Today’s superwoman plays various roles, such as a housewife, a mother of her child, a carer for the elderly, a breadwinner for the family – she is the energy source for her household.
Then what can drive them to move on with their daily challenges?
Women have unique nutritional needs, including more specific micronutrients than men. You need adequate amounts of macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates. On average, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day. Of course, women who are more physically active may need more calories. Women have different nutritional needs in different phases of life, for example during pregnancy and breastfeeding or after the menopause. Women naturally have almost 40% less muscle mass than men and more body fat.
A balanced diet and a closer look at portion sizes and meal occasions are a good starting point, as they form the basis of healthy eating habits not only for you, but also for your family. A balanced diet contains all of the food groups that are essential for health and provide five primary nutrients that our body needs to function properly. Proteins help build the structure, tissues and organs of our body and support immunity. Fats and carbohydrates provide energy, vitamins and minerals are foods that help build disease resistance. Adequate water intake is necessary to maintain and regulate our body’s processes.
Around 25% of women of childbearing age are undernourished (source: NHFS 4; 2015-16) – a cross-generational cycle of undernourishment begins; An undernourished mother is most likely to give birth to an undernourished baby. Poor maternal nutrition not only has a negative impact on a woman’s health, it also affects the health of her newborn.
A recent “Protein Paradox Study” highlighted interesting insights into the daily protein consumption habits in India. Eight out of ten mothers believe “protein” is important, but protein was not part of their daily diet. The majority of the mothers in the study who were unable to relate protein to its vital functions believed that a lack of protein had no impact on overall health and mistakenly believed that a regular Indian diet Diet of roti, dal and rice for the daily protein needs. In addition, the study finds that nearly 70% of Indian mothers firmly believe in common myths such as “protein is hard to digest”, “leads to weight gain” and “only for bodybuilding”.
Women should plan to include high protein foods like milk and dairy products, eggs, lentils, legumes, and meat. Women involved in desk work tend to gain weight due to their increased consumption of high-carb and high-fat foods, lower protein intake, and lower physical activity.
The importance of diet becomes most important when you are pregnant; Still, many of them don’t know how to improve their own diet. Multiple nutrients are increasingly required during pregnancy. Your diet should contain high amounts of protein, fats and coverage for the recommended intake of minerals (iron, calcium, iodine) and vitamins, to name a few.
The NNBM survey finds that the majority of pregnant women in India achieve less than 50% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for most nutrients. To identify gaps in need for problematic nutrients, she should work closely with her Managing Physician & Dietician
As we have seen, every female role deserves the goodness of nutrition in order to achieve her life goals. A good place to start is to find food variety, portion sizes, and nutrition awareness. Are you ready to embark on that journey today?
Disclaimer of liability
The views expressed above are the author’s own.