The following guest post is provided by Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D. and author of the book, Age-Proof Your Body: Your Complete Guide to Looking and Feeling Younger.
Last week she offered dietary suggestions for all you twentysomethings, such as the importance of iron and folic acid in your diet. In this section, addressed to women in their 30s, she refers to the idea of “living on the brink of chaos” at all times. Can’t I relate to that? I hope that you find something helpful in her post today.
We know that nutrition is a debatable topic. Experts in the field can differ in their opinions on certain subjects and this changes over the years. So, I hope that you will look at these posts as a opportunity for learning and thinking and as a prompting to do your own research on the things that interest you most. Here’s what Elizabeth has to say to women in their 30s:
A woman’s nutritional needs are as unique as her smile, the color of her eyes, or her sense of humor. Those needs change as she ventures through life, navigating the childbearing years, approaching menopause, and entering the golden years. Luckily, most of the 40+ nutrients a woman’s body needs throughout life are met by simply eating lots of wholesome foods, such as whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, cooked dried beans and peas, and nonfat milk products. But, we need to tailor these basic good-eating habits to meet the specific nutritional needs of each stage in life.
The 30s: Stress/Convenience Foods, The Pill, Calcium – Part Two
Women in their 30s, whether they are working, mothering, or both, are living on the brink of chaos at all times. Their nutritional needs are high during times of stress, but they don’t believe they have the time to eat well. The nutrition issues here are:
1) Stress/Convenience Foods: For lack of time, women grab quick-fix foods that typically are high in fat, sugar, or calories. According to the latest stats from USDA, women today are averaging 31 teaspoons of refined sugar daily, while fat intake is on the rise. Instead of grabbing the colas and the sweets, grab healthy snacks. And hey, it’s a myth that eating well must take more time. If you have time to pull up to a drive-through window or order take out, you have time to eat well.
What to do: A breakfast of whole grain cereal, Heritage Foods Organic nonfat milk with omega-3 DHA, and fruit takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Dinner is as easy as broiled salmon or chicken, a sweet potato in the microwave, and a bagged salad.
2) The Pill: The birth control pill can affect the absorption and use of several nutrients, including vitamin B6. This vitamin is important in the regulation of the nerve chemical serotonin, so a low level of B6 might help explain some of the emotional ups and downs women experience on the pill.
What to do: You don’t need to take another pill, just add more vitamin B6-rich foods to your diet, such as chicken breast, bananas, avocados, assortment of nuts and whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice.
3) Calcium: A woman builds bone tissue until her mid-30s. After that, she gradually begins to lose bone. The more bone density she builds now, the greater her bank account and the less likely she is to develop osteoporosis later in life. This is her last chance to put calcium into that bank account with calcium-rich yogurt or calcium-fortified OJ, yet many women are still averaging one-half to two-thirds their calcium needs.
What to do: Three servings a day, girls! If you can’t drink that much OJ, then consider supplements or drinking 8th Continent Complete Soymilk that is fortified with calcium, omega-3 DHA and fiber.