Do you want to know which nutrients your body needs for your age group? Do you want to discover which foods you should add into your healthy nutrition plan? Recently, VKool.com made a writing of the healthy nutrition plan for women of each age group. This writing is a collection of detailed information about important nutrients for women & natural foods containing them from reliable sources. However, this writing is not intended to give medical advice, so make sure that you will consult with your medical practitioner before adding some of foods presented in this article.
The Healthy Nutrition Plan For Women Is Revealed
I. The Healthy Nutrition Plan For Women Of All Age Groups
A good, well-balanced diet will provide a spectrum of minerals, vitamins, the basics of protein, fat & carbohydrates. Even if you eat well, you will get a quality of multi-vitamin formula that can act as a nutrition insurance policy. However, other beneficial nutrients can be difficult to achieve from food sources alone. You can follow a below list that provides details on a lot of important nutrients. You can check out some of them that are appropriate for everyone and then you can look over your additional needs for your age group.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids for human body, meaning that your body does not create these essential fats on its own; therefore, you only can get them from the foods you eat or drink. In addition, omega-3s provide you many wonderful benefits such as the promotion of immune and mental health. Omega-3s also are good for your heart. Omega-3s include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). You can get these fatty acids naturally by eating foods such as:
- Flaxseeds – 3.19g (133% dv) omega-3 fats in 2 tbs of flaxseeds (serving size)
- Walnuts – 2.72g (113% dv) omega-3 fats in 0.25 cup of walnuts (serving size)
- Sardines – 1.46g (61 % dv) omega-3 fats in 3.20 oz of sardines (serving size)
- Salmon – 1.32 g (55 % dv) omega-3 fats in 4 oz of salmon (serving size)
- Beef – 1.10 g (46 % dv) omega-3 fats in 4 oz of beef (serving size)
- Brussels sprouts – 0.27 g (11 % dv) omega-3 fats in 1 cup of brussels sprouts (serving size)
- Cauliflower – 0.21 g (9 % dv) omega-3 fats in 1 cup of cauliflower (serving size)
- Mustard seeds – 0.15 g (6 % dv) omega-3 fats in 2 tsp of mustard seeds (serving size)
- Soybeans – 1.03 g (43 % dv) omega-3 fats in 1 cup of soybeans (serving size)
- Tofu – 0.66 g (28 % dv) omega-3 fats in 4 oz of tofu (serving size)
You should add foods that are rich in antioxidants into your healthy nutrition plan. Antioxidants have ability to protect the human body against damage from all free radicals (or unstable oxygen molecules). Each day, people are exposed to the free radicals from a lot of sources such as air pollution, smoking, sunlight, poor diet, exercise, and stress. All of these elements can cause damage to people’s cells.
Antioxidants are able to provide you with needed protection from the free radical molecules. Your body can regenerate antioxidants on its own. In addition, you can get them from daily foods you eat. Antioxidants are abundant in colorful vegetables and fruits. Many health professionals have recommended people adding an antioxidant supplement to the daily regime, especially if you are at risk for some diseases. Here is a list of antioxidants and antioxidant rich foods you can add into your daily diet plan:
Zoochemicals: to get this antioxidant, you can eat red meat, offal, and fish
Zinc: You can get zinc into your body naturally by eating foods such as seafood, milk, nuts and lean meat. Here are the best natural sources of zinc:
- Cooked oysters – 78.6mg (524% dv) zinc in 100g
- Beef & lamb (lean beef shortribs cooked) – 12.3mg (82% dv) zinc in 100g
- Wheat germ (toasted) – 16.7mg (111% dv) zinc in 100g
- Spinach – 0.8mg (5% dv) zinc in 100g
- Cooked amaranth leaves – 8% dv zinc per cup
- Pumpkin and squash seeds – 10.3mg (69% dv) zinc in 100g
- Nuts (cashews) – 5.6mg (37% dv) zinc in 100g
- Cocoa & chocolate (cocoa powder) – 6.8mg (45% dv) zinc in 100g
- Dark baking chocolate – 85% dv zinc per cup grated
- Pork & chicken (lean pork shoulder cooked) – 5.0mg (33% dv) zinc in 100g
- Beans (cooked mung beans) – 0.5mg (3% dv) zinc in 100g
- Mushrooms (cooked white mushrooms) – 0.9mg (6% dv) zinc in 100g
Vitamin E: vitamin E is one of important nutrients your body needs. You should use this vitamin to build your own healthy nutrition plan. You can get vitamin E into your body by eating some foods that contain vitamin E such as vegetable oils, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and avocados. Here are the highest or richest foods of vitamin E:
- Tofu (light, silken) – 5.3mg (25% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Spinach (cooked) – 2.1mg (10% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Nuts (almonds) – 26.2mg (127% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Sunflower seeds (roasted) – 36.3mg (176% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Avocados – 2.1mg (10% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Shellfish (shrimp) – 2.2mg (11% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Fish (rainbow trout) – 2.8mg (13% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Plant oils (olive oil) – 14.4mg (69% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Broccoli (cooked) – 1.5mg (7% dv) vitamin e in 100g
- Squash and pumpkin (cooked butternut squash) – 1.3mg (6% dv) vitamin e in 100g
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is critical to your immune function and it is an important antioxidant. This vitamin is necessary for the maintenance and synthesis of collagen that is the primary protein that is found in connective tissue. Vitamin C can be difficult to gain adequate levels through natural food sources alone because it is sensitive to air, light, and heat. You can get this vitamin through eating or supplement. Here are the highest or richest natural sources of vitamin C:
- Peppers (yellow bell peppers) – 183.5mg (306% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Guavas – 228.3mg (381% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Dark green leafy vegetables (kale) – 120mg (200% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Kiwi (green) – 92.7mg (155% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Broccoli – 89.2mg (149% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Berries (strawberries) – 58.8mg (98% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Citrus fruits (oranges) – 53.2mg (89% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Tomatoes (cooked) – 22.8mg (38% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Peas (mange tout) – 60mg (100% dv) vitamin c in 100g
- Papaya – 60.9mg (102% dv) vitamin c in 100g
Beta Carotene: This powerful antioxidant is found in carrots and your body will turn it into vitamin A. This vitamin has ability to enhance the health of the epithelial tissue of your skin and it is essential for producing mucous membranes & the respiratory tract. Vitamin A also is an essential component for the activity and production of certain forms of white blood cells. Many studies have shown that maintaining a high level of vitamin A will help enhance many immune system processes.
Good food sources of beta carotene include winter squash, green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin, and parsley. Here are top foods that are highest or richest in beta carotene:
- Sweet Potato (Baked) – 11509µg Beta-carotene in 100g
- Carrots (Cooked) – 8332µg Beta-carotene in 100g
- Spinach Cooked – 6288µg Beta-carotene in 100g and other Dark Green Leafy Vegetables such as Swiss Chard (6391µg), Turnip Greens (6588µg), Pak Choi (4333µg), Beet Greens (6610µg), Collard Greens (8575µg), Mustard Greens (10360µg) and Kale (10625µg)
- Cos or Romaine Lettuce – 5226µg Beta-carotene in 100g and other sorts of Lettuce such as Chicory (995µg), Butterhead (1093µg), Red Leaf (1259µg), and Green Leaf (1599µg)
- Squash (Butternut Cooked) – 2020µg Beta-carotene in 100g and other types of Squash such as mashed Pumpkin (5135µg), and cubed Hubbard Squash (7339µg)
- Cantaloupe Melon – 2020µg Beta-carotene in 100g
- Sweet Red Peppers – 1624µg Beta-carotene in 100g
- Dried Apricots – 2163µg Beta-carotene in 100g and other Dried Fruits such as Prunes (685µg), and Dried Peaches (1718µg)
- Peas (Cooked) – 1250µg Beta-carotene in 100g
- Broccoli (Cooked) – 929µg Beta-carotene in 100g
Selenium: to get this antioxidant, you can eat foods such as seafood (oysters – cooked), brazil nuts, fish (tuna – cooked), seeds (sunflower), whole-wheat bread, pork (lean tenderloin – cooked), chicken and turkey (cooked turkey, back or leg meat), beef and lamb (cooked lean beef steak), mushrooms (crimini) and whole grains (rye).
Polyphenols: foods that are rich in this antioxidant are thyme and oregano.
Manganese: here are top foods that are rich in manganese and that you can add into your daily diet: seafood (mussels, cooked), nuts (hazelnuts), seeds (pumpkin), bread (whole-wheat), tofu (firm, raw), beans (butter or lima beans, cooked), fish (bass, cooked), spinach (cooked), kale and tea (black, brewed).
Lycopene: you can get lycopene into your body by eating foods that are rich in lycopene such as guavas, watermelon, watermelon, tomatoes (cooked), papaya, grapefruit, sweet red peppers (cooked), asparagus (cooked), red (purple) cabbage, mango and carrots.
Lutein: some foods that are high in lutein are corn, and leafy greens (such as spinach).
Lignans: some foods that are high in lignans are sesame seeds, bran, vegetables and whole grains.
Indoles: you can get indoles into your body by eating foods that are rich in indoles such as cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Flavonoids: you can get flavonoids into your body by eating foods that are rich in flavonoids such as tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion, and apples.
Cryptoxanthins: foods that are rich in cryptoxanthins are red peppers, pumpkin, and mangoes.
Copper: you can increase a copper intake into your body by eating foods that are rich in copper such as seafood (oysters, cooked), kale, mushrooms (shiitake, cooked), seeds (sesame seeds), nuts (cashew nuts), pulses (chickpeas, cooked), dried fruit (prunes), avocadoes, fermented soy foods (tempeh) and goat cheese (soft).
Catechins: catechins are found in red wine, and tea.
Anthocyanins: anthocyanins are found in eggplant, grapes, and berries.
Allium sulphur compounds: these compounds are found in Leeks, onions, and garlic.
If you want to discover other natural foods that can add into your healthy nutrition plan, keep reading!
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very important for your bone health because it helps facilitate the absorption of an amount of calcium from the intestines. In addition, vitamin D is synthesized in your skin from exposure to the sunlight. It also is found in eggs, butter, fatty fish, liver, and milk. You just need to expose your skin from 10 to 15 minutes of the sunlight a few days a week with not wearing sunscreen to help meet your vitamin D needs.
Supplementation of this vitamin is safe and effective if it is taken within a dosage of between 400 I.U. (the RDI) and 800 I.U/ day. Here are top foods that are highest or richest in vitamin D:
- Cod liver oil – 10,000iu (1667% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Oily fish (trout, cooked) – 759iu (127% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Mushrooms (portabello) – 446iu (74% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Fortified cereals (total whole grain) – 333iu (56% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Tofu (firm, lite) – 157iu (26% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Caviar – 117iu (20% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Dairy products (queso fresco) – 110iu (18% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Pork (extra lean ham) – 93iu (16% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Eggs (hard boiled) – 87iu (15% dv) vitamin d 100g
- Dairy alternatives (such as plain soy yogurt) – 53iu (9% dv) vitamin d 100g
Calcium is very important for nerve transmission, blood clotting & muscle contractions. It also helps build strong bones & teeth. The supplementation of calcium will help significantly relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as water retention, food cravings, mood swings, and pain. According to the NAS (National Academy of Sciences), women between the ages of 20 to 50 need a minimum of about 1,000 mg of calcium/day while women more than 50 years old need about 1,200 mg/day. This can vary depending upon a lot of factors such as pregnancy, lactation or any medication being taken.
You can increase your calcium intake by eating foods that are rich in calcium such as:
- Yogurt – 452 mg of calcium in eight ounces and other types of yogurt such as low-fat plain yogurt (415 mg of calcium) and fruit yogurt (345 mg of calcium)
- Romano cheese – 452 mg of calcium per 1.5 ounces and other types of cheese such as cheddar cheese (307 mg of calcium), part-skim mozzarella (311 mg of calcium), provolone (321 mg of calcium), part-skim ricotta (335 mg of calcium per half cup) and Swiss cheese (336 mg of calcium)
- Cereal: Fortified cereals can provide you from 235 to 1042 mg of calcium
- Soy Beverage – 368 mg of calcium in 1 cup
- Milk – 306 mg of calcium in 1 cup of skim milk
- Sardines – 325 mg of calcium in 3 ounces
- Tofu – 253 mg of calcium in ½ cup of firm tofu
- Pink salmon – 181 mg of calcium in 3 ounces
- Collard Greens – 178 mg of calcium in ½ cup of collard greens
- Molasses – 172 mg of calcium in 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses
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A diet high in calcium and low in magnesium can contribute to osteoporosis. Women with premenstrual syndrome are always deficient in magnesium. This mineral works in concert with essential fatty acids and calcium for a wide range of critical functions in our body such as bone, protein, & cell formation.
You can get a magnesium intake into your body by eating foods that are rich in magnesium such as:
- Dark leafy greens (raw spinach) – 79mg (20% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Nuts & seeds (squash & pumpkin seeds) – 534mg (134% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Fish (mackerel) – 97mg (24% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Beans & lentils (soy beans) – 86mg (22% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Whole grains (brown rice) – 44mg (11% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Avocados – 29mg (7% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Low-fat dairy (such as plain non fat yogurt) – 19mg (5% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Bananas – 27mg (7% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Dried fruit (figs) – 68mg (17% dv) magnesium in 100g
- Dark chocolate – 327mg (82% dv) magnesium in 100g
II. The Healthy Nutrition Plan For Women Ages 20 To 39
In addition to nutrients that are mentioned above, the following nutrients are important additions to almost women with ages from 20 to 39:
Your reproductive health & sexual function depend on your healthy diet with an adequate nutrient intake, involving sufficient amounts of protein. The protein helps build and maintain muscle tissue and aids your body in healing and repairing itself. Protein can be found in abundance in natural food sources such as:
- Turkey breast & chicken breast – 30g of protein in 100g
- Fish (tuna, salmon, halibut) – 26g of protein in 100g
- Cheese (non-fat mozzarella) – 32g of protein in 100g
- Pork loin (chops) – 25g of protein in 100g
- Lean beef & veal (low fat) – 36g of protein in 100g
- Tofu – 7g of protein in 100g
- Beans (mature soy beans) – 17g of protein in 100g
- Eggs (especially egg whites) – 13g of protein in 100g
- Yogurt, milk, & soymilk – 6g of protein in 100g
- Nuts & seeds (pumpkin, watermelon seeds, squash, peanuts, and almonds) – 33g of protein in 100g
2. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
A wide range of studies have found that vitamin B6 helps relieve PMS symptoms and reduce the intensity & duration of menstrual cramps. Vitamin B6 is not stored in our body. This vitamin should be replaced by supplements or whole foods within 8 hours. In addition, it is available in a basic vitamins B complex or a multivitamin formula. The RDI for this vitamin is 2 mg per day.
The best natural food sources of vitamin B6 including:
- Sunflower seeds – 1.35mg (67% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Pistachio nuts – 1.12mg (56% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Fish (tuna, cooked) – 1.04mg (52% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Chicken and turkey (turkey, light meat, cooked) – 0.81mg (40% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
Dried fruit (prunes) – 0.75mg (37% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Lean pork (sirloin, cooked) – 0.79mg (39% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Lean beef (rib, cooked) – 0.68mg (34% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Bananas – 0.37mg (18% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Avocadoes – 0.29mg (14% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
- Spinach (cooked) – 0.24mg (12% dv) vitamin b6 in 100g
Keep reading this writing to know more about a healthy nutrition plan for women!
3. Folic Acid (folate)
An adequate supply of folic acid (folate) is important for women, especially throughout the first trimester of their pregnancy. Many studies have indicated that the supplementation with folate around the time of your conception can help reduce the risk of giving a baby with neural tube defects. In addition, this B vitamin is extremely heart-friendly. According to the NAS (National Academy of Sciences), all women in the childbearing age need to get an intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid daily (about 600 micrograms when pregnant). Folic acid or vitamin B9 is found in citrus fruits, beans, leafy greens, and wheat germ. It is also available in a basic vitamins B complex or a multivitamin formula. Here are top natural foods that are highest in folate and that you can add into your daily diet plan:
- Beans (Black Eyed Peas – Cooked) – 208µg (52% DV) Folate in 100g
- Lentils (Cooked) – 181µg (45% DV) Folate in 100g
- Spinach (Raw) – 194µg (49% DV) Folate in 100g
- Asparagus (Cooked) – 149µg (37% DV) Folate in 100g
- Lettuce (Cos or Romaine) – 136µg (34% DV) Folate in 100g
- Avocado – 81µg (20% DV) Folate in 100g
- Broccoli (Cooked) – 108µg (27% DV) Folate in 100g
- Tropical Fruits (Mango) – 43µg (11% DV) Folate in 100g
- Oranges – 39µg (10% DV) Folate in 100g
- Bread (Wheat Bread) – 85µg (21% DV) Folate in 100g
Many studies have shown that almost young women do not get an enough iron intake into their body. Iron is a critical mineral, which can be lost easily while menstruating. In addition, iron is very necessary for keeping a good energy because it helps increase the ability of blood to carry oxygen. The recommended daily intake for iron for almost women at this age group is about 15 mg (and 30 mg when pregnant). When you feel fatigue and weakness or you have a pale skin and lips, or a tendency to find cold, you maybe have a deficiency anemia.
You can increase your iron intake by taking supplements or eating foods that are high in iron such as:
- Mollusks (clams, mussels, oysters) – 28mg (155% dv) iron in 100g
- Liver (pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, beef) – 23mg (129% dv) iron in 100g
- Squash and pumpkin seeds – 15mg (83% dv) iron in 100g
- Nuts (cashew, hazelnut, pine, peanut, almond) – 6.1mg (34% dv) iron in 100g
- Beef and lamb (lean tenderloin) – 3.7mg (21% dv) iron in 100g
- Beans & pulses (white beans, lentils) iron in 100g
- Whole grains, fortified cereals, & bran – 5mg (8% dv) iron in 100g
- Dark leafy greens (swiss chard or spinach) – 3.6mg (20% dv) iron in 100g
- Dark chocolate & cocoa powder – 17mg (97% dv) iron in 100g
- Tofu – 2.7mg (15% dv) iron in 100g
5. Chaste Tree Or Vitex
This tree is grown in Mediterranean countries & central Asia. In addition, vitex has a long history for its medicinal use. It is well-respected as a herb for women, and it was recommended by almost Hippocrates for a wide range of conditions. This herb does not include hormones, but it acts upon its pituitary gland to help increase progesterone production and help women regulate their menstrual cycle. Some studies found that women who take vitex have a significant relief from their symptoms ranging from their breast tenderness to headaches and cramping. Besides, chaste tree is always available in herbal & supplement form.
III. The Healthy Nutrition Plan For Women Ages 40 To 59
In addition to nutrients that are mentioned above, the following nutrients are important additions to almost women with ages from 40 to 59:
1. Soy Isoflavones
Soybean is one of the good foods that you should add into your healthy nutrition plan. It is a best source of phytoestrogens that are primarily the isoflavones daidzein & genistein. Many studies have shown that isoflavones have been linked to a low rate of the breast cancer in Asian population. These studies have also indicated that Japanese women who are consuming an average from 150 to 200 milligrams of isoflavones per day, compared to 5 milligrams in an average of the Western diet, generally get fewer difficulties linked to menopause involving hot flashes. Soy isoflavones are always available in a wide range of soybean-based foods including tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso & soybeans themselves, named edamame.
Although soy foods generally command the spotlight for isoflavone properties they have, many other natural foods also provide the stage as good sources of these useful phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens have heart-protective properties and many other health benefits such as reducing the risk of breast cancer, reducing hot flashes in the number of recurrence, and protecting against osteoporosis. Some foods that contain a significant amount of phytoestrogens are oats, corn, cashews, peanuts, wheat, apples, & almonds.
3. Black Cohosh
Black cohosh is one of the best herbs you should use to build a healthy nutrition plan for this age group. Black cohosh is known as a herb for women. Its dried root & rhizome have been applied traditionally by Native Americans for hundreds of years for all conditions ranging from the gynecological problems to rheumatism.
Many studies have demonstrated that the extract of black cohosh is considered as a prime women's tonic, and it is a promising treatment for women’s hot flashes. In addition, black cohosh is generally available in herbal & supplement form.
You will discover more details on other important nutrients your body needs to take if you continue reading the next part of this writing.
4. Red Clover
Red Clover is grown throughout Europe & North America. It also has been widely applied in traditional folk medicines for decades. This herb also contains a high amount of isoflavone compounds that are called phytoestrogens. Red clover is also available in herbal & supplement form.
5. Cooling Foods
Cooling foods are easy to add into a healthy nutrition plan. Cooling foods like chilled soups, yogurt, fresh fruit and cucumbers are very useful for women who are experiencing hot flashes. These foods also help reduce stress, and anger.
IV. The Healthy Nutrition Plan For Women Ages 60 And Beyond
In addition to nutrients that are mentioned above, the following nutrients are important additions to almost women with ages 60 and beyond:
1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally in your body with abundance in the heart tissue. If added as a supplement, coenzyme Q10 can help heart disease people, who are tending to have a lower amount of this antioxidant in their body. If having a deficiency of this compound, the heart muscle can weaken and become less effective at pumping blood. Obtaining enough an amount of CoQ10 through the dietary sources alone is very difficult, so it is important to add this CoQ10 supplement to your diet.
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is very important for the formation of the healthy red blood cells. It also helps you keep a healthy immune system. In addition, this vitamin is useful for maintaining heart health. The best sources of this vitamin include fish, liver, eggs, meat, and cheese. The recommended daily intake for vitamin B12 is about 6 mcg per day.
3. Heart Healthy Herbs To Nourish Your Heart
The heart disease is always a health concern in almost women in the age of 55 and beyond. At this age group, you should exercise regularly to keep your blood pressure low. You also need to consider adding heart healthy herbs into your healthy nutrition plan such as hawthorn berry, garlic, lemon balm and more.
To see all of our writings about health benefits and side effects of foods on human body, the healthy nutrition plan for men and women, and a lot of healthy, delicious food recipes, go to our main Nutrition page. After reading the writing of the healthy nutrition plan for women of each age group, hope that this writing helps you understand more about health benefits of nutrients on human body, and know which foods you can add into your daily healthy nutrition plan to increase the intake of nutrients your body needs. However, it is solely for the informational purpose and it is not intended to give medical advice. If you have any question, or you know which other nutrients can add into this healthy nutrition plan for women, please leave them below.