Up until 50 years ago, doctors would often approach nutrition as a unisex and general matter--but the concept of women having different nutritional needs than men soon emerged as doctors were able to see the needs for certain nutrients at times when women entered a new stage in their life--from the start of their periods to pregnancy and even menopause at 50+. Therefore, if you are a female, you need to make sure that you take all the nutrients below for optimal female health. Some of these have multiple benefits so no need to take every single nutrient that you see to gain a benefit. Here is our top list:
No 1: Folic Acid. Folic acid is actually a type of Vitamin B that plays a very important role in blood cell and DNA formation and studies have found that it can also prevent possible pregnancy defects. Taking it along with iron can also help with cases of anaemia during and after period and pregnancy.
Where you can find it: whole grain cereals/pasta, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and liver.
No 2: Calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral in our body that helps with bone, teeth and similar tissue formation--it is also the No 1 mineral that is found depleted when osteoporosis (loss of bone density) occurs, which is more usual in women than men. To prevent osteoporosis and other bone issues, experts agree that you should take around 1000mg of calcium per day.
Where you can find it: dairy products, almonds, nuts, spinach, broccoli, fish, and seafood.
No 3: Iron. Iron is another vital nutrient that helps our blood supply deliver oxygen to the body cells. A deficiency in iron levels often causes anaemia, which leads to symptoms like skin paleness, loss of strength, dizziness, and other negative symptoms. Our female bodies also need more amounts iron during our periods and pregnancy as we lose 20-40 mg of iron per month.
Where you can find it: red meat, liver, fish, poultry, spinach, black beans, kale, and buckwheat.
No 4: Antioxidants. Antioxidants are a class of substances that help fight free radical damage which leads to tissue regeneration and ageing. In other words, if you want to look and feel younger from the inside out, antioxidants are a must. Antioxidants include vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin A, C, K, and E as well as minerals like zinc, magnesium, chromium and potassium.
No 5: Healthy fat acids. Fats have been demonized as the “bad guys” for our heart health but there are some types of fats that are actually good for you. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, have been shown to support cardiovascular health, prevent strokes and at the same time help balance mood and mental health issues. For this reason, diet experts suggest 3oz of omega 3 fatty acids 3 times a week for health support.
Where you can find them: wild fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, non-white tuna, etc), flaxseed oil, and chia seeds.