A balance diet includes food from five food groups which fulfills all the nutritional needs of an individual as per their requirements. It helps to maintain good health and reduces the risk of disease. A well balance diet provides all nutrients including macro (carbohydrates, proteins & fats) and micro (vitamins & minerals) that helps to maintain healthy body weight. Amongst children, boys and girls dietary needs are much similar but when puberty begins in girls their nutritional requirements increases and its more than boys. As girls aging increases though more physical and physiological changes occur and nutritional requirement increases to evolve meet the changing needs.
In women, hormonal changes are very often in their life that associated with menstruation, child bearing (pregnancy & lactation period) and menopause. These reason, women have a high risk of anemia, osteoporosis, underweight or obesity, thyroid disorder, mood swing, polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), and many other problems related to hormonal imbalances. Women are much more prone to neglecting her own dietary needs and choice for their family members. Women may feel they are too busy to eat, used to putting the needs of their family first or trying to adhere to an extreme diet that leaves her deficiency of vital nutrients and feeling cranky, hungry and in negative calorie balance. The types of diet which is best for one woman may not always be the best for another (as per choice or requirements). So, it is important to build her dietary choices and plan accordingly to fulfill their nutritional needs.
The energy requirement for an adolescent girl, pregnant and lactating mother is higher than normal adult women. During these period protein, iron, calcium, folic acid, methyl cobalamin, vitamin C, vitamin A, and many more multivitamins & minerals requirements increases. The deficiency of these nutrients directly give a negative impact of woman as well as their baby’s health. Muscle cramps is very common in women. It may due to deficiency of many nutrients like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium as well as dehydration. Women should add banana, sweet potato, water melon, green leafy vegetables, nuts (especially almond, walnut, pista, etc.) and curd with their daily diet to fulfil the requirements of above said nutrients. All types of green leafy vegetables are very rich source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, folic acid and fibre. Nuts are not only good source of protein, essential fatty acids, & vitamin E, as well as riboflavin, zinc, and selenium also that essential for women health. Curd is the best probiotic and good source of protein as well as vitamin D, zinc, selenium, potassium and many other micro nutrients that helps to maintain good health.
Overall, a well balance diet that contains all food groups i.e. cereals, pulses & legumes, fruits & vegetables, milk & meat products and fats & oil, in their daily diet that’s helps to maintain their health. In addition to a balance diet, exercise (walking, yoga, dance, etc.) and other life style modification also play a vital role to maintain good health.