Staff Writer: Halima Dabana, Nigeria, Africa
Hi ladies! So we know that there are several vitamins and minerals, and they are all super important for our bodies, but now we’ve compiled a list of the top 3 nutrients (in no particular order) that us Queens have to pay specific attention to. This is because there’s a high chance of women being deficient in these nutrients.
IRON (+ VITAMIN C)
Iron is extremely important for women of reproductive age (from puberty to menopause), because we lose a lot of it when we menstruate. Pregnant women also need a lot of it because they produce blood to support two. Vitamin C enhances the body’s absorption of iron, so it is advisable to consume foods rich in vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruits, orange juice) while eating iron – rich foods.
Iron deficiency (anaemia) symptoms:
- Extreme fatigue
- Brittle nails
- Heart palpitations
Cold hands & feet
- Dark green leafy vegetables e.g. spinach
- Red meat
- Beans and lentils
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grains
- Fortified cereals
Vitamin D is important as it works hand in hand with calcium for healthy bones. This is important for adolescent girls because they’re growing, older women because they start to lose their bone health faster than men; and for pregnant women to support the development of the foetus. Vitamin D is available in sunlight, but it may not be absorbed by our bodies due to things like some sunscreens and skin colour. WOC who have more melanin are at higher risk for deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency looks like:
- Poor bone health
- Depression in women with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Obesity & Type 2 diabetes
Vitamin D Food:
- Fatty fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, mackerel)
- Fish liver oils
- Egg yolk
- Fortified foods (fortified tofu, cereals, fruit juices)
A.K.A. Vitamin B9 or folic acid. It serves in DNA formation, red blood cell development and, together with iron, prevention of anaemia. It is also super important for preventing some birth defects, so important that experts advise women to start taking prenatal vitamins containing folate the year before they plan to conceive.
Folate deficiency Subtle symptoms that may go unnoticed, such as
- Grey hair
- Mouth sores
- Tongue swelling/inflammation
- Growth problems
Anaemia (paleness, brittle skin, lethargy, etc)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach)
- Poultry & eggs
Beans & peas
So, Queens, let’s all be on the lookout for these nutrients to ensure our bodies stay healthy, happy, and beautiful! You can check us out on Instagram @thickboldandhealthy for more nutrition and wellness tips. See you soon!