A balanced diet is needed by every woman as they age. If we opt to eat healthy foods, it would be easier for us to get enough of the specific key nutrients that our body needs.
Magnesium is an essential element that is needed by more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Some of its main functions include supporting a healthy immune system, keeping the heartbeat steady, helping bones remain strong, and maintaining normal nerve and muscle function. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscular spasms, cramps, lethargy, poor memory and sleep disorders.
Included on the list of the best sources of magnesium are sesame seeds, spinach, almonds, avocados, and nuts.
Our risk of osteoporosis can be lowered down if we build strong bones in our youth. Osteoporosis (means porous bone) is a disease that affects the density and quality of the bones. It occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone or both thereby resulting in weakened bones that may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. Our bones continue to grow in density until our late teens and early 20s. We naturally lose bone density after the age of 35. Due to this, we need to obtain enough amounts of calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones strong and healthy.
Aside from dairy products, other sources of calcium include small-boned fish (sardines, anchovies), green leafy vegetables, almonds and seeds such as sesame and sunflower seeds.
Iron is another essential nutrient our body needs. One of the main roles of iron is to help our red blood cells transport oxygen to all parts of the body. It is also necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails. An iron deficiency can make a person feel weak, unable to concentrate and more susceptible than normal to infection.
The best sources of iron are baked potatoes, beans and lentils, cashews, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
Folic acid or folate (vitamin B9) is an important nutrient especially during pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Folate is critical during the very early stages of pregnancy because the spinal cord is formed in the first 12 weeks.
Also, folate is needed to prevent anemia, produce energy, boost the immune system, and protect ourselves against heart diseases and stroke.
Some of the best sources of folate are spinach, tomato juice, steamed broccoli ad asparagus, and orange.