Essential Nutrients Every Woman Needs

Anyone who’s cared for a newborn will say it’s not easy. But when Amy Brennan had her second child, she said she was exhausted and could barely function.

“I was dealing with crippling fatigue almost to the point of not being able to care for my kids,” she said.

More troubling is that she began experiencing chest pains and breathlessness. “I started worrying about heart issues,” Brennan admits. With good reasons. “My dad had his first two heart attacks at age 45, a triple bypass, and died at age 59.”

A blood test confirmed that her symptoms were not signs of heart issues. They were caused by a serious anemia-related blood disorder. Her body was deficient in iron, which is a typical cause of the disease.

Now, she is taking two iron pills daily along with Vitamin C. “And I eat my leafy greens!” she declares. “It took several months, but I finally returned to normal.”

There aren’t just women who’re the sole ones to have anemia, but women are at the greatest risk. This is because they lose iron throughout the period. From puberty to menopause, they require more iron to eat than males do and at least three times as much during pregnancy.

Iron is a crucial mineral you must have to keep in top shape, ladies. Here’s how you can get the right nutrients throughout your life to maximize your health.



In the early years of childhood, nutritional recommendations for girls and boys are identical, but the recommendations begin to shift.

“If you look at nutrient recommendation tables, they start to diverge at age 9 for girls and boys, with a clear separation at age 14,” says Jennifer Frediani, PhD, an Emory researcher. Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory.


As we get older comes menstrual cycles. “Iron requirements increase during puberty to make up for blood loss and increasing blood volume with normal growth,” Frediani adds.

Between the ages of 9 and 13 years old, girls should aim to get 8 milligrams of iron per day as well as 15 milligrams at the age of 14. The best food sources to obtain it are lean proteins and seafood, as well as nuts as well as leafy green veggies and beans, in addition to iron-fortified breads and cereals.


As women age, they’re more susceptible to losing bone mass, which is why it’s crucial to construct an enviable skeleton from the beginning. The adolescent years are the best stage for girls to do this, says Frediani.

Girls between 9 and 18 require 1300 milligrams of calcium per day. They should therefore gorge on dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese, as well as calcium-rich greens such as kale, broccoli and cabbage.

Pregnancy and Motherhood

It is important to take a look at your food habits when you are planning or contemplating having a baby. Your diet during this time will affect not just your own health but also your baby’s growth as well.


In the course of pregnancy, this B vitamin is vital to reduce the chance of developing certain birth defects in the spinal cord and brain. The women who are expecting their first child are advised to try to get 400 micrograms of folate daily and 600 micrograms every day following conception.

Consume a lot of whole grains cereals fortified with as well as leafy greens you’re expecting; make sure to take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid. (Folic acid can be described as a type of folate that is used in dietary supplements and in fortified food items.)


It’s essential to your baby’s development. Women who are pregnant require around 88 % of their daily weight, and breastfeeding mothers should strive for 100 grams.


Get your protein intake from lean meat or chicken. Fish, as well as other meats, are good choices. You can also substitute beans and legumes if you are vegetarian.


This nutrient is essential to you as well as the blood cells of your baby. It could help prevent you from being tired and tired, too. However, it is difficult to attain the recommended amount, which is 27 milligrams daily for pregnant women, via food alone, so your doctor might recommend an iron supplement daily.

Calcium and Vitamin D

These minerals help to build strong teeth and bones. Calcium keeps your muscles, your circulatory system, and nerves in good working order.

Although you have lots of calcium from dairy, leafy greens, and other foods, many people aren’t getting adequate Vitamin D. There aren’t many great sources of food, but you can get it from salmon and other fatty fish as well as fortified orange juice and milk.

The best way to obtain D is to go outdoors, as your body produces the vitamin when exposed to sunlight; however, you have to safeguard your skin from being burned by the sun.

A supplement might be a smart idea. “Look for one with around 1000 international units of D, plus added calcium,” Frediani suggests.

Menopause and Beyond

Your body undergoes an aging process as menopausal signs kick in. “After the age of 50, you’re no longer growing, and your activity level typically slows as well,” Frediani explains.

If that occurs, and you don’t have menstrual cycles, Your body requires more of certain nutrients and less of others, such as iron.

Calcium and Vitamin D

This is the moment when the strong skeleton that you constructed earlier in life begins to make a difference as bone density starts to diminish.

“Getting enough calcium and engaging in weight-bearing exercise is critical for slowing bone loss,” Frediani explains.

Enhance your calcium intake. You consume up to 1,200 milligrams per day, and you will receive 800 units of vitamin D in the world.


It reduces the risk of developing all kinds of health issues, such as high cholesterol as well as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It also aids in keeping your colon functioning properly.


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