10 Health Tips For Women
By Megan Roosevelt, RDN & Founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com
In May, we celebrate Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week, but in reality we at Purecane celebrate women EVERY day. As women, our bodies go through many changes during different seasons of life from adolescence, menstruation, trying to conceive, pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum, menopause, and more! On top of this, we also balance the everyday stressors and pressures of work, raising families, nurturing relationships, and also caring for our own health. Women need additional nutritional care to support our amazing bodies to do all they do! Today I’m sharing ten health tips for women along with a look into how our nutritional needs can vary at different stages of life.
Women’s Specific Nutritional Needs Throughout Life
Adolescence: During adolescence, young women are going through many changes and should aim to consume more calcium and vitamin D as their bones develop and become strong. Young women will also need to consume more calories during this season of life to support their growing bodies. During menstruation, it’s essential to be mindful of water intake to stay hydrated and consume iron-rich foods such as spinach, black beans, lentils, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa.
Pregnancy : Pregnancy is the time when we are nourishing for two, or more if we’re carrying multiples! Nutrients such as omega-3s, iron, calcium, folic acid, and protein are important during pregnancy. Specifically, folic acid is important to help prevent neural tube defects in the baby's brain and spine. A quality prenatal vitamin can supply the recommended daily intake of folic acid. The following foods are also sources of folic acid; dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, beans, and whole grains. Consuming more protein, around 71 grams per day while pregnant, helps with baby's tissue growth and our own health as well. Studies have shown that consuming adequate protein while pregnant has been associated with helping to reduce the risk of preeclampsia.
Postpartum: Postpartum is a time for healing after childbirth, while at the same time caring for a newborn baby! Mothers know this is a season of life where we feel pushed to our limits; we are sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and for some women, due to all the demands of postpartum, hungrier than ever! Women who are breastfeeding can become dehydrated quickly and need to be cautious of their water intake and replenish their electrolytes. Some women may also need to supplement with vitamin D for mom and baby. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods can help supply the body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help with energy levels, heal from birth and keep up with daily demands. I’m a fan of Purecane’s Electrolyte Mix to support hydration, and I wish it were available when I was postpartum! As a busy mom of 2, I now enjoy it on hot days, or when I’ve been on-the-go and need additional hydration support.
Menopause: Menopause is a time when the body goes through significant changes while the body decreases the production of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Additional nutrients to focus on during this season of life are vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C to support collagen production. Collagen naturally declines as we age, and these vitamins and minerals are also essential to protect our tissues and bones. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and kiwi.
10 Health Tips For Women
We can’t pour from an empty cup! These tips are meant to encourage self-care habits so we can nourish and feel our best.
- Spend Time Outdoors - Sunshine is a great way to support healthy vitamin D levels. When the skin is exposed to sunshine, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. Sunlight also boosts serotonin levels, the hormone that helps regulate happiness!
- Check Out Your Local Farmers Market - Farmer's markets are a great way to support your local farmer and community and shop for what's in season. Consuming a diet rich in plant-based foods is also an excellent way to nourish the body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Replenish Electrolytes - Dehydration can be common during different life stages. Water is the preferred go-to to hydrate; however, sometimes, we need an additional boost of support and added electrolytes! Purecane's No Calorie Electrolyte Immune System Drink Mix is a great option to help hydrate. This mix has 30x more electrolytes than water and helps your body rapidly absorb nutrients!
- Variety of Exercise - From cardio to strength training, movement and exercise help keep bones and muscles strong and reduce the risk of chronic disease, and aid in overall health. Aim for 30 minutes 5 times per week of movement, or more if possible!
- Supplement According to Your Life Stage - Nutritional needs will vary as we age, and we may need to adjust our supplements as well. Working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a wonderful way to receive expert guidance for one's unique nutritional and supplement needs.
- Enjoy Fiber-Rich Foods - Women should aim to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Fiber is incredibly important for feeding our healthy gut microbes, aiding in digestion, supporting our immune system, hormones, etc. To help meet your fiber needs, consume a variety of plant foods that are naturally rich in fiber, such as beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
- Find Community - Studies have shown that having a healthy community and support system is essential to well-being.
- Keep Up With Annual Wellness Checks - Annual wellness checks are a great prevention tool for chronic diseases. Depending on your health status, you may want to check blood work or run other various tests more than once a year.
- Make Self-Care a Priority - Women wear a lot of hats! Burnout is a very common experience for women who are needed and pulled in different directions over a long period of time. Finding small ways to care for your health consistently will go a long way in helping to nurture your health.
- Have Fun- When was the last time you laughed or just had fun? It's very easy to get into a rhythm of work, life, school, home care, and so forth. However, as humans, we need fun to help relieve stress and simply to just enjoy life! Whether it's reading a book, putting the phone away for some uninterrupted play, or spending time outdoors enjoying nature… find something that brings you joy and enjoy it as often as you can!