Hormonal changes throughout a woman’s life can significantly affect her nutritional needs. From puberty through menopause and beyond, good nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy quality of life: Calcium: Helps build strong bones, which can prevent bone fractures and breaks as well as osteoporosis later in life. Recommended intake: at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
Iron: Blood loss through menstruation can lead to iron deficiency, causing fatigue and headaches. Recommended intake: 18 mg each day.
Fiber: Can help manage constipation as well as possibly decrease the risk of colon cancer. Fiber also helps the body to feel fuller longer, which may help with weight loss. Recommended intake: at least 25 grams of fiber each day.
Folic Acid (Folate): Helps support the normal growth of cells in the body, as well as prevent birth defects. Recommended intake: 400 mcg of folic acid each day. Increase to 600-800 mcg during pregnancy.
Vitamin D: Helps protect bones. Studies show that people with low levels of Vitamin D have lower bone density and are more likely to break bones when they are older. Recommended intake: 400 IU of Vitamin D each day.
10 Tips for a Healthier You!
Ensure a better quality of life for you and your family by taking control of your health right now. The following tips come from the CDC’s Office of Women’s Health:
1. Eat healthy. Consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, reduce saturated fats and switch to whole grains to improve health and help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, coronary heart disease and more.
3. Get moving. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5-7 days a week.
4. Be smoke-free. Smoking triples your risk of dying from heart disease by middle age.
5. Get regular check-ups. Talk with your health care provider to determine which screenings you need and how often. The sooner a problem is found, the better your chances for successful treatment.
6. Get appropriate vaccinations. Yes, adults need them, too. Protect yourself by staying up to date with your immunizations.
7.Manage stress. Balancing work and family is harder than ever. Find activities you enjoy that help release stress at home and work.
8. Know yourself and your risks. You may be at increased risk for certain diseases because of family history, what you do, where you work or how you play.
9. Be safe — protect yourself. Fasten your seatbelt, use sunscreen, wear a helmet, wash your hands. Take steps to protect yourself wherever you are.
10. Be good to yourself. Good health is a lifestyle. Relax, find something you enjoy, and pay attention to your own needs.
Starting Out Healthy
By the time a young girl enters kindergarten, she’s already developed many of the habits and behaviors that will influence how healthy she will be throughout life. Therefore, it’s crucial to lay the ground rules for a healthy diet and active lifestyle from the very beginning.
Gimme Five. Children develop a taste for the foods they experience early in life. Say “no” to fast food and focus instead on feeding your children at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, plus whole grains and lean protein.
Be a Sport. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that girls who participate in interscholastic sports are much less likely to smoke. The more sports played, the lower the risk a girl will start smoking.
Feed the Need. As girls enter puberty — usually around the of age of 12 or 13 — their caloric and nutritional needs increase. An adolescent girl needs about 2,200 calories a day to fuel her body’s rapid growth. Girls need additional calcium, too — at least 1,200 mg a day — to build bone mass and help avoid osteoporosis later in life. Increased iron — 15 mg a day for girls — is also important to prevent anemia, support muscle growth and ward off fatigue.
Lean meats and legumes provide essential iron and added protein, while low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese can boost calcium intake. Reliv Now®, Reliv Classic® and Reliv Now® for Kids also provide optimal levels of these important nutrients.
Loving Yourself — Inside and Out
When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? Unfortunately, many women don’t. Arbitrary cultural ideals of beauty are wreaking havoc, not just on adult women, but on their adolescent and pre-adolescent daughters as well.
Truth is, healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes — waif-like thinness and the “appearance” of youth have very little to do with it. What’s important is how you view your body, and how you take care of yourself.
A healthy diet and adequate nutrition will improve the look and feel of your hair, nails and complexion. Add in regular exercise and plenty of restorative sleep and you have the recipe for a healthy body that literally glows with vitality!
So set the example for the girls around you. A healthy body is beautiful — no matter what the size or shape!
Prevention: A Woman’s Prerogative
The complexity of a woman’s body chemistry is truly a wonder. It makes the miracle of childbirth possible. It allows her to provide complete nourishment for her infant children. And, many believe, it is the source of a woman’s innate ability to nurture and foster a sense of cooperation and community.
But that unique chemistry also leaves women vulnerable to serious diseases. Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, has been linked to breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Hormone imbalances also cause such female specific conditions as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was once considered the primary therapy for treatment and prevention of hormone-related conditions. But in July 2002, the National Institutes of Health dealt HRT a serious blow when they halted an eight-year HRT study after just five years due to unacceptable increases in the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
As a result, more and more women are turning to nutritional alternatives to help prevent chronic disease, as well as gain relief from menopause and PMS. The effectiveness of soy in reducing the risk of heart disease and easing menopausal symptoms is well-documented. Antioxidants are also a key player in disease prevention. And we are quickly discovering the plethora of beneficial effects offered by plant-derived phytochemicals.
It’s never too early, or too late, to focus on the choices and activities that will enhance a woman’s quality of life throughout every stage of development and aging. Reliv is committed to helping women of all ages take control by taking care.
To Your Health,
Dr. Carl W. Hastings, Reliv Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer
From Reliv’s Science & Health Today newsletter. Print full issue.