International Day Of The Girl Child is celebrated every year on October 11, to emphasize the necessity for educational, professional opportunity, legal rights, healthcare facilities, medical aid and optimal nutrition, for the young female population worldwide. This global health event was inaugurated in the year 2012, by the United Nations (UN), with the primary goal to end all discrimination against girls and ensure their safety, wellness and progress in society.
Presently in its 9th year of observance, the theme for International Day Of The Girl Child 2020 is “My Voice, Our Equal Future”. Numerous campaigns held in nations across the world will focus on eradicating gender-based violence and harmful treatment, lowering the incidence of HIV-AIDS among teenagers, besides inculcating useful skills, to empower young girls, to become successful, independent adult women.
And a key component required for attaining empowerment is enhanced overall wellbeing of all girls, particularly during their teen years. The adolescent phase, as defined by health experts at the UN, is between the ages of 10 to 19, which comprises the major formative years for girls, crucial for their future wellbeing, during adulthood, pregnancy and old age.
The complete nourishment for adolescent females is guaranteed, not only by means of a wholesome diet, but also certain supplements, such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics. Since specific staple dishes depending on region and culture, picky nature of teenage girls and food allergies, intolerances, tend to curtail adequate vitamin, mineral intake, supplements aid in delivering ample sustenance. However, always consult with a doctor prior to giving your adolescent girls any supplement tablets or capsules, to adhere to the safe, recommended dosage and prevent any adverse side effects. Read on, to know more about the benefits of these nutrition supplements, for augmented growth, physical fitness and mental wellness, of all adolescent girls.
Essential Nutrient Supplements To Enrich Health Of Adolescent Girls:
Calcium supplements enhance bone mineral density. Strong bones during youth promote a fit body, with increased muscle flexibility, joint movement and skeletal structural support. Moreover, requisite calcium intake helps avert debilitating illnesses like arthritis, osteoporosis later on in life.
Since hormonal changes in girls during adolescence initiates monthly menstrual cycles, generous amounts of iron must be ingested to regulate healthy circulation owing to the substantial loss of blood. Iron supplements also prevent instances of anaemia, thereby lowering fatigue, muscular weakness, extreme lethargy and elevating stamina, energy levels and metabolism.
Bone and joint wellness are guaranteed not only by minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, but also the fat-soluble constituent - vitamin D. Absorbed by the skin primarily through sun exposure, vitamin D supplements are central for fortified bones, enhanced brain power, cognition, memory and mental wellbeing of teenage girls.
Vitamin B-12 performs the rather important role of preserving healthy nerve tissues and red blood cells. It also supports hormonal balance and optimal blood circulation in adolescent girls. Also, vegetarian food sources of vitamin B12 are very few, hence teenage girls following a plant-based diet must ensure no deficiency conditions arise, by taking supplements.
Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, plays a fundamental role in nurturing nutritional needs in pregnancy, both of the mother and developing foetus. Taking folic acid supplements in youth, safeguards girls from deficiency disorders in later years, improves red blood synthesis and transport, besides averting neurological defects in the newborn during pregnancy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Nervous system functioning and normal brain development require, besides vitamins and minerals, a type of fat known as omega-3. These supplements usually contain a combination of two compounds – DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which augment memory, concentration, cognition, intelligence, as well as heart health, in young girls.