by Sydney Boyce, MS, LAT, ATC, RYT200

Following a balanced diet is crucial to good health and proper nutrition, especially for females. Women go through a constant shift in hormones throughout different phases of life and maturation. Plus women tend to get bombarded by ads on the next fad diet which tend to be unrealistic and not the healthiest option. It’s no wonder there’s confusion about what really is good nutrition for women! Although the basics of eating whole foods, plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing sugars, sodium, and bad fats remains true, there are still focus areas crucial to staying healthy through different phases in a woman’s life. We hope to bring some clarity on what the woman Industrial Athlete truly needs to eat healthy and be fueled for all work and life brings. Let’s focus on the working industrial athlete and what nutrients she needs to keep on top of her tasks – moving, pushing, and pulling throughout her day.

Nutrient Nuggets

The female body needs the following vitamins and minerals to support proper health. All of these can be found in foods you eat, but sometimes women need to take supplements. These are all recommendations for the average adult woman. Be sure to talk with your doctor about what your individual needs are before taking any supplements.

B12: Forms red blood cells and DNA and is vital for brain and nerve cell functions. It’s naturally found in animal proteins we eat.

  • 2.4mcg

Folic Acid: Needed for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. It’s present in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and nuts.

  • 400-800 micrograms

Choline: Crucial for metabolism and easy to achieve in your diet! Eggs are high in choline along with liver and peanuts.

Omega-3s: Reduce the risk of heart disease! Healthy oils such as avocado, olive, fish and nut oils have these essential fatty acids.

Iron: Important in maintaining healthy blood and found in meat, poultry and fish.

  • 18mg per day adult ages 19-50

Calcium: Needed for muscle function and the nervous system. It helps prevent blood clots and maintain a normal heart rhythm. Find it in dairy, fish, and some nuts.

  • 1,000mg-1,300 mg per day

Vitamin D: Crucial for calcium absorption and helps protect against osteoporosis. Few foods have vitamin D, like fatty fish flesh, so sun exposure is best to get your daily dose (remember sunscreen)!

  • 600 IU per day
  • Recent studies indicate 1,000-4,000 IU per day

Foods That Fight

Foods to include in your diet to combat against leading causes of illness and death in women:

  • Foods that boost your brain power: Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common type of dementia, is 5th leading cause in women, and affects more women than men
    • Shrimp, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter
  • Foods that boost your immunity and mood: 12 million women being affected by a depressive disorder every year. 75% of people who live with autoimmune diseases are women.
    • Rooibos tea, portobello mushrooms, brazil nuts, beets
  • Foods for your heart: 1 in every 4 female deaths is from heart disease
    • Salmon, dark chocolate, walnuts, sprouted garlic, olive oil, apples, oatmeal, beans
  • Foods to Protect you from Cancer: Cancer is the second highest killer of women in America
    • Shrimp, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter
  • Foods that nourish hair and skin:
    • Red peppers, cilantro, sweet potatoes, shitake mushrooms, infused water with citrus, berries, herbs
  • Foods for Fertility: the right foods can support vaginal health, boost mood, and increase libido.
    • Grass fed beef, flaxseeds, greek yogurt, oysters, lentils
  • Foods for You & Your Baby: the right foods can help lead to fewer complications, easier deliveries, fewer birth defects, and happier, fitter babies after they’re born.
    • Spinach, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, broccoli, ginger, almond milk, eggs, asparagus, cod
  • To combat menopause: The symptoms of menopause are known to be due to the dip in estrogen and your ovaries stopping the production of hormones.
    • Sage, avocado, bananas, kale, goji berries, chickpeas

Sydney Boyce, MS, LAT, ATC, RYT200 || Sydney received her education between King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, PA) and West Virginia University. She’s been in the industrial setting for 6 years and transitioned to Work Right with the recent acquisition of Occupational Athletics. Apart from work, she’s a workout junkie! She spends her evenings and weekends teaching power yoga and going on hikes with her chocolate lab, Reese.

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!