources of these essential fatty acids.

For cooking canola and flaxseed oil also packs a punch. And on the vege scale, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Spinach & Kale also contain good amounts of Omega-3.

Omega-3 fats are essential for heart and brain health.  They are one of the key nutrients women need to introduce into our diet as our bodies are incapable of producing them naturally, so, they must come from our diet.

 

Calcium

As we age our bodies become less efficient in absorbing calcium, leaving us at risk of developing debilitating Osteoporosis.

While dairy remains the number one source of calcium, there are other ways to ensure you’re getting enough.

Upping your intake of green leafy vegetables like Kale & Pak Choi, beans, almonds, tofu and soy milk can also help.

 

 

Iron

Did you know that eating foods high in Vitamin C can increase your body’s iron absorption?  Unfortunately tea, coffee and red wine can all inhibit iron absorption.

If you are feeling lethargic or struggle to concentrate at times, it may be that you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet.  Women are particularly at risk of having iron deficiency due to our bodies demands during both menstruation and pregnancy.

Iron is essential to carry oxygen in our body.  Foods rich in iron include eggs, fish, lean meat and poultry.  For the vegan amongst us, wholegrain cereal, green leafy vegetables (spinach & broccoli), pumpkin seeds, quinoa and legumes are great sources of iron.

My pick is dark chocolate (I favour 85% cocoa but anything over 70% will give you maximum benefits) for an added pick me up and iron boost.

Magnesium

You may not have heard much about magnesium but it helps our bodies build health bones and also to deal with stress.  It may assist with helping reduce symptoms of PMS, including bloating, fluid retention and breast tenderness.

Magnesium also helps convert food into energy and is part of the relaxation & contraction process of muscles.  Every cell in our body contains it, and needs it to function properly!

Great sources of magnesium are Pumpkin Seeds, spinach, swiss chard, dark chocolate. Black beans, Quinoa, Almonds, Cashews, Mackerel, Avocado and Salmon.  This is certainly one of the key nutrients women need.

 

Folate

As a woman you have probably heard that Folate is critical during pregnancy but it’s also important to consume enough at all times.  Even if you are not planning to have a baby or if you’re past that time, folate supports our immune system, prevents anaemia and can help safe guard against heart disease and stroke.

Folate is Vitamin B9 and occurs naturally.  The best sources of Folate from nature occur in foods include asparagus, avocados, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce.

Folic Acid is Vitamin B9 in synthetic form and may not be as readily absorbed by the body.  So eating a diet containing a variety of the folate-rich foods listed above could be just as effective for your health.

 

Eating foods as close to their natural state is the best way.  Nutrients women need in their diet come from many plant as well as animal based sources. Adding them to your diet can be super simple and your body and overall health will certainly benefit.

All information here is considered general in nature and you should always consult a health care practitioner/ professional prior to making changes to diet and exercise routines.

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