Good Nutrition can Unlock Women’s Potential

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Shabnam Mostafa, Nutrition Consultant, SureCell Medical [BD] Ltd.
In today’s world of improved health, wealth and technical advances, we are still faced with billions of people suffering from a lack of good nutrition. Right now, approximately one billion women and girls do not have access to good nutrition, hindering their ability to live their lives to the fullest, stopping them from learning and earning.

March 8 is International Women’s Day.  The theme for this year is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

Actually International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action; to empower women in all settings, rural and urban and realize their full potential. Along with, I strongly recommend improving their nutritional status. A diet lacking in good nutrition holds everyone back – from education, opportunity, productivity and growth. Moreover Surveys of nutritional status frequently demonstrate chronic shortages of micronutrients (i.e. iron, folic acid and calcium) not only in a woman’s earlier years but extending through into later life. Besides these, some low-energy diets, slimming regimes, eating disorders etc. make women even more vulnerable to nutritional inadequacies.

On this great day, we’ve to feel it’s important to remind ourselves that improving the nutritional status of women and girls around the world is the key to building stronger and more equitable and productive societies.


Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, good quality protein and healthy fats can help control your weight and reduce your risk for certain diseases. Carotenoids rich fruits and veggies, such as tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, melons, and peppers, may even reduce your risk for breast cancer. Add leafy green vegetables and a variety of whole grains, beans, and other legumes to give you filling fiber and keep you going throughout the day.


Folic acid is widely known very important nutrient for the development of a healthy fetus, but it’s not just for pregnant women. Folic Acid, also known as folate or Vitamin B9, has multiple health benefits for women of all ages. Studies have shown that folic acid helps forming new blood cell and create DNA. It may help prevent heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, type-2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.

Folic Acid is found in foods such as leafy greens, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds and fruits like papaya, banana, orange, and strawberry.


Many women don’t get enough iron in their diet. On top of that, women lose a lot of this important mineral during menstruation and hence are at risk of iron-deficiency anemia. It is important for them to eat those foods that are not only rich in iron but are also eaten in significant quantities and from which iron is reasonably well absorbed. Dietary sources of vitamin C are also significant because they improve the absorption of non-haem iron.
Another micronutrient-Zn is needed to maintain the health of cells. Taking iron supplements may interfere with the absorption of zinc, so women taking iron supplements should continue to eat iron-rich foods, which are also a good source of zinc.


Women are at a greater risk than men of developing osteoporosis, so it’s important to get plenty of calcium to support your bone health, and the main sources are milk, cheese, yogurt and green vegetables.


Soy products are high in phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that are similar to estrogen produced by the body. Some studies suggest that soy may help manage menopausal symptoms. Try natural soy sources such as soy milk, soy biscuits, tofu, and soy nuts.

Let’s celebrate womanhood on International Women’s Day by promising to be healthy women through providing good nutrition to the body. Whatever your age, whatever you do, committing to a healthy diet will help you look and feel best so that you stay on top of your commitments and ENJOY LIFE!!

Happy Women’s Day!!!

Many Best Wishes to all of us!!!

Shabnam Mostafa

M.phil in Nutrition and Food Science, INFS, DU

B.Sc. (Honours) in Food and Nutrition, KU

Trained in Malaysia

Former Research Asstt (FAO)

Nutrition Consultant, SureCell Medical [BD] Ltd.

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