Today, March 8, 2021, International Women's Day is celebrated. The theme for celebrating women's day in 2021 is “Choose to Challenge”, a theme that invites women dare to challenge and call for gender bias and inequality to help create gender equality between men and women, where feminine things not only can be done by women, but can also be done by men, and vice versa with masculine things.

Like men, women are also special creatures with bodies created to perform special functions, such as conceiving, giving birth, and breastfeeding. Therefore, special nutrition is essential for women, although basically some of these nutrients are also needed by men, but in different amounts.

The following are some special nutrition for women quoted from several sources:


Iron is essential for body growth, carry oxygen to body tissues, and to produce certain hormones. The daily requirement for iron is 18 mg per day. The need of iron for women increases in adolescence and at reproductive age. Excessive blood loss during the menstrual cycle can cause iron deficiency or anemia, and iron deficiency may cause deterioration in this case. The best sources of iron are red meat, fish, chicken, spinach, beans, lentils, and cereals. Iron absorption in the body will be very good if consumed with foods that contain vitamin C, for example tomatoes, broccoli, and citrus fruits. However, it should be noted that iron consumption is not excessive because too much iron in the body can cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, and belly pain.


Folic acid

Folic acid or folate is a nutrient that plays a role in the process of red blood cells production. The need for folic acid in women who are not pregnant is 400 micrograms per day. At a young age, folic acid is needed to prevent folate-deficiency anemia, during pregnancy, folic acid is needed to prevent neural tube and spinal cord defects in babies. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to consume 600 micrograms of folic acid per day and consume 500 micrograms of folic acid during breastfeeding. Sources of folate are orange, green leafy vegetables, nuts and bread, rice, cereals, eggs, asparagus, and spinach.

Calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is a nutrient that plays role in maintaining healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis, a bone disease that is more common in women and causes bones to become brittle and break easily. The recommended daily intake for calcium is 700 mg, but this amount needs to be increased if calorie consumption is lacking and when women age more than 35 years, when bone density begins to decrease. The need of calcium also increases when women get menopause. Source of calcium are low or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese, sardines, green leafy vegetables, and nuts. The absorption of calcium from food is assisted by vitamin D, a vitamin which also plays a role in cell growth, immune function, and reduces inflammation in the body. Vitamin D comes mostly from sun exposure, but the need for vitamin D can also be met by consuming salmon, tuna, mackerel, eggs, cheese and milk fortified with vitamin D. The daily intake of vitamin D is 600 IU. Make sure to take the recommended amount of vitamin D because excessive vitamin D can increase the amount of calcium in the blood, which can damage the heart, blood vessels and kidneys.

These are some of the special nutrients that are important for a woman during her lifetime. Surely, other nutrients are needed besides these special nutrients, for example vitamins A, B, K, magnesium, zinc, and others. Make sure to always consume balanced nutrition or according to the recommendations.


Stay healthy and spirit women in the world.

Happy International Women's Day!


(Medical Affairs/AS)




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