Our body requires different nutrients in varying proportions so as to maintain proper body functions. By the time one reaches adulthood, body growth, particularly in terms of height and body stature, stops to a certain extent. Despite the fact that there is not much of apparent growth, the breakdown and repair of body tissues goes on continuously even among adults. Therefore, adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients need to be provided to adults through their diets for maintaining both physical and mental health. Proper nutrition in adulthood ensures good health right until old age.
Various factors which affect our body needs for different nutrients include age, sex activity and the body weight, height and composition, ie, the body physique. Apart from these, climatic conditions, body growth, physiological and pathological stress also influence the body's need for various nutrients
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· Oils containing adequate amounts of mono-saturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids MUFA and PUFA such as coconut oil, sunflower oil, soyabean oil, etc., should be included in the diets of adults so as to reduce the risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular disorders during middle age and old age.
· Adequate intake of calcium needs to be ensured during this age group to reduce the extent of osteoporosis which is normal phenomenon associated with ageing
· Women have higher iron requirements, so more of iron rich foods like whole cereals, pulses with husk, green leafy vegetables like amaranth, mustard leaves, bengal gram leaves, mint as well as the haeme iron sources such as liver kidney, egg yolk and mutton muscles etc. need to be provided in their diets.
· Care should be taken to include adequate amounts of raw fruits and vegetables so as to provide sufficient dietary fibre.