Remember These Three Nutrients in Your 30’s
The thirfty 30’s are years of multitasking. From juggling full time work, fitness, child baring family life and friends. Depending on your choices this can be a time where your health can thrive or when diseases like high blood pressure and type two diabetes begin to present.
There is no substitute to a well-balanced diet but three key nutrients for health in your 30s are iron, folate and calcium.
If your iron is low, you will feel lethargic and your immune system can become compromised. You need 18mg of iron each day. Iron is needed to transport oxygen around your body. Aim to include an animal source of iron or haem iron from lean meat and seafood a few times each week. No more than 350g of red meat is recommended to reduce your risk of cancers like colorectal cancer. Also aim to include seafood 2-3 times a week with a serve being 100g cooked weight.
If you are following a plant-based diet, try to pair your non-haem or non-animal source of iron with vitamin C to improve absorption. Also, try not to drink a cup of coffee or black tea with your meal as the polyphenol inhibit absorption. If you do eat meat or seafood by including a haem iron source with a non-haem iron source the non-haem iron will be better absorbed in your body. For example, a Corn Thins slice which is a non-haem iron source with some sliced turkey breast and avocado.
Between the ages of 35-40 your bone mass can start to decline. Your bones are an active tissue and require nutrition to stay strong. You need 2.5 serves of dairy or dairy equivalents each day which more than half of women are not reaching. This can be 40g of cheddar cheese, ½ cup ricotta or cottage cheese, 200g yoghurt, 250 cows’ milk or fortified soy or plant-based milk. Non-dairy forms of calcium include 100g tofu, 100g canned pink salmon with bones or 60g of sardines.
During childbearing years, you need 400mg of folate or the synthetic form called folic acid. Folate helps to prevent your child from developing neural tube defects. Folate is important for other reasons and helps to make and repair DNA and may lower your susceptibility to heart disease. Folate can be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, fruit, whole grains, and whole grain contain foods like Corn Thins slices, fortified cereal products and seafood.
Take home message: Make your 30’s the years where your health thrives by keeping health as a priority in your life. You will be able to give more to every other aspect of your life if you are feeling your best.