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National Nutrition Month and Women’s History Month

The month of March celebrates both National Nutrition Month and Women’s’ History Month and to commemorate both events learn more about healthy eating and essential nutrients for women’s health.

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy can be defined as following a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of nutritious foods and drinks. The benefit of following a healthy eating pattern can help prevent or manage chronic diseases such as: Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Some types of cancer.

Using the MyPlate guide as a tool for building healthy and balanced meals, your meals should aim to incorporate the five major food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Aim to fill half your plate with these foods. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease and protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Protein: The building block for bones, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood. Varying your protein source can provide a range of nutrients such as: B vitamins, Vitamin E, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium.
  • Grains: Making half your grains whole grain provides health benefits such as healthy digestion, reduce cholesterol and risk of heart disease. B Vitamins, Magnesium, and Dietary Fiber are some of the many nutrients provided by the grains food group.
  • Dairy: Can be part of a healthy balanced meal. Dairy foods contain Calcium, Vitamin D, and Protein. Lactose-free dairy products and dairy alternatives can be used as substitutes for the dairy food group.

Women’s Health – Key Nutrients

  • Calcium: A mineral the body needs to build strong bones and teeth, as well as reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, canned salmon (with bones), dairy foods, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
  • Iron: Necessary for red blood cell production, women require more iron than men due to menstrual blood loss, during pregnancy, and when breastfeeding. Iron-rich foods include lean red meats, chicken, seafood, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Pairing with foods rich in Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron from foods.
  • Folate: Known as Vitamin B9, an important nutrient to help your body make blood cells. During pregnancy, folate helps prevent certain birth defects (Neural Tube Defects). Food sources include spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, nuts, beans, lean beef, and cereals fortified with folic acid.
  • Omega 3- Fatty Acids: An essential nutrient that acts as an anti-inflammatory and supports heart, brain, and eye health. Omega-3 food sources include fish, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds.
  • Vitamin D: Paired with Calcium, Vitamin D helps build strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Helps reduce inflammation in your cells. This nutrient can be attained through foods and sun exposure to the skin. Foods include tuna and salmon, mushrooms, foods like milk, orange juice, and cereals that have been fortified with Vitamin D


  • “Vitamins and Minerals for Women.” Vitamins and Minerals for Women | Office on Women’s Health, Accessed 7 Mar. 2024.
  • “Learn How to Eat Healthy with Myplate.” MyPlate, Accessed 7 Mar. 2024.
  • Alyssa Pike, RD. “Essential Nutrients for Adult Women, in Each Decade of Life.” Food Insight, 23 Feb. 2022,