What Women Need

Nutrition Advice from your Pawling Hannaford Dietitian

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s acknowledge the unique health needs of all the women and girls in our lives. Throughout their lifespan, we need to ensure that the females we love are consuming the nutrients they need so that they can have their best day today and enjoy a healthier tomorrow.

Nutrients Women Need: Four Vitamins & Minerals

Folic Acid: We may think of folic acid for it’s important role in preventing birth defects, but women need folic acid before, during and after childbearing years. Folic acid is a water-soluble B-vitamin, which means we need to consume it regularly to maintain adequate levels. It helps with red blood cell production and has other neurological benefits. The good news is that most packaged grains are fortified with folic acid to help you meet your needs. When consumed along with fruits and vegetables you can meet your daily 400mcg/day (600mcg/day for pregnant women).

Calcium: Ensure the young girls in your life are consuming adequate calcium now so that they have strong bones in later adulthood when bones can’t absorb calcium as well. From adolescence through adulthood, women have the following calcium needs: 1,300mg/day (ages 9 – 18); 1000mg/day (ages 19 – 50); 1200mg/day (age 51+).

Iron: A woman’s iron needs change throughout her lifespan, but what doesn’t change is that it is an important mineral for preventing iron deficiency anemia, a common condition characterized by symptoms like weakness, fatigue, sensitivity to cold, and headache, which results from a lack of red blood cells. Maintain adequate iron levels by consuming lean red meat, legumes and fortified cereals. Iron needs: 15mg/day (ages 14 – 18); 18mg/day (ages 19 – 50); 8mg/day (age 51+)

B12: Vitamin B12 also plays a role in red blood cell production. When women are lacking or unable to absorb B12 (which can happen, especially in women age 50+), a different type of anemia called pernicious anemia can develop. Your physician can let you know if you are deficient in this important vitamin or not absorbing it adequately. Women age 14+ need 2.4mcg/day (with needs increasing to 2.6mcg during pregnancy).

Women’s Wellness Goals: Three Things to Do

Exercise: There are many reasons we need to encourage the women in our lives to exercise regularly. From maintaining a healthy heart, strong bones, and muscle to protect those bones, to feeling fit and maintaining a healthy body weight exercise is essential and we need to ensure the women in our life are making it a priority.

Meditation: The numerous benefits to meditating make it something we all need to do, not just something other people do. It doesn’t take long, but should be part of the overall health regimen we are encouraging the women we love to engage in.

Stretching: Flexibility is key to reducing injury in the event of a fall. It also maintains healthy joints and reduces soreness after exercise.

As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit www.hannaford.com/dietitians for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours or call (845) 855-0553 for more information.


Broccoli Frittata (2 Guiding Stars)

I love the simplicity, ease and speed of a vegetable frittata. If you don’t have tarragon on hand, substitute your preferred herb. Visit www.GuidingStars.com for more recipes and information about the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program.


2 c. broccoli florets, chopped

1/2 c. chicken, cooked and chopped

1/2 c. tomatoes, chopped

1/4 c. onions, chopped

1/4 t. dried tarragon

cooking spray

8 egg whites


Sauté broccoli, chicken, tomato, onion, and tarragon in sprayed medium saucepan over medium heat until broccoli is tender-crisp.

Pour lightly beaten egg whites evenly over all ingredients in the saucepan.

Cover and cook for 6 – 8 minutes at 350º F until firm on bottom and almost set on top. Cut into wedges to serve.