Adolescence is characterized by the spurt in growth, a period in which growth occurs really fast. During this time, physical changes affect the nutritional needs of the body, while lifestyle changes might affect eating habits along with the choices of food. On the other, Nutrition is equally important for all those who are pregnant as, during pregnancy, a woman's body goes through a number of physical and hormonal changes. Hence, the way one nourishes her body during this phase will affect one's health as well as her baby's.
Importance of Nutrition for Adolescent Girls
It is the spurt in growth that tends to occur in adolescence that creates an increase in the demand for energy as well as nutrients. The important set of nutrients that require to increase during adolescence include energy, protein and calcium.
Let us briefly look into how each of them is important for adolescent girls:
*Energy: Adolescents require additional energy for their growth and activity. They can meet up the requirements by having various healthy foods like lean protein sources, dairy products containing low fat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
*Protein: Protein requirements of adolescent girls are mainly determined by the amount of protein they require for maintaining lean body mass. Protein is important both for growth and maintenance of muscle. Adolescents usually require somewhere between 45 and 60 gm of protein every day. They can get that through chicken, eggs, beef, pork, dairy products and some vegetables.
*Calcium: An adequate amount of calcium intake is necessary for developing strong and dense bones during the adolescent stage. Milk provides the highest amount of calcium in the diets of adolescents, followed by cheese, ice cream and frozen yoghurt.
**Iron: Adolescent girls require adequate amount of iron intake on a daily basis. Some of the iron-rich foods are Tofu, Tempeh, Natto, Soybeans, Lentils, Other Beans and Peas, Nuts and Seeds, Leafy Greens, Tomato Paste, Potatoes and more.
Nutritional Requirements for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women go through a number of physical as well as hormonal changes. Hence, nourishment plays a crucial role during this time, which will have an effect on the health of women and well as their on their babies.
-Women must make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet, which will help them stay healthy all through their pregnancy.
-The food that they have turns out to be the main source of nourishment for babies. Thus it is critical to take those foods that are rich in nutrients.
An easy way to ensure that they are getting all the required nutrients is to have different foods from each of the food groups every day. Each and every food group has something to offer for the body. For instance: