×

Nutrient Deficiencies in Urban Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
18 August 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

There can be many reasons why women develop nutrient deficiencies - improper diets, hectic schedules, and even lack of knowledge about what consist a healthy diet for women. A balanced and a healthy diet for women can help them tackle the common nutrient deficiencies easily.

Let’s get to know common deficiencies and how to manage them through a healthy diet.

Iron deficiency: Eat Breakfast Iron is a trace element. It’s the largest component of red blood cells and binds with haemoglobin and transports oxygen to the cells. Iron deficiency is very common especially in women due to menstruation. It is also common amongst vegetarians. It may cause anaemia, fatigue, weakened immune system, light headedness, dizziness, headaches and impaired brain function. Signs like skin pallor, pale conjunctiva and thin concave nails with raised edges.

The food sources of iron are: red meat, shellfish, rajma, dals, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews and dark leafy greens such as paalak (spinach). Animal sources provide the most bioavailable iron. Plant sources are more difficult to break down to be used. Adding vitamin C foods alongside with iron rich foods can enhance iron absorption for example adding lime to iron rich foods.

Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is called the sunshine vitamin and is essential for overall health ranging from healthy hair, healthy bones and hormone health including fertility. Deficiency symptoms are muscle weakness and bone loss. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to calcium deficiency resulting in an increased risk of fractures. A healthy diet for women comprising of vitamin D rich sources like fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, egg yolks and natural sunlight would be beneficial. Having said that it would be a good idea to check blood work for vitamin D3 frequently and consume supplements especially if you are a vegetarian.

Calcium deficiency: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It mineralizes bone and teeth, is required for intracellular signaling, neurotransmission, muscle contraction, may also have a preventive role in weight management and a protective roll in polycystic ovarian syndrome. The main symptom of calcium deficiency is an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life especially with multiple pregnancies seen in women. The dietary sources of calcium are dairy foods, almonds, beans, dark green vegetables.

Vitamin B12 deficiency: B12 is required for proper neurological function and red blood cell formation. This vitamin is only found in natural form in animal products. Vegetarians and vegans are advised to take B12 supplements. Deficiency is common due to not enough B12 in the diet, inability to absorb B12 due to lack of intrinsic factor responsible for its absorption and particularly in people on acid- blocker medication and people with inflammation in the small bowel. Few deficiency signs are lemon yellow tint to the skin and eyes and smooth, red, thickened tongue. The dietary sources of B12 are salmon, lamb, and eggs.

Protein deficiency: Radish Protein is an important macronutrient also known as building blocks of muscles. Hair, skin and nails are made of protein and most importantly high quality and adequate protein is imperative for the creation of best hormones in the body resulting in better performance, productivity and over all well-being. Signs of deficiency are patchy brown skin on cheeks, atopy and loss of muscle mass. A balanced diet comprising of adequate protein daily would be beneficial. Dietary sources of protein are legumes, eggs, paneer, curd, chicken, fish, nuts and seeds.

Magnesium Deficiency: Magnesium is involved in many enzymatic reactions, is a major constituent of bones and is a part of the cell membranes. Being present in smooth muscles, facilitates the contraction as well as relaxation of muscles and helps to reduce muscle cramps. Signs of deficiency include abnormal heart rhythm, muscle cramps, tremors, restless leg syndrome, fatigue, migraine, tetany and personality changes. The dietary sources of magnesium are beans, nuts and sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Iodine Deficiency: Iodine is a trace essential that is necessary for normal thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. Deficiency can impair fetal and childhood growth. The most common symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland known as goitre. The dietary sources of iodine are strawberries, eggs, fish, dairy and baked potatoes which include skin. The easiest way to ensure that you have sufficient iodine in your diet is to use iodized salt such Tata Salt in your meals daily.

If you are concerned about having a particular deficiency, do consult your health care professional. With the right dietary changes and supplements, deficiencies can be managed and eliminated entirely.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

Related Products

selling
Tata Sampann

Chana Dal

View details
selling
Tata Sampann

Green Moong

View details
selling
Tata Sampann

Kabuli Chana

View details
selling
Tata Sampann

Kala Chana

View details

Hypertension In Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
27 October 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

Hypertension is quite often considered a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. In fact, men and women have a similar risk of developing high blood pressure. But after the onset of menopause, women actually face higher risk than men of developing high blood pressure. Although prior to 45 years of age, men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing inside the lining of arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time.

Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer. If untreated, it can lead to a major health set back and cause many complications. In most cases, there may not be any symptoms of high blood pressure. Sometimes, in case of sudden or severe increase in B.P., individuals may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or nosebleeds. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney failure. These problems worsen when high blood pressure is present along with diabetes. For women, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child.

What causes it? Reasons for high blood pressure

Eat Breakfast

• Genetic factors: Hereditary factors – one of the leading reasons for high blood pressure, which worsen when the environmental factors are not healthy.

• Body weight: Obesity and diabetes along with their associated disorders are often associated with hypertension.

• Age:Chances of a high blood pressure diagnosis increase steeply with age. But research now shows that high blood pressure can affect adolescents and the young as well.

• Gender: Risk is greater in men than women, but after menopause, the difference decreases.

• Dietary factors: Some dietary factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include excess calories coming saturated fats, diets that contain high sodium foods, and less calcium and magnesium in the diet

• Potassium: Decrease in potassium intake and low intake of high potassium foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to increase in heart rate and high blood pressure.

• Contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptive pills may lead to high blood pressure

• Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise can contribute to high blood pressure. Stress, smoking, tobacco intake, and alcohol intake also lead to increase in high blood pressure.

• Other medical conditions High blood pressure can also be a result of other medical conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism (increase in aldosterone) and preeclampsia in pregnancy are responsible for high blood pressure diagnosis.

Measures to reduce high blood pressure

Reduce sodium intake
It is important to note that it’s not the consumption of salt but excessive consumption of sodium is a concern. Sodium is a compound found naturally in foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2400 milligrams of sodium and the amount recommended for daily consumption is approximately the same. The amount of recommended sodium intake reduces further to approximately 1500 mg under conditions such as hypertension, kidney issues, water retention, and heart condition to name a few. But these problems are usually correlated with high consumption of sugar and fat. Hence it is beneficial to avoid foods such as processed foods, salted snacks, pickles, papad, sauces and instant soups. These are some known sources of excess sodium and not the usual home cooked foods.

It’s important to avoid sprinkling excess salt at the table. Rather use adequate salt during cooking and experiment with reduced sodium salt after conferring with your physician. Tata Salt Liteis a good option for those looking to reduce sodium intake. It provides 15% reduced sodium than regular salt. Inclusion of herbs and spices like like coriander, ginger, turmeric, mint, garlic or lemon juice can also help improves the taste and flavour of the food.

Improve intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium How to Increase Immune System
This can be done by inclusion of low-fat dairy products for calcium and green leafy vegetables for magnesium. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium are bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sweetlime, leafy vegetables, milk and almonds. Eating three to five servings of these foods daily would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.

Reduction in refined carbohydrates
Though this is not a direct connection, but the preparations and the nature of these foods usually contain excess sodium for taste and preservation purposes. Add omega 3 foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds to reduce blood pressure.

DASH DietDash Diet has been found to be a good approach for the treatment of hypertension. This diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, low sodium, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol to reduce blood pressure. This includes whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and other foods rich in potassium, calcium, omega 3 and magnesium.

Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle measures include regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, avoidance of rage and anger, adequate sleep, low alcohol intake, no smoking and normal body weight with low body fat percentage.

High blood pressure can affect the physical, professional, personal and economical life of any individual. As women tend to juggle multiple priorities, managing their own health often takes a back seat. It is advisable to take some judicious measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications in order to prevent the onset of hypertension, control it and minimize its risks.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 



Related Products

selling
TATA Nutrikorner

Tata Salt

View details
selling
TATA Nutrikorner

Tata Salt Lite

View details
selling
TATA

Rock Salt

View details

loading