There is never a time in your life when you do not have to lay focus on your diet. Fulfilling the nutrition needs not only helps you to look young but also feel young. Nutrition is important at every age to enjoy good health and energy but women have different nutritional needs at every age. As women age their health becomes more fragile especially if they don’t bother to take care of themselves.
Team Medimanage spoke to a Well Known Nutritionist Pooja Lodha Shah to understand the perfect diet for women at every age.
For women in their 30s
As women enter the 30s they start experiencing the changes in their body. Most women worry about gaining excess fat, hair problems etc. Their metabolism slows down and hence they find it harder than ever to lose weight. Pooja says “In this age a woman is either a mother, wants to be a mother, is busy with her family or career. It is also a stage when the body metabolism begins to decline. A drop in metabolism can equate to a drop in lean muscle mass and an increase in body fat. In addition, the capacity to build bone density also drops. During this period it is important to exercise as it will help keep the metabolism going at full speed and maintain healthy bone density. Every woman in her 30's should make sure to incorporate calcium-rich foods into their regimen: ideally, two or three servings a day of low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice, soy milk/products, almonds, walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, etc. She should eat a regular diet of fiber rich foods such as whole grains and fresh produce as fiber improves digestion and increases satiety. Keeping an eye on portion sizes is equally important.”
For women in their 40s
Reaching 40 is period in the life of a woman as they go into a peri menopause period and eventually reach menopause. In the 40s the estrogen hormone levels keep declining and make you prone to water retention. Pooja says, “To avoid stress caused due to hormonal changes in the body, every woman should eat more nuts and fruits like oranges, banana and strawberries. Women in their 40s should eat plenty of heart-healthy sources of omega-3 fats, such as avocadoes, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Non vegetarians can add cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, two or three times a week in their diet. They should drink plenty of water, and eat lots of colorful antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables like red grapes, cherries, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, etc to retain their skin’s moisture, reduce signs of aging, lower cholesterol, and prevent disease. At this age the body does not need massive quantities of protein, and the calorie needs also decreases (between the ages of 40 and 50, our daily caloric needs drop by about 200 calories) but having small portions of protein throughout the day will help maintain muscle mass.”
For women in their 50s and beyond
As a woman enters her 50’s the chances of developing various diseases increases. Their bones become weak and most women face the problem of arthritis or osteoporosis. Pooja says, “These are years of menopause and post menopause. Women should keep a watch on foods and beverages that might trigger hot flashes such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. They should adds Soy beans and whole grains in their diet as they contain estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones (plant estrogens), which mimic the role of estrogen in our bodies. Women after reaching their 50's should opt for healthy sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as nuts, olive oil, and flaxseed oil, eat lots of vegetables and fruits; go down on protein and carbohydrates. They should continue the habit of eating small meals to keep up the metabolism and keep a watch on the portion size."
Women should consume sufficient amount of calcium as hormonal changes during and after menopause can significantly impact bone loss. Their daily calcium requirement increases from 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams per day after menopause adds Pooja
Whether you are young or old it is never too late to start. It is important for very women at every age to pay attention to their diet and bring about the necessary changes before it starts affecting their health.