As the human body ages, its needs change. When we are young our bodies require high levels of calcium and foods must be easily digested. As we get to our teen years our dietary needs are geared towards supporting a higher metabolism. As adults, our bodies needs depend heavily on weight management. Pregnant women’s needs are intensified because their diets have to support themselves as well as their unborn child. As adults get older, their bodies begin to weaken. At this point their diet has to change to keep their bones strong, regulate blood pressure and regulate body functions.
Infants in the first year only require under 500 calories every day(&quot;Nutritional Requirements Throughout The Life Cycle: Infancy And Early Childhood&quot;, n.d.). This is enough to fuel their high energy needs. As Infants reach the 1-3 year range, their energy needs rise to just under 1000 calories. Infant water intake are higher than adults and are at a higher risk of dehydration. When infants fall ill, their water intake needs to be increased to make up for fluid loss through sweating, vomiting and diarhea (&quot;Nutritional Requirements Throughout The Life Cycle: Infancy And Early Childhood&quot;, n.d.). High amounts of fatty acids are also required in infants and small children . These fatty acids play a large role in the development of the nervous system. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids hinder the development of these paths so should be kept to a minimum(&quot;Nutritional Requirements Throughout The Life Cycle: Infancy And Early Childhood&quot;, n.d.).
When humans reach their teen years, they require a lot more calories to support the increased growth and activity(Paul, 2012). As a small child the recommended intake is under 1000 calories a day, as a teen that need grows to almost 3000 calories a day(Paul, 2012). This stage in life is the most active stage and requires plenty of protein to ensure muscles are well fed and can grow properly. Most teens stray away from milk and gravitate primarily towards carbonated beverages and sugary food. Since they arent drinking enough milk they do not get proper calcium intake that is usually taken in through milk. This could cause weak bones. Teen females usually need to watch their iron intake since they loose a great deal through menstruation. A lack of iron can lead to fatigue, anemia and weakness(Paul, 2012).
As teens mature to adulthood diet becomes more crucial. In the adult years the basal metabolic rate begins to slow (Vaghefi, 2012). This means that fat intake has to be regulated and the aging body needs to increase their muscle mass and decrease fat intake in order to keep weight management in check (Vaghefi, 2012). To try and counteract the slowing of the metabolism vitamin, mineral and protein intake needs to be increased. The increased protein helps build muscle which helps burn fat. The vitamins and minerals help to keep the metabolism up. Physical activity also needs to increase at this stage in life to help keep body fat down(Vaghefi, 2012). Fiber intake should also be increased at this stage to help in the digestion process. Proper digestion is crucial in keeping body fat down. If these step aren’t taken to keep body fat down, it increases the risk for many health problems like heart disease, liver disease and diabetes(Vaghefi, 2012).
When pregnant, a woman’s calorie intake increases by roughly 100 to 300 per day (Irene, 2010). The exact amount depends on many factors which include physical activity, which trimester and current weight. To ensure that the baby develops properly it is very crucial that all food groups make it into her regular diet (Irene, 2010). The serving amounts each group start to increase once she reaches the second and third trimester. As the baby grows, so does its needs. To keep the mother and child healthy, more intake is required (Irene, 2010). Folic acid and other vitamin B is needed as the pregnancy goes on to help reduce birth defects and to help the development of the child’s brain and spine. The normal Iron requirement of 15mg per day are doubled to 30mg during pregnancy. If the woman cannot stomach an Iron supplement, increasing fish, poultry and red meat can give her the Iron needed (Irene, 2010). More calcium is needed daily during pregnancy. About 1000mg are needed a day. This helps develop the baby’s bones and keep it from taking the nutrients from its mother that she needs to keep her teeth and bones healthy (Irene, 2010). Constipation is a common complaint for many pregnant women. This can be avoided by adding high fiber foods like fruit, green leafy vegetables and grains. Certain foods should be eliminated completely from a pregnant woman’s diet. These “No No” foods include raw fish, alcohol and caffeine (Irene, 2010).
As we reach our older years, our bodies begin to wear down and become more fragile. Ensuring that you get enough calcium and vitamin D as a senior is vital to making sure that your bones stay strong (&quot;It's About Eating Right&quot;, n.d.). Milk and yogurt are the most popular ways to get these important nutrients. After age 50 vitamin B12 becomes an important nutrient to help keep energy up and promotes an active metabolism (&quot;It's About Eating Right&quot;, n.d.). Fiber is another important part of a healthy diet for older people. Fiber is needed to help regulate digestion and bowel movements. Sodium has a negative effect on us when we get older. Sodium should be cut back to avoid increased blood pressure and potassium should be increased (&quot;It's About Eating Right&quot;, n.d.). Potassium helps regulate the blood pressure while sodium has a tendency to raise it. As our metabolism slows later in life we have to be careful about what fats we take in. Most fats that we eat today are unsaturated fats which if overindulged can lead to health problems. Older adults should limit their fat intake to a minimum but not cut out fats entirely (&quot;It's About Eating Right&quot;, n.d.).
Irene, S. (2010). Nutrition Requirements for Pregnant Women. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/119379- nutrition-requirements-pregnant-women/ Its about eating right. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx? id=6839 Nutritional Requirements Throughout the Life Cycle:Infancy and Early Childhood. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nutritionmd.org/health_care_p roviders/general_nutrition/lifetime_childho od.html
Paul, M. (2012). Nutrition for Children and Teens. Retrieved from http://helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_children_ teens.htm Vaghefi, S. (2012). Adult Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/A- Ap/Adult-Nutrition.html