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National Nutrition Week 2018: Important Nutrients Required In Your 20s

The National Nutrition Week is celebrated from September 1 to September 7. It aims at making people aware about the importance of their health and well-being. The theme of the National Nutrition Week is nourishment. So, in this article, we will be writing about the nutrients required in your 20s

When you are in your 20s, the body undergoes different changes that make your brain and metabolism run smoothly. And when you reach your 30s and 40s, everything from your brain to your metabolism slows down. This happens because your body is changing over time, and along with it the intake of nutrients should also change.

Your diet plays an important role so here's how your diet should change in your 20s.

Important Nutrients Required In Your 20s

When you are in your 20s, your body is growing, which means healthy eating is very necessary. But, many choose to eat fatty and oily foods instead. The intake of processed food and sugary foods can also cause unnecessary weight gain. Hence it's important to opt for a healthy diet to boost the assimilation of nutrients.

These are the important nutrients you should add in your plate:



Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Proteins help in the growth and maintenance of muscle tissues, provide structure to the body, transport and store nutrients, cause biochemical reactions, and so on. The DRI of protein is 0.8 g per kg of body weight. Include protein rich foods like fish, eggs, beans, tofu, dairy products, chicken, etc., in your diet.


Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to boost serotonin, the happy hormone, and it is essential to consume them as women and men both are susceptible to depression in their 20s. It's believed that people who suffer from depression may not have enough EPA and DHA.

EPA treats major depression in adults, bipolar depression and major depression in children. And DHA treats minor depression, postpartum depression and suicidal ideation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and other seafood, nuts and seeds, plant oils etc.



According to the National Nutritional Surveys, most people lack the required calcium that they need to grow and maintain healthy bones, which is especially needed in the 20s.

Calcium is also required for the heart, muscles and nerves to function properly and the clotting of the blood. Intake of less amount of calcium in your 20s contributes to the early development of osteoporosis.

Have calcium-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, broccoli, sesame seeds, etc.


Complex carbohydrates

Research says that when you are in your 20s, it's essential to provide the body with all the nutrients it requires for optimum health. Complex carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body and keep you energetic and super active when you are in your 20s.

Include complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa in your diet.



According to the USDA, most women in their 20s get lesser than the required amount of potassium necessary for the muscles and heart to function properly.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) study that analyzed data on potassium intake and health, found that increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in adults without harming the blood cholesterol levels, hormone levels or kidney function. They also found a 24 per cent lower risk of stroke.

Potassium is found in foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, white beans, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits like bananas, apricots and oranges and seafood like bass and halibut.



Iron is the most important nutrient needed especially for women because a major chunk of the body's iron is lost while menstruating. When you are in your 20s, men and women both require iron to make new cells and increase haemoglobin in the body.

The iron requirement is 19.3-20.5 mg/day for men and 17.0-18.9 mg/day for women.

Iron is found in foods like beans and lentils, baked potatoes, spinach, fortified breakfast cereals, whole grains and enriched breads, etc.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that aids in calcium absorption. Not getting enough of vitamin D may make your bones brittle and weak. It is recommended to get 15 mcg of vitamin D every day. Vitamin D is found in foods like eggs, orange juice, fatty fishes, etc.


Vitamin K

Vitamin K is vital at the age of 20 because it helps in strengthening the bone structure and allows cells to grow normally. Women aged 19 years and over should consume 90 mcg a day, and men should have 120 mcg. Vitamin K is found in foods like green leafy vegetables, vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and fish, meat and liver.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps in battling high blood pressure, heart disease, reduces blood uric acid levels, helps prevent gout attacks, etc.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends, 75 mg of vitamin C per day when you are in your 20s. Vitamin C rich foods are citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.

Other nutrients like folic acid, B vitamins and other essential vitamins and minerals should also be added when you are in your 20s.

Read more about: nutrients 20s
Story first published: Saturday, September 1, 2018, 14:24 [IST]
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