Important dietary concerns for women

Getting what you need on the go.

Moms often forget about themselves when they are taking care of their families. But, as women age, they have certain dietary requirements that need to be met. If you are a busy mom, learn what your diet must include and how to get it.

What you need

One condition that affects women is osteoporosis. Men can be afflicted with the condition, but it is more common in women. When calcium is deficient in your body, it will rob it from your bones. For the under 40 mom, 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day is the recommended dose. Once you pass the age of 40, your daily requirement is upped to between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams.

Women also need vitamin D. it enables calcium to do its job. Just step outside for your daily dose. Yes, you can get vitamin D from sunlight. If you are too busy for that, drink milk and ingesting other dietary products that is fortified with vitamin D. the daily recommended dose is between 400 and 800 milligrams if you are under 50 years of age. The dosage rises to between 800 and 1,000 milligrams after that.

Moms know all about folic acid. Taking a daily dose helps with positive prenatal care for you and your baby. Folic acid helps avoid birth defects in your children.

Iron is a mineral that women need because of their menstrual cycle. The loss of iron can lead to tiredness and loss of energy, two things that moms can’t afford. Taking in 15 milligrams of iron each day can help with the low iron levels.

How to get it

Women and especially moms are sometimes too busy to keep themselves healthy. It would be nice to sit down and have a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner but sometimes that is not possible. While on the go, take your nutrition with you.

Take a multivitamin. When you can’t get all that, you need, taking a vitamin can help with where you fall short. Each vitamin contains the recommended daily allowance for several vitamin and minerals you need: selenium, zinc, iron, manganese, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin A and others.

Plan ahead. Never leave the house without a handy snack. Fruit, nuts, cereal, and bite size vegetables provide the nutrition that you need when you can’t sit down and eat it properly. Fruits, especially berries provide vitamin A and C. vegetables are great for fiber and a variety of minerals. Nuts provide protein.

For calcium, drink orange juice fortified with calcium or cheese sticks. They are easy to pop in your purse or an insulated diaper bag with the bottles.

Don’t let your fast-paced life keep you from taking care of yourself. Take your health into our own hands and a few healthy snacks for good measure.

Healthy eating facts for the busy mom

Before you buy that next weight loss infomercial product, sit and think a minute. Learning a few facts about choosing foods can help you to develop eating habits that will help you to provide your family with the nutritional requirements they need.

Here are some facts about food nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates are nutrients in food that are broken down for fuel by the body. According to the glycemic index, bad carbs are those foods that spike the blood sugar and lead to overeating. Foods in this category are white flour products, processed sweets and fried snacks like donuts.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found mostly in fish. These are good fats that can help to lower your cholesterol and improve heart health. Eating at least three servings a week will benefit your body.
  • Fiber is found in plant food sources. There are two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in your system. Insoluble fiber can’t be broken down by the body, so it is flushed out. As the fiber passes through the system it carries some of the fat from your food with it. Healthy portions of fiber give you the feeling of fullness, so you eat less.
  • Eating protein provides building blocks for the proteins the body creates to aid in muscle growth and repairs for organs and cells. Lean meats like skinless, boneless chicken, beef and pork provide the needed protein without the added fat.
  • Nuts, beans and seeds also provide protein. Plant source protein has fewer calories and fats than animal sources. When choosing nuts, avoid the fancy salted or artificially flavored varieties. When possible use fresh beans instead of canned.
  • Salt can cause bloating when you ingest too much. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for salt is about 2,000 milligrams. You can get more than that from one pre-packaged meal or a bagged snack. Limit salt by washing off canned vegetables and using salt-free spice combinations to flavor your food.
  • Sodas contain empty calories. How many people get full of a 12-ounce can of Pepsi? Take the couple hundred calories in that soda you are drinking and trade it in for a filling snack and a flavored bottle of water (if regular water isn’t to your liking).

Eat several meals a day to keep your metabolism going. Six small meals alleviate the mid-morning and the mid-afternoon hunger cravings. Eating every two or three hours seems like a lot but you are eating less.

Do you know a little more about food than you did before? Uncovering the basic facts about food removes the mystery and helps you to make better food choices for yourself and your family.    

Listen to your Body

We barely have time to listen to all the people who need our help every day let alone our own bodies. But, not tuning in can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Taking care of your family begins with taking care of yourself.

Stress

Stress is a catalyst for many things in your life. Even moms who are on top of everything can be stressed from the work. Stress causes an increase in a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is well known to women because it makes it harder to lose weight. Added to that, stress can increase the incidence of overeating.

Busy schedules can lead to eating on the run. Unhealthy food choices can trigger heartburn and possible digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. Stress also can exacerbate a previous diagnosis of either of these conditions.

If you’ve ever been stressed, then you know that it can lead to behavior changes. It is even more important that you listen to your body to avoid unhealthy habits. Here are a few tactics to keep your eating on point even when you feel less than your best.

  1. Wait fifteen minutes before you eat anything. Stress can make you want to reach for the nearest snack whether it is healthy or not. Before putting money in the vending machine, ask yourself if you are hungry. To test your answer, wait for fifteen minutes and then reevaluate your hunger.
  2.  Drink a glass of water. Water will fill you up for a few minutes allowing you to calm your stressful situation.
  3. Don’t eat mindlessly. Did you know that eating comfort foods releases the same endorphins that exercise does? It is pleasurable to eat. Eating may calm you but it can also help you to gain weight. When you are upset avoid reaching for the snacks while you mull over the situation. Many people eat chips in front of the television but eating while you are working can lead to the same results.
  4. Eat slowly. When you eat fast, you barely get a chance to taste the food. And, if you don’t taste it then your brain won’t register that you are full. Your only indicator will be the upset stomach you get later but then, the damage is done. Chew each bite completely before eating more.
  5. Take a walk. Work off the stress with a walk around your office or around the neighborhood. Walking will release those endorphins we were talking about. It improves your mood and helps with stress while helping you to avoid eating unhealthy food.

When conditions like stress enter your life, unhealthy eating habits are not far behind. Paying attention to the changes in your attitude keeps your body from paying the price.