The Top 3 Nutritional Needs Every Woman Has

The Top 3 Nutritional Needs Every Woman Has

Every woman wants to look good and feel good, no matter her age or what stage of life she’s at. For most women, today’s modern age of trying to balance work, home and/or school, as well as family life, have left them very little time for their own needs.

While it’s true that, generally speaking, women need fewer calories each day than men, it is also true that their nutritional needs for certain vitamins and minerals are much higher.

For example, the Center for Disease Control says that women need more magnesium and iron than men. But much of this deficiency has to do with being pregnant. You also need much more of the B vitamins (especially folic acid), calcium, potassium, zinc and iron to meet your daily needs for health.

So what are the signs you need to watch out for? If you’re starting to feel sluggish, headaches, fatigue and/or insomnia, you might have a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Female Nutritional Needs

Many women do not get their nutritional needs met due to their busy lifestyle, which usually means either too many empty calories or fast food diets. Women should try to make up for these deficiencies through dietary supplements. However, no supplement, no matter how “complete”, can make up for the real nutrition the body gets from real food.

What works for one woman may not work for another, but there are three nutritional needs that every woman needs to ensure her best health.

1. Calcium

On average, adult women between 19 and 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium per day, according to the USDA. For women over 50, this increases to 1,200 mg. Since your body cannot absorb more than 500 mg at a time, there is no benefit to swallowing those giant 2,000 mg pills.

In order for the body to absorb calcium, it also needs magnesium and vitamin D. Adult women need approximately 300-400 mg per day of magnesium and 600 IU of vitamin D. You can get vitamin D free from sunlight. Try to get 15 to 30 minutes of sunshine on your bare skin each day. You can also consume shrimp, seafood, cod, eggs, and vitamin D enriched milk.

Magnesium-rich foods include halibut, green beans, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, and other leafy greens, such as spinach. Calcium is easily obtained as it is found in numerous foods, including:

  • Whole grains
  • Tofu
  • Cabbage
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cheese, milk, yogurt, and dairy products of all kinds
  • Summer squash
  • Most fish, especially those with tiny bones, such as anchovies

2. Iron

As any woman who has taken one will tell you, the problem with iron pills is that they leave you chronically constipated. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 need approximately 18 mg of iron per day. After 50 years of age, this amount drops to 8 mg.

Most women are iron deficient because they avoid red meat for fear of saturated fat. Unfortunately, vegetables and beans while good sources of iron, do not contain the same type of iron that women need and are not easily absorbed by the body. To get the iron women so desperately need, the following foods should be included regularly:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Fortified cereals
  • Tuna
  • Beef (especially Beef liver)
  • Chicken, Turkey
  • Beans
  • Oysters
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Raisins
  • Cashews

3. Folate (Vitamin B9)

Women of childbearing age should be conscious of the amount of folate they are consuming.  Folate, sometimes called Vitamin B9, greatly reduces the risk of birth defects, especially neurological birth defects, in the weeks prior to conception, as well as the first few weeks of pregnancy. In addition, folate can help to prevent heart disease, as well as certain types of cancer.

The FDA states that all women between the ages of 13 and 50 need 400 micrograms and pregnant women should consume 600 micrograms. Good sources of folate and folic acid are:

  • Ground beef, Beef Liver
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Broccoli and Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Mustard greens