In Honor of Mother’s Day, “Nutrition for Women”

Women have special nutrition needs at different stages of life. As Mother’s Day approaches, it is a good time to reflect on what is important for that special woman in your life!

Besides including all the important food groups recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, women need to include:

Iron-Rich Foods – Iron is one of the keys to good health and energy levels in women. Iron-rich food sources include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and fortified breads and cereals. Plant-based sources of iron are more easily absorbed by your body when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods.
Folic Acid During the Reproductive Years – When women reach childbearing age, you need to eat enough folic acid to decrease risk of birth defects. The requirement is at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. Be sure to consume adequate amounts of folic acid daily from fortified foods or supplements, citrus fruits, leafy greens, dry beans and peas.

Calcium-Rich Roods – For healthy bones and teeth, women need to eat a variety of calcium-rich foods every day. High calcium foods include low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, tofu (if made with calcium sulfate) and calcium-fortified foods like juices and cereals.

So, remember to include the wonderful foods that are sources of these important nutrients in your meals and snacks.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Source: American Dietetic Association – Healthy Eating for Women. Accessed May 6, 2011.

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