Mom’s are all about their children’s nutrition. They are never caught without snacks in tow, they always make veggies fun and they know that macaroni and cheese really does better when it’s in bunny form.
However, when it comes to their own nutrition, many moms fall short. In a conversation with Deccan Chronicle, Dr Irfan Shaikh, Head of Pediatric Nutrition, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Abbott’s Nutrition Business in India highlights a decade-by-decade guide for a better health.
During the 20’s and 30’s
Increase your folic acid intake: The new recommendations published in the International Journal of Gynaecology & Obstetrics, emphasise that intake of folic acid years and even decades before pregnancy can be beneficial during pregnancy. Dr Shaikh states that iron and vitamin B12 deficiency are the most common micronutrient deficiency seen in pregnant women in India. More than 50 per cent of women in their reproductive age group are iron deficient.
Dark leafy green legumes such as spinach, sprouts, nuts and liver are good sources of folic acid. Almost all patients are prescribed folic acid either before or during pregnancy.
Pump more iron: Iron prevents anaemia and related fatigue by pumping more iron to the tissues. During child bearing years, the intake of more iron becomes imperative as the body needs to keep the level matched.
Opt for pulses, sprouts, nuts, beans, dark leafy vegetables, tofu, meat, fish, and poultry, to fulfil your iron intake.
Shake some iodised salt: Iodine can be tricky especially for moms-to-be. Iron, which is an essential micronutrient, is found in seafood, iodised table salt and dairy products. It helps in regulating thyroid hormones for optimal physical growth and development. It supports the brain development of the baby during pregnancy.
Omega fatty-3 acids: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids like DHA help in promoting brain health at every stage of life. However, in pregnant women and breastfeeding moms, it is plays a pivotal role in cognitive development of the baby. For pregnant women, the third trimester is the time where the need of DHA is the greatest. Almost 40 per cent of the brain is made up of DHA.
However, 2015 findings published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism show that only 27 per cent of women during pregnancy and 25 per cent of women three-month postpartum get enough DHA. It can be found in fatty fish, fortified milk and eggs.
During 40’s and 50’s
Befriend B12: This vitamin helps in supporting the health of both red blood cells and nervous system and in keeping the cell energised. The body’s ability t absorb and use B12 you intake may wane as the gut produces less Intrinsic Factor, a protein necessary for the intestines to effectively absorb B12.
Consume more calcium: While calcium can help in strengthening bones, after 50, the daily recommended dose should increase from 1000 to 1200mg per day. It is important to talk to your doctor to evaluate the bone density, family history and calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis or to slow down bone degradation as you age.
Preserve muscle with protein: it is important to maintain muscle mass. We naturally start losing muscle mass at the age of 40, roughly 8 per cent per decade and the number can double to 15 per cent at the age of 70.
Get more of sunshine vitamin: While you get Vitamin D in limited quantities from food, the best source of this vitamin is the sun. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough of this vitamin and it deficiency is increasingly common among the old people. Dr Irfan points out that during old age, apart from experiencing bone degradation, people can also experience reduced skin thickness, impaired intestinal absorption, poor food intake of vitamin D and reduced liver and kidney function, further escalating the risk of deficiency.
It is therefore recommended that people above the age of 70, should increase their intake of vitamin D from 600 to 800 IU per day. Regularise your daily food intake and keep problems at bay....