Being a woman is not easy, specially a working woman. Women in their 20s and 30s work long hours; have erratic work shifts; and face tight deadlines and ample amounts of stress. The challenges of balancing their personal and professional lives bring on additional anxieties that take a toll on their physical and mental health.

To thrive across all the phases of their lives, women must eat right, exercise and keep a close watch on their nutrition needs.

Here is a check list, taking care of your nutrition needs and diet routine:

 Fruits and leafy green vegetable: Go healthy, go green! Fill your platter with lots of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. You may also add some fiber to your diet. Include whole grains, beans and other legumes; exclude processed foods and concentrate on locally grown foods. This will help you stay fit and watch your diet.

 Call for calcium: Most women experience calcium deficiency at some point in time. Their bone health needs to be monitored. Dairy products are a great source of calcium but animal fat and  proteins could even accelerate bone loss. Therefore you can substitute dairy products for plant-based sources such as broccoli, beans, collard greens etc.

 The iron lady: Snack it up like an iron-lovin’ lady! Munch on some chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and iron-fortified cereals or chew almonds as they are rich in iron and serve as great energy boosters. Women need sufficient iron intake as they lose a lot of it while menstruating.

 Shoo away the added sugar: Did you know that you are consuming sugar even when you are having bread, canned soups, pasta sauce, frozen foods, ketchup etc? They add a lot of calories to your diet therefore look out for products that claim to be “sugar-free” or have “no added sugar”. The foods themselves could have high concentrations of sugar in the form of processed carbohydrates (eg: white rice and/or pasta). Also steer clear of frozen food.

 Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine both affect women more than men. Research says that women who have more than two alcohol drinks a day suffer from osteoporosis, while caffeine interferes with hormone levels and leaches calcium from the body. Both worsen menopause symptoms and affects fertility, therefore beware!

Nutritious food is a key driver of good health for the working woman. So work at including more of it in your diet!