Ladies: Over your lifetime, your nutrient needs vary. The health challenges you face in your teens and early adulthood are significantly different from those you deal with in your fifties, sixties, and beyond. That’s why we’ve put together luscious-looking and health-giving recipes to accompany your ever-changing journey. They’ll fuel your body in the best possible ways, right when you need a targeted nutrient boost.
Adolescent girls and young women have an increased need for iron-rich foods. Premenopausal women ages 19 and older require a daily dose of 18 mg of iron, whereas pregnant women need 27 mg per day. And adequate vitamin C consumption is essential for optimal iron absorption. This iron- and vitamin C-rich One-Pot Garlic-Laced Linguine with Clams and Beans is a simple and tasty dish that scores on all levels.
Women’s nutrient needs
Baseline nutrients are necessary at all ages. But a woman in her teens and twenties often has a greater need for iron due to menstrual blood loss and high-octane activities. She also needs to pack in calcium (with vitamin D) during the critical bone-building years.
When moving into their thirties, women might want to bump up folate in their diet, particularly if they’re planning a family. Also important through these years is a continued focus on iron, calcium, and vitamin D, while vitamin B12 and omega-3s are essential to support developing fetuses.
As women move into their fifties and sixties, they’ll find a greater need for vitamin B12 as the body’s ability to absorb this nutrient declines with age. There’s also an increased need for calcium and vitamin D to slow down inevitable bone loss. And they’ll require more potassium, magnesium, and omega-3s.
Let’s not forget that in every decade of a woman’s life, she’ll need plenty of fiber to keep the digestive wheels turning and lots of water to help keep her system well lubricated!