Multitasking!! Yes you heard it right…It is embedded in the gene of every woman. Be it household chores, taking care of the kids, going to office, buying grocery a woman has an inborn talent to just do it all without any hesitation and hence it becomes imperative for a woman to take care of her diet as it is the cornerstone to start and maintain a healthy life.
A healthy diet gives you enough energy, helps boost your mood, keeps the weight in check and is a major support during the different stages of your life. Irrespective of your age, a healthy diet can help you in staying fit and would keep you glowing for years to come.
Here are few health and nutrition tips for every woman –
1) EAT SMALL AND FREQUENT MEALS-
- Eating small and frequent meals becomes essential as this helps you in staying full for longer duration and eventually keeps the weight in check.
- Such meals ensure that you don’t over eat at any point of time and it helps in boosting your metabolism.
- Plan your meals a day ahead.
- If you are a working woman then carry these meals from home so that you do not fall in the trap of eating unhealthy junk like fast food or highly fried foods during office hours full of empty calories.
2) DRINK ENOUGH WATER-
Water can be touted as a miracle liquid.
- The reason why we say so is because it detoxifies the body, keeps you hydrated and helps you in staying full.
- Not drinking enough water can make you dehydrated which in turn would lead to feeling of tiredness and lethargy.
- Water is also considered to be necessary for maintaining weight.
- So if you are bored by the concept of drinking plain water, then go ahead and mix in some fruits, veggies, herbs of your choice and VOILA!! Infused water is ready.
- The easiest and the most convenient infused water recipe is cucumber, mint leaves and some lime.
- Prepare infused water a night prior and carry it to your office if you are a working woman.
3) REDUCE THE CONSUMPTION OF CAFFEINE –
- Anything in excess is never good and the same stands for caffeine.
- Too much of caffeine can leave you dehydrated and can affect your bones by leaching out calcium and making you prone to early osteoporosis.
- Have only 2 cups of either tea or coffee in a day and try not to indulge in one more later.
- This especially is very important for working women as to stay awake and due to the work pressure they tend to gulp down too many cups of tea/coffee which can prove to be detrimental in the future.
4) EAT A WELL BALANCED DIET-
- By a well balanced diet I mean that you should get enough amounts of fiber, protein, essential fats, calcium and iron in your daily diet.
- Fiber is essential in order to keep your weight in check and for smooth bowel movements.
- Women aged 18-50 years old need at least 25gms of fiber per day and best sources of fiber are oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, daliya, fruits and veggies.
- So start your meal with a bowl of salad and make sure you incorporate at least 3 servings of the veggies daily.
- Not to forget have 2 servings of fruits everyday to give you a dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Protein is required for the production of various hormones and enzymes in the body and is an important building block for skin, hair, bones and the blood.
- Various sources of the same are milk, yoghurt, chicken, eggs, seafood, beans and lentils.
- Essential fats like omega 3 and omega 6 are required by the body for good hair, skin and for efficient functioning of the nervous system.
- Almonds, walnuts, seafood, chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Iron is necessary as iron deficiency can make women anaemic. Anaemia is very common in India females. Hence, try and incorporate green leafy veggies, garden cress seeds, anjeer, apricot and dates in your diet.
- Vitamin-C is considered to be extremely essential for the absorption of iron and hence include sources like oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers and lime in your diet.
- Calcium is required to strengthen the bones and keep the teeth healthy. Excellent sources of the same are milk and milk products, leafy greens, seafood and legumes.
5) KEEP THE SALT AND SUGAR INTAKE TO MINIMUM-
- It is extremely important to keep your salt and sugar intake in check as excess of any would ultimately affect the entire body.
- Excess salt increases the blood pressure, leads to heart stroke, osteoporosis and kidney disease so just a 1 tsp of it in a day would be enough for you.
- Stay away from those salty chips, crackers and cheese bites lying in the cupboard or your office cabin and rather opt for multigrain crisp bread with a dash of hummus or lime.
- Sugar again can overload your liver, increase the cholesterol levels, damage your skin and lead to insulin resistance.
- Hence opt for fruits rather than having a doughnut, pastry, cupcake, cookies, candies or chocolates.
- You can also have 2 pieces of anjeer/dates/apricots to keep off the sugar craving.
6) SNACK RIGHT-
- We love our snack time. Don’t we? But it is very essential that you choose the right snack option rather than choosing something high in calorie and fats.
- Go for a cup of Greek yoghurt, a fruit, handful of nuts, Whole wheat-multigrain crackers or some salad sticks with hummus.
- Try your own version of healthy snack by combining carbohydrates and proteins for e.g. – a pear/apple with a tsp of a peanut /almond butter or a whole wheat cracker with 10gms of feta cheese /hummus/lebneh or hung curd.
Such options keep you full for longer durations and provide a feeling of satiety.
7) MAKE EXERCISE YOUR BEST FRIEND –
- While owing to a busy lifestyle it usually becomes difficult to exercise but as they say no one is so busy that she cannot devote 25- 30minutes for just herself.
- If you are unable to hit the gym then try and accommodate a walk, some yoga or meditation as a part of your daily routine.
- Not just that you can also indulge in your favorite sport such as squash, tennis, badminton, cricket which would again contribute towards a healthy lifestyle.
8) LIMIT YOUR INTAKE OF ALCOHOL AND STAY AWAY FROM SMOKING –
- An occasional serving of alcohol would not harm.
- But a continuous intake of excess amounts of alcohol can predispose you to liver damage, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, weight gain and cancer.
- Hence limit the intake of alcohol to 1 or 2 pegs occasionally and always drink it along with an accompaniment like few pieces of tikka/roasted chickpeas/salad sticks/roasted chana or peanuts.
- Smoking can be extremely injurious to your health and can lead to reduced fertility, premature aging with wrinkles developing in the late 20s and various other health issues like lung and heart diseases.
- If you are working woman and stress is a major issue then start meditation or yoga rather than resorting to alcohol or smoking.
9) SLEEP WELL –
- Yes getting adequate amount of sleep ensures that you stay healthy and remain fresh the entire day at home or work.
- If you do not get enough sleep then it tends to affect the functioning of your entire body and makes you dull and lethargic.
- Ensure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep per day and the best would be to go off to sleep early and get up early in the morning.
- Do not use any of your gadgets namely the phone, laptop or iPad before sleeping as it disturbs the functioning of your brain and ultimately you are not able to sleep well.
- Keep them away while you are off to bed and take a good night slumber.
A Shout out to all the Women out there!
“At the end of the day, your health is your responsibility.” – Jillian Micheals
Article First published on www.oowomaniya.com which is a safe, non-judgmental space for women to talk about their experiences and share their health concerns & doubts with experts.