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Must-Have Nutrients for Women

Psst! Ladies, this is just for you – get the inside scoop on nutrients for your most nagging health issues.

Teens
Buzz! It’s another text. Too bad they aren’t texting about calcium, mental health, or the importance of zinc and B12 in a vegetarian diet. Up to 90 percent of adolescent girls do not know the importance of calcium intake on the long-term health of their bones. Teens need 1,300 mg/day of calcium. Natural medicines proven to relieve stress include reishi and Rhodiola rosea, and essential oils, such as rosewood and grapefruit, are calming. Eating well is also crucial – a 2014 study found significant links between an unhealthy diet and poorer mental health among adolescents.

Calcium in Foods
Food (Quantity) Calcium
Collards (1/2 cup) 189 mg
Spinach, cooked (1/2 cup) 129 mg
Milk (1 cup) 290-320 mg
Yogurt, plain (3/4 cup) 265-275 mg
Yogurt, greek (3/4 cup) 180 – 210 mg
Kefir (3/4 cup) 198mg
Tofu (3/4 cup) 300-525 mg
Tahini (2 tbsp) 130 mg
Almond Milk (1 cup) 310 mg

20s to 40s
Oh, the years of love and heartbreak. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women. Plus, a young woman’s mental stress is harder on her heart than it is on a man’s, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Take your health to heart: nutrients that help support heart health include CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids and garlic.

40s to 60s
Argh, that stubborn belly fat! Canadians 45-64 years old are the most obese of any age group. As you age, you need less food to maintain your weight. Yet, the need for vitamins and minerals stays the same, or even increases. It’s important to choose nutrient-rich foods, but a multivitamin may help: according to the Sister Study women who took a multivitamin had longer telomeres (a marker of health and youth). Yet, this excess weight is not just making our pants tighter – it may also be affecting how we age. After following 6000 adults, researchers discovered that most 40 year olds have a biological age of a 55 year old. The results, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology attributed our rapid aging to higher incidences of excess body weight, elevated blood pressure and diabetes.

50+
Those of you with birthday cakes hosting a plethora of candles, here’s to you! You survive menopausal symptoms with nutrients such as black cohosh, and kept calm with natural medicines like valerian. And, girl you’ve still got moves! That’s thanks to increasing your protein intake after age 60 to counter changes that have slowed the body’s ability to maintain muscle mass. As for your wits, they are sharp as ever thanks to gingko biloba, fish oil and antioxidants, such as those found in blueberries.

Heels off to you ladies! May every age greet you with health and happiness.

References:
Statistics Canada – Obesity Rates
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/health81a-eng.htm
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2014
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2047487313485512
Journal of the American Heart Association 2016
http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/5/9/e003630.full
CoQ10 Monograph, Health Canada
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=70
Reishi Monograph, Health Canada
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=reishi
Fish Oil Monograph, Health Canada
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=88
Garlic Monograph – Health Canada
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=garlic_ail&
Rhodiola rosea Monograph – Health Canada
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=rhodiol&lang=eng
Canadian Mental Health Association
http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.WJinv3eZM1g
Global Journal for Research – Calcium Knowledge in Adolescents
https://worldwidejournals.in/ojs/index.php/gjra/article/view/6676
American Journal of Public Health – Diet and Mental Health in Teens
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167107/
Tufts University 70+ Food Guide
http://cekern.ucanr.edu/Custom_Program804/A_Food_Guide_Pyramid_for_People_Over_70/
Black Cohosh Monograph
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=44
Valerian Monograph
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=177&lang=eng
Ginkgo Biloba
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=100
Aromatherapy Monograph
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=aromatherap&lang=eng#app1
Calcium in Foods Data
http://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/f739d485-d113-4a46-8122-eb2d33730c64/FACTSHEET-Food-Sources-of-Calcium.pdf.aspx