By Andre Comrie
Maybe having a month devoted to them gives women pause for thought about their health and well-being. More often than not they are so busy being concerned about those things for other people that they forget to take care of themselves.
Here are some categories of women who are at particular risk of being nutritionally deficient, and probably running close to empty. Women who:
eat a highly processed diet, with low amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables;
are vegans or vegetarians, and need to pay special attention to their nutritional status;
are of child-bearing age;
are older – 65 and over.
That pretty well covers all women!
So what are the deficiencies that these women are most likely subject to?
Firstly, they are probably short of antioxidants. These include certain Vitamins (A, C, E and D) and phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These are important as protectors against diseases of the heart, eyes, skin and the brain. And they slow down the degenerative effects of ageing.
Vitamins also play roles other than being good antioxidants. Vitamin D, for example, is important for preventing mood disorders and maintaining hormonal balance. The B vitamins are essential for effective metabolism, boosting cognitive function, and preventing fatigue and depression.
Secondly, various important minerals might be lacking. Calcium and magnesium are essential for protection against osteoporosis, muscle spasms, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and for a healthy nervous system. Iron prevents anaemia.
Then there are the Omega 3 essential oils, important for myriad functions. They are essential for the development of the foetal brain, eyes and nervous system, so pregnant women, as well as breast-feeding women, must have these nutrients on board. If not, they’ll run short and be at risk of post-partum depression.
What this all boils down to is that taking some basic supplements that cover all the bases and fill all the potential nutritional gaps is a really good idea. In my experience it was very worthwhile to be consistent with this – worrying about my nutritional status ceased to be an issue.
Word of caution
A word of caution, though. There are supplements that are worth taking and others not so much. I have done a lot of looking around, so if you want to have a chat with me please call.
Contact details: André Comrie 084 506 3643; email@example.com