Us woman really are quite remarkable. We go through so many hormonal and physical changes throughout our lifetime, and we have the ability to grow, give birth to and then feed a baby. So it is little wonder that we have a few extra nutritional needs compared to men.
Two of the most common nutrients that women need, and that we often don't get enough of are:
Iron: Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency found in females and can lead to anemia. Iron is an essential nutrient that is responsible for the transportation of oxygen in your blood as well as the production of red blood cells. It also plays a key role in converting food into energy. Because women experience changes such as menstruation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, we have an even greater need to ensure we are getting enough iron in our diet. Anemia has symptoms that include:
- Lack of concentration
- Tired muscles
- Prolonged recovery time
- Cold hands and feet
- Pale skin and gums
- Irregular heartbeat
Calcium: Calcium is essential in maintaining strong and healthy bones, which makes it incredibly important for both men and woman. However, the average man has a higher bone mineral density than most woman, which is why we are at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis and need to ensure we get enough calcium in our diet.
Vitamin D: One of the most important aspects of vitamin D is the way it helps your body absorb calcium, this means it is also essential in helping prevent osteoporosis.
Antioxidant vitamins (A, C & E): These vitamins help protect against damage from free radicals. They help protect your eyes and skin from sun damage, your cells from mutation (cancer) and help support a healthy heart, brain and immune system. These vitamins are also fat soluble, which is another reason to make sure you get enough good fats in your diet.
Vitamin B6: Do you suffer from PMS? You are not alone. Most women experience some of the many symptoms that are associated with premenstrual syndrome. Vitamin B6 is believed to help lessen the severity of these symptoms which is one of the reasons B6 is so important in a female's diet. B6 also plays an important role in both metabolizing fats and proteins as well as converting food into energy.