Most women tend to prioritise their work and family over health, till the time their body starts giving up, says Luke Coutinho.
Working women are a fine example of people who do double-shifts.
Not only do they have their homes and families to look after, but also the workplace, colleagues and bosses.
While it is important for every working woman to take care of her health, it is really a matter of concern for single mothers or those undergoing phases of pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause.
Amongst all aspects of lifestyle, proper nutrition is one of the most neglected parts.
Most women tend to prioritise their work and family over health, till the time their body starts giving up and contracting diseases like PCOS, diabetes, anaemia, obesity, cardiovascular issues, thyroid, hypertension, depression and even cancer.
The dangers of weight gain
Eating too much or too less can contribute to weight gain.
One of the most common patterns noticed amongst a majority of working women is skipping breakfast due to the usual morning rush, nibbling on snacks the entire afternoon and finally feasting on a heavy dinner.
This vicious cycle is a recipe for disaster.
It is important to prioritise daytime meals and snacks to regulate hunger hormones.
The second factor is stress eating, because of the obvious pressure that comes from both sides: home as well as work. This makes it very easy to reach out for a quick food fix.
Foods rich in sugar, salt and fat are the preferred comfort foods because they give an instant high.
However, the high is soon followed by a crash, guilt, fear, more stress and overproduction of cortisol that leads to fat storage.
There is no room for energy slumps when one has to manage kids, a husband, parents, colleagues and bosses.
Nutritionally, energy slumps can be due to carb-heavy meals, overeating, caffeine crashes, nutrition deficiencies (iron, magnesium, vitamin B12), low haemoglobin, dehydration, et cetera.
Women are prone to being anaemic and that is one main reason of lethargy.
It is important to make sure your lunch consists of at least one green leafy vegetable.
Drinking another cup of coffee to beat that slump is not an answer because excess caffeine will only end up in adrenal fatigue, dehydration, hindered nutrient absorption, disturbed gut health and circadian rhythm. It is important to find the root cause.
It is quite possible that your sleep needs to be fixed.
Beware hormonal balance
Hormones play a major role in women's health and well-being.
The hormonal changes that take place due to stress can pave way for many other health problems like improper thyroid function, infertility, loss of libido, insulin resistance, IBS, autoimmunity and even cancer.
Stress can even change food behaviour and the way food gets digested, thereby further aggravating the condition.
Good nutrition can play an important role in alleviating all of these, even the symptoms of PMS and menopause.
Women must ensure they are taking sufficient calcium, potassium and magnesium in their diet as well as keep a check on their acidity to prevent osteoporosis and bone related disorders in the longer run.
There are so many women who have learned to live with acidity and constipation, because of their unhealthy eating habits.
This is dangerous because it creates a perfect environment for cancer cells to breed.
*Images used for representational purposes only.
Luke Coutinho is a holistic nutritionist, author and integrative medicine and lifestyle practitioner.