Women’s nutritional requirements are different from Men and change during menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. This results-in increased requirement of nutrients especially Iron, Folic Acid and Calcium. Unhealthy cooking practices, skipping meals and regular intake of junk foods may pose risk of deficiency of nutrients. Ensuring good nutrition and healthy lifestyle may contribute significantly to women’s health and reduce risk of diseases. Following are the key factors, which demands extra nutrients:
Menstrual cycle is the every month’s affair for bleeding in woman due to body’s hormonal changes that prepares woman’s body for pregnancy and generally last from 3-5 days in every month. Regular menstrual cycle is the sign that body is working normally and generally starts in girls between 11 to 14 years. During this time women face range of problems such as bleeding, pain in lower abdomen, weight gain, bad mood & stress during these difficult days. These days body requires healthy nutritious diet especially diet rich in Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D and B Vitamins.
Menopause is the period, when woman is no longer able to menstruate, that starts after 12 months of woman’s last period and marks the end of menstrual cycle. The average age of menopause in women is 51, but it may start in 40s also in some women. Common problems associated with Menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, stress, vaginal dryness, weight gain, osteoporosis and heart diseases. Nutrients such as Calcium, Vitamin D and B Complex are beneficial in menopausal women for nutritional support.
Pregnancy is also known as gravidity or gestation and during this, baby develops inside the woman. Nutritional requirements of pregnant woman increase significantly and body demands extra nutrients to take care of health of mother and baby both. Nutrients especially Protein, B Complex (especially Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6), Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Choline and DHA (Docosa hexanoic acid) are generally advised during these days for optimal growth of baby.