Expert Insights on Improving Nutrition for Adolescent Girls

For females, adolescence is a key time of growth and development. The need of getting enough nutrients at this period is particularly important given the start of menstruation. How then may teenage females improve their nutritional status? This is a subject of significant interest and a worry that many parents share. Let's hear from the professionals.

1. Girls' caloric needs throughout adolescence are much greater than adults', often surpassing them. Their daily caloric requirements range between 1,600 and 2,700. The main nutrients that provide these calories are proteins, lipids, and carbs. Lack of sufficient calorie intake from skipping breakfast or failing to eat a balanced meal may impede growth and development. A healthy breakfast is thus essential.

2. During adolescence, enough protein, minerals, and water are essential. Girls throughout their adolescence need 80–90 grams of protein daily. The building blocks of proteins, amino acids, may be found in a wide variety of combinations in various meals. Therefore, a diversified diet guarantees a full intake of amino acids, avoiding nutritional deficits.

3. To avoid any possible injury to the body, some meals should be avoided during menstruating. These foods may be divided into three groups:

Foods classified as "cold" in traditional Chinese medicine include pears, bananas, water chestnuts, tremella mushrooms, daylily blossoms, and seaweed. Even though these foods have cooling and detoxifying effects, it is best to take them in moderation when menstruating to prevent symptoms like menstrual discomfort and irregular periods.

B. Spicy Foods: This group includes ingredients like black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and Sichuan peppercorns. Although they improve tastes, certain spices might cause discomfort during menstruation, including painful periods and profuse bleeding.

C. Foods That Affect Sexual Function: Steer clear of foods like hemp seeds, water caltrop, water bamboo, wax gourd, ferns, Chinese mustard greens, rabbit meat, and black fungus.

4. Adolescent females need to rest before and after meals: Exercise lowers blood flow to the digestive tract, which may result in impaired gastrointestinal function and probable digestive problems. To promote appropriate blood flow to the stomach and intestines, it is thus advised to relax before and after meals. Gastric ulcer patients should stop smoking since nicotine in cigarettes may change stomach acid levels, interfere with the pyloric sphincter's normal function, and exacerbate or start ulcer symptoms.

These professional suggestions provide information on how to improve nutrition for teenage females. During this crucial time, parents should put their nutritional requirements first since they have an influence on their children's general growth and development in addition to their physical health.

This post was recently updated on Aug 24, 2023