At every stage of women's lives, and regular are the cornerstones of good health and optimal energy. But certain and minerals become especially important at particular times of life. Knowing which matter most can help you choose the best foods and .
This article covers key women need during their, childbearing years, and senior years.
Nutrition for Girls in Childhood and Early Teens
The best guarantee that growing girls get the they need is a diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein. Two are particularly important:
- “Getting enough is important for all ages, but it's particularly important during adolescence and early adulthood, when bones are absorbing, ” says Heather Schwartz, MS, RD, a medical nutrition therapist at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics. Calcium and vitamin D are often paired in fortified foods such as milk. The reason: The body needs D in order to absorb calcium.
Most experts recommend 1, 300 mg of calcium a day for girls aged 9 through 19. Natural sources of calcium, such as low-fat dairy products, are the smartest choice, because they also contain and protein, both required for calcium absorption. Milk, yogurt, and cheese contribute most of the calcium in our diets. Some vegetables are also good sources, including broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage. Many foods are supplemented with calcium, including some brands of orange juice and tofu. The daily intake for Vitamin D is 600 IU per day for most children and healthy adults.
- Iron: Essential for healthy, iron becomes especially important when girls begin to menstruate. With each period, a woman loses small amounts of iron. “About 10% of American women are iron deficient, ” says Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Maine and co-editor of Nutritional Concerns of Women (CRC Press, 2003). “About 5% have .” Symptoms of low iron include, impaired immunity, and poor performance at school or work.
Until girls begin to menstruate, they need about 8 mg of iron a day. Between ages 14 and 18, the recommended intake climbs to 15 mg. Good sources of iron include beef, turkey, chicken, halibut, tuna, beans, lentils, and cereals supplemented with iron. Many multivitamins also contain the recommended daily allowance of iron.