Having a healthy diet is of utmost importance. It keeps one fit and improves the body’s metabolism. By healthy, we mean a proper nutritional diet. Such a diet should include all the nutrients which are required by the body for its proper functionality.
Important nutrients are proteins, calcium, iron, etc. Though having a rich nutritional diet is essential for people of all age groups, but it is all the more important when it comes to teenage girls. Their diet should be such that it promotes good health.
During this time, a number of physical changes occur in the body that affects their needs. Onset of puberty is also a considerable change during early teenage. This is also the time when teenagers no longer depend on their parents and make their own decisions about the food they eat.
Energy requirements for teenage girls are approximately 2200 calories per day. This is a significant leap from their childhood requirements. To meet these energy needs, they need to choose a variety of healthy foods, like low-fat dairy products, various protein sources, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Protein is the most important nutrient for proper growth and maintenance of muscle. Teenage girls need around 50 grams of protein every day. Most of them easily meet the required intake with their usual diet of beef, pork, chicken, eggs, and dairy products. It can also be obtained from various vegetable sources, especially soy foods, beans, and nuts.
Adequate calcium intake is necessary for development of strong and dense bones. Insufficient calcium diet during this age can put individuals at risk for developing osteoporosis later in life. Daily requirement of calcium is around 1,200 milligrams. Three to four servings of calcium-rich foods each day should serve the purpose. Rich sources include milk, cheese, yogurt and calcium-rich juices and cereals.
Iron is needed to help muscle cells obtain oxygen for energy. A deficiency of iron can lead to anemia which causes fatigue and weakness. Teenage girls need 15 milligrams of iron every day. Sources of iron are beef, chicken, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.
Hence, a nutritional diet is a must for teenage girls to sustain their body’s physical changes and ensure proper growth.