Happy Mother’s Day: Essential Nutients A Mother Needs
A very very Happy Mother’s Day to you! Women fulfil a lot of roles and go through a lot of physical and emotional changes. One of the most challenging and yet fulfilling roles is that of being a mother. A mother is a child’s first school, his/her best friend and undoubtedly their best doctor! When we feel unwell or are low, just one phone call from our mother or a warm cup of her made by her uplifts our spirits. In this effort of trying to perfect our health and well-being, mothers tend to ignore their own health. This Mother’s day let us take a pledge to ensure that our mums are taking optimal care of their health.
Here are some essential nutrients that females, more so women past their late 30’s must add to their diet to prevent the risk of deficiencies, bone problems and various other illnesses:
1 . CALCIUM
Women lose more calcium compared to men; pregnancy, menopause all leech calcium from their bones, making them more prone to conditions like Osteoporosis.
-Women between the age of 25-50 need about up to 1000 mg/day.
Women above age 50 require 1200 mg or more as suggested by the doctor.
-For pregnant and lactating women, the daily requirement is at least 1500 mg.
-Rich sources of calcium include milk and milk based products like curd, cheese, chaach.
-Green vegetables like spinach, sarson, and broccoli are packed with calcium. 1 cup of boiled or steamed green vegetables can give up to 80 mg of calcium.
-White beans are a powerhouse of calcium, one serving of boiled bean salad, sprinkled with calcium rich dried herbs like oregano, thyme, basil can give close to 200 mg of calcium.
-Oranges are packed with calcium and vitamin C, and vitamin C helps the body better absorb calcium.
2 . IRON
Women lose iron on a regular basis through monthly menstrual bleeding.Iron deficiency leads to low energy, a pale pallor to the skin, shortness of breath, headaches, anxiety, hair loss, and anaemia.
The daily requirement of iron for women in the age group 25-50 is 12 mg, during periods a woman needs 18 mg a day.Women above 50 require 10 mg a day.During pregnancy, a woman needs 27 mg a day, but once a woman is breastfeeding, she needs only 8-10 mg a day.
-Vegetables like beetroot, spinach, mushrooms, dried raisins, dates, apricots, peas, beans, red meat and seafood.
-Spirulina (a plant extract) is an excellent source of iron, 15 gram of powdered spirulina a day takes care of 24% of your daily requirement.
3 . VITAMIN D
About 83% females and 85% males in India are reported to have low Vitamin D levels.Your body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Vitamin D can cause bone problems (osteoporosis), heart disease, diabetes and even increase the risk of cancer.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 600 IU for women under70 years of age and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and 800 IU for those over 71 years of age.
Most people get some vitamin D from sunlight. When the sun shines on your bare skin, your body makes its own vitamin D. The paler your skin type the more easily your skin can produce vitamin D.
-Fair-skinned people need around 5-10 minutes on a sunny day, a few times a week.People with darker skin tone and elderly need around 20-30 minutes of sun exposure.
-Dietary sources are very limited and include milk fortified with vitamin D, mushrooms, fortified cereals, egg yolk and fish
4 . VITAMIN B COMPLEX
B complex vitamins are one of the most important set of vitamins that help in preventing diabetes, anaemia, heart disease, maintain mental health and the nervous system. These include riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, niacin, biotin, thiamine, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12.
Most healthy women require approximately 2.4 mcg of vitamin B-12, 1.3 mg of vitamin B-6, 400 mcg of folate, 5 mg of pantothenic acid, 30 mcg of biotin, 14 mg of niacin, 1.1 mg of thiamin and 1.1 mg of riboflavin.
-Rich sources of B complex vitamins include green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, hard boiled eggs, bananas, baked potatoes, almonds & spinach.