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Women’s Health

on March 26, 2012
  • What are the key health issues affecting modern women today, and how healthy is the female population?

Obesity in Britain is on the rise with close to a 400% increase in the last 25 years.  22% of Britons are now obese which equates to almost a quarter of our population.

It’s easy to see how this can be at the forefront of many women’s health concerns with the ever increasing image-conscious society. It is well documented that many Brits aren’t as active as they should be and the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables being consumed. However research has shown that many Brits are well aware of the 5-a-Day recommendation laid down and are also well aware of the different food groups.  Despite this it is all too easy to grab that unbalanced ready meal or pop into the popular fast food burger outlet. We are all guilty!

Maintaining a healthy body weight can reduce risks of developing diet-related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Obesity is also one of the biggest risk factors of premature death in adults.

  • Has this changed from a generation ago, for example?

Yes – A generation ago obesity wasn’t as much of a wide-spread issue as it is today, although I do believe there were still many women who were concerned about their weight say 25 years ago, but today we have many more options available for us to help deal with this rising issue.

I believe the media is the main reason driving the change and historically it hasn’t been as easy to communicate about health concerns, such as obesity, or stress the concerns on such a global scale. Celebrities and models (the body role models) are now much more high profile because of social media and online reporting giving the public an immediate social commentary on what is on trend. In general, today we have many more options available for us to help deal with and address this rising issue.

  • Would you say women are more proactive at dealing with health issues?

Being proactive woman myself, and comparing to my male counterparts, I strongly believe that women, in general, are more proactive at dealing with and addressing health issues. Mainly because women don’t feel like they need to shy away from health issues and are more likely to visit their GP or healthcare practitioner. Sadly for some men it isn’t as easy as they often suffer for longer and are more likely not to visit their GP, I am sure we can all relate! With more widespread media coverage and latest celeb diet crazes, healthy eating is more widely adopted and almost quite fashionable in recent years. Also it isn’t as frowned upon to choose the more widely available ‘healthy’ option at many popular food chains or supermarkets.

  • What health advice should women be following for general good health and wellbeing? Does this differ at all to men?

Adopting a healthy eating regime and watching your nutritional intake as well as being more physically active can make a significant impact on all of these risk factors. Also safeguarding your diet with supplements where necessary to ensure nutritional deficiencies isn’t one of the reasons you aren’t as healthy or full of vitality as you could be! A good nutritional balance can help with anything from healthy hair, skin, nails to helping to alleviate PMS. Safeguarding your diet with a supplement is also a good idea for women on the go, busy mums or just those who feel as though they need that extra support.

  • What are the key nutritional considerations a woman should make?

The physical demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding place extra nutritional demands on women. Women, especially over the age of 45, are susceptible to a variety of chronic conditions including osteoporosis, breast cancer, and heart disease. Proper nutrition and physical activity can help prevent these diseases.

Protecting cardiovascular (heart) health is important. The risk of developing Heart disease rises once a woman reaches the menopause.

Supplements like red clover have shown a vast array of beneficial properties for women including cardiovascular and bone density protective properties, helping to alleviate anxiety, alleviating symptoms of menopause. There is also no breast cancer link with Red Clover, compared to soy which has some speculation.

Antioxidants are also increasingly popular at helping protect the body‘s cells from damage. Dietary Antioxidants such as Black Elderberries, which are very rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, are a good choice to top up your daily antioxidant intake.

  • What supplements do you consider important for women, and why?

Fish Oil Supplements are a must due to the far stretching benefits they provide and the wealth of research and safety data behind it. Health benefits range from Brain and Eye health to joints and skin. Some studies have also shown how Omega-3 can help with PMS symptoms. New innovations with fish oil supplements like Enteric Coating takes away some of the ‘nasty’s’ associated with this popular supplement and make taking them even easier.

Black Elderberry supplement is a must. Black Elderberries are one of the most potent antioxidants around and boasts cold and flu busting properties which have been traditionally used for centuries to help boost your immunity.

All topped off with a good multivitamin to provide all round health and vitality for women. A good balance between vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts is what every woman needs to provide energy and all-round support, especially for busy women.

Published. Farrah Malik. (c) Naturally Good Healthy _ Spring 2012. Target Publishing.