Balanced diet is a must for a healthy life style, more so for working mothers. Balanced diet basically means having right amount of all macronutrient and micro nutrients. It can be easily achieved through a right mixture of five basic food groups. However, the right proportion of each of these food groups may vary depending on various factors such as age, physiological status as well as physical activity.
5 Super Foods:
It is important that your diet is associated and inclusive of the 5 super foods. Moreover if it is, then only your diet can be considered as wholesome and complete, otherwise, your diet is deficient. Let’s have a look at these five food groups:
Cereal and pulses (Good source of complex Carbohydrate and protein)
Milk and Milk products (Good source of protein and Calcium)
Vegetables (Good source of various micronutrients like vitamins and mineral)
Fruits (Good source of natural sugar and fiber)
Oil and nuts (Good source of omega 3 and Omega 6)
The importance of balanced diet:
Balanced diet however is not just about covering the basics. A right amount of non-nutrients such as antioxidants and phytochemicals are as important for a working mother. Antioxidants help countering the negative impact of free radicals while phytochemical help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. A few common food items rich in antioxidants are:
Food rich in vitamin C like Orange, Lemon etc.
Food rich in Vitamin E like Almonds, Spinach, Sweet potato etc.
Diet recommendations for working mothers:
For a working mother, around 50%-60% of the total calorie should come from carbohydrates, preferably complex carbs. Foods rich in complex carbs are whole grain cereals and millets. Simple carbs like fruit sugar should not be completely avoided as it provide ready energy to the body. About 10%-15% of the total calories should come from proteins because it helps repairing the tissues and muscles from daily wear and tear so common with active lifestyle of a working mom. Additions of dairy products, meat and poultry, pulses, nuts and oilseeds can easily cover the protein needs. About 25%-30% of the total calorie should come from visible fats (vegetable oil, ghee, butter etc.) and invisible fats (peanut butter, nuts etc.)
Keep a check on your iron intake :
Iron deficiency is one of most common disease reported in mothers. To overcome this, a woman can add green leafy vegetables, legumes and dry fruits in their daily diet. Iron can also be obtained from meat, fish and poultry. Adding iron to the diet helps but it also needs to be absorbed by the body. This is where Vitamin C comes into play. Another mineral that needs special attention for a working mother is Calcium. It is needed to maintain strong bones and healthy joint and to prevent osteoporosis (thinning of bones). Dairy products and nuts are good source of bio-available calcium. Regular exercise also helps in reducing loss of calcium and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D is also a must as it helps in absorption of calcium. Exposure to sunlight is a prime source of natural Vitamin D.
Keep a healthy lifestyle:
Finally, a working mother should avoid Tobacco, Excess of Alcohol, Junk and fried food and Sedentary lifestyle. To conclude, Health is Wealth, as they say. Working moms should take special care as it is not just important for her but also for the overall development of her child.