Advice for a balanced diet is the same for men and women: consume more fruit, salads, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. You should also limit salt, sugar, and saturated fats. But when it comes to dirty details, “complete nutritional profile,” there are some noticeable gender differences. This is mainly due to differences between male and female hormones.
Nutrient requirements change when we grow older, mainly due to changing hormone levels. Age will also influence whether you’re better off receiving a specific nutrient from a vitamin than food.
It is essential to know your body. You should also know your body profile is from a nutritional point of view. It is vital to maintain energy, especially during exercise periods. It is important to note that both men and women have very different nutritional profiles. Women require fewer calories than males, but they need more vitamins and minerals.
The following information will help you – whether you are male or female – to consume healthy food. It will also help to fulfil the everyday needs of essential nutrients over the decades.
Read this article carefully to know your nutritional profile:
Teenage boys hit a very rapid growth spurt when they reach puberty. The rate of the timing of development is different for everyone. But this is a time where boys will build up most of the muscle mass that will lead them to the rest of their lives. Teenage boys eat more calories as they start to growth spurt. Protein, the building block of muscle development, will be essential, as well as calcium and vitamin D in their stretching skeletons.
Teenage girls are not only growing; they are beginning to have menstrual periods that tax their iron reserves. Teenage girls have the highest iron intake of all ages so that they can choose lean red meat, iron-fortified cereals, beans and green leafy vegetables to help fulfil the needs.
Eating a well-balanced diet of plenty of:
- Calcium (low-fat dairy products, canned fish with soft bones that you eat and fortified orange juice)
- Vitamin D (fortified milk and sun exposure)
- Phosphorus (animal products, dairy products and beans)
will help to provide minerals that can be preserved in the bones for the rest of their lives for a person’s nutritional profile.
In your 20s: Focus on calcium, folate, iron
Men and women continue to build bones in the mid-20s, but not as readily as when they were younger. It is necessary to help the bones achieve their peak strength to meet daily calcium requirements. This will help protect against osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
Both men and women require 1,000 mg of calcium a day. One serving of milk (e.g. 1 cup of milk, 3/4 cup of plain yogurt, 1 1/2 ounce of hard cheese) provides about 300 milligrams of calcium. Fortified non-dairy drinks, such as soy, rice and almond milk, contain 300 to 330 mg of calcium per cup. Calcium-fortified juices do so.
Other healthy options include canned salmon (3 ounces = 212 mg), legumes, firm tofu, nuts, tahini and cooked green vegetables such as lettuce, collard leaves, rapini and bok choy.
Folate is vital to the production and repair of DNA, the genetic material of the cells. While both sexes need 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) each day, Women planning to become pregnant must pay special attention to B vitamins to prevent neural tube defects, birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord.
Folate-packed foods include:
- Broccoli (1/2 c = 84),
- Lentils (1/2 c = 189),
- Black beans (1/2 c = 135)
- Avocado (1/2 c = 113).
- Cooked spinach (1/2 c = 130 mcg),
Women of childbearing age can also take multivitamins that contain 0.4 to 1 mg of folic acid (the synthetic form of folate).
Iron helps metabolism, delivers oxygen to the muscles, promotes mental concentration and is used to create hormones and connective tissues. Men require 8 mg of mineral per day while women need 18 mg to compensate for the iron loss from menstruation.
Oysters, red meat, healthy breakfast cereals, soya beans, lentils, chickpeas, cooked spinach, prunes and raisins are healthy sources.
Nutritional Profile In your 30s: Focus on calories and magnesium
In the 30s, the onset of age-related muscle loss slows down the metabolism of our body, and the calorie needs begin to decline. If you maintain the same eating routine in your 30s and 40s) as you did in your 20s, you’re likely to gain weight. For every 30 years, men require 10 calories less per day, and women need 7 calories fewer.
In other words, at age 40, men can eat 100 calories fewer per day than at age 30. At 40 years of age, women should remove 70 calories from their everyday diet.
Remove calories from processed (white) starchy foods, desserts and sugars added to drinks and foods. Continue to emphasize foods that are high in calcium, folate and iron.
Men and women should also concentrate on magnesium, a mineral that helps produce energy for the body controls blood pressure and blood sugar and maintains strong bones. At the age of 31, the regular requirements for both men (420 mg) and women increased (320 mg).
To increase your consumption, add:
- Plain yogurt (1 c = 45)
- Whole wheat bran (2 tbsp = 45 tbsp)
- Cooked Swiss chard (1/2 c = 80)
- Cooked spinach (1/2 c = 78)
- Halibut (3 oz = 90 mg)
- Cashews (18 nuts = 75)
- Almonds (24 nuts = 80)
In your 40s: Focus on antioxidants
Although vitamin and mineral needs remain unchanged in the 40s, both sexes should concentrate on nutrient-dense food options. They should do this not just to satisfy daily requirements, but also to pave the way for the next few decades.
Have foods high in vitamins C and E, antioxidants that prevent harmful free radicals from occurring. Free radical damage is thought to contribute to aging and multiple chronic diseases.
Excellent forms of vitamin C include:
- Red and green pepper
- Citrus fruit
- Brussels sprouts
- Tomato juice
Vitamin E is found in:
- Wheat germ oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut butter
Some dietary antioxidants include beta-carotene (e.g. carrots, apricots, green vegetables) and selenium (e.g., tuna, shrimp, turkey).
In comparison to supplements, whole foods contain vitamins and minerals along with fiber and hundreds of phytochemicals that work together to protect health.
In your 50s and beyond: Focus on calcium, vitamin D, B12
At 51 years of age, women require 1,200 mg of calcium per day to help prepare for the rapid bone loss of menopause. Calcium needs do not increase for men until the age of 71 when bone loss and fracture risk increase dramatically. With age, both men and women have a reduced ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to the sun. The official recommended dietary intake for vitamin D increases from 600 IU (International Units) to 800 IU at 70 years of age. However, many experts prescribe adults over 50 years of age with a supplement of 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day to sustain sufficient stores.
Vitamin B12, which is required to make red blood cells, nerves and DNA, should also be supplemented after 50 years; multivitamins will do the trick. Many older adults do not contain enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to consume vitamins from food.
The Bottom Line
Overall, improved awareness of the nutritious value of foods, including calories, macronutrient composition, and vitamin and mineral quality will motivate both men and women to make healthier nutrition decisions and to take a few steps closer to their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. Knowing one’s nutritional profile is very important to lead a healthy life.