Nutritional Requirements

Nutritional Needs of Adolescents

Dr. Anaswara dev No Comments


Phenomenal growth occurs in adolescencewhich demands more energy and nutrients.
Nutrition and Physical growth are integrally related.
Deficiency in teens leads to delayed sexual maturation, arrest or slow linear growth.
During puberty the girl’s nutrition need increases sharply.
During the peak velocity of growth the nutritional requirement doubles as there is a spurt in linear growth.
Deficiency in adults leads to diet related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.


  • FAT
  • SALT


REQUIREMENT-It is  required for Energy. 130 grams so as to supply 2000 to 2500 of energy.

SOURCE– Cereals, roots and fruits.
DIGESTION– Starts in the mouth. Proper mastication is essential. Alkaline digestion-Ptyalin

DEFICIENCY– Delayed puberty and growth retardation


REQUIREMENT-Required to maintain the existing lean body mass and accrual of additional lean body mass during the adolescent growth spurt. 40 to 45 grams per day or 1 gram per kilo gram body weight.
SOURCE – 1. Animal sources- milk, meat, eggs etc. 2. Vegetable sources- legumes and nuts.
DIGESTION – Starts in the stomach –Acid Pepton digestion.
Acid digestion in stomach and alkaline digestion in the small intestine .
DEFICIENCY – Inadequate linear Growth, delay in sexual maturation &reduced accumulation of lean body mass


REQUIREMENT –Required for normal growth, energy and development of body.
2.10 to 12 grams of fat is the daily requirement.3. 10 % of the energy requirement is met by fat.
SOURCE – Oils and animal fat.
DIGESTION – Starts in mouth but mainly in small intestine. Excessive intake of carbohydrate will be converted to fat and deposited in the body.
DEFICIENCY – Deficiency of one or more of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. And it affects Skin, Cognition & Vision.



Vitamin B1 –  Thiamin – Helps with the energy production in the body
Source- Whole grains, liver, dried beans, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin – Helps the body to use other B vitamins.
Source- Soya beans, meat & poultry, liver and eggs, Mushrooms, milk, cheese, yogurt, whole grains.
Vitamin B3 –  Niacin – Helps the body to use carbohydrate, protein and fat to make energy. Helps the enzymes to work properly in the body.
Source- Mushrooms, peanut, butter meat, fish, poultry and whole grains.
Biotin –  Allows your body to use carbohydrate, protein and fat from the food Milk, yogurt, peanuts, almonds, egg sliver, soya protein.
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine – Helps your body to make and use protein and glycogen which is the stored energy in your muscles and liver.
Helps to form hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood.

Vitamin B12 –  Cobalamin Cynocobalamin Methylcobalamin
Works with the vitamin folic acid to make DNA.
Helps to make healthy blood cells and keeps nervs working properly. .
Deficiency will lead to anemia.
Folic acid- Folacin -Folate
Helps to produce and maintain DNA and cells. Helps to make red blood cells and prevents anemia. Prevents birth defects like Spina bifida and Down Syndrome. Folic acid intake is essential before becoming pregnant to prevent congenital defects.
Source – Cooked spinach, green peas, sprouts, orange, liver, dried beans, soya bean and sun flower seeds.

Vitamin C -Ascorbic acid
Prevents cell damage & gum bleeding. Reduce the risk of certain cancers, Heart disease. Helps to heal cuts and wounds. Keeps immune system healthy. Protection from infections. Helps for better absorption of iron from foods.
Part 5 Citrus fruits oranges, grape fruit, mangoes, papaya, tomato, gooseberry and raw dark vegetables.
(b) FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS (Vitamin A, D, E & K)
Vitamin A

Helps vision in the day and at night. Protects from infections by keeping skin and other body parts healthy. Promotes normal growth and development.
Sorce – liver, fish, milk, cheese, mangoes and Papayas.

Alpha Carotenoids, Beta Carotene, Beta crypto Xanthin Actually carotinoids are not vitamins but some types can turn in to vitmine A in the body. Act as anti oxidents which protects your body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Source – spinach, carrots, pink grape and tomato

Sun shine vitamin D
Helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Helps to deposit calcium and phosphorus in bones and teeth. Keeps your immune system healthy to protect you from infections. Source – Milk, fish, eggs, organ meat and fish liver oil.

Vitamin E (Beauty Vitamin)
Helps to improves skin health. Act as an anti oxidant and protects cells from damages; so improves Men’s and Women’s Fertility. Maintain a healthy immune system and other body process. Prevents muscle cramps.
Source – Vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, wheat germs, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and nuts.

Vitamin K
Makes proteins that cause out blood to clot when you are bleeding.
Involved in making body proteins for your blood and bones.
Source – soya beans, dark green leafy vegetables as spinah


• Calcium

For healthy bones and teeth.
Daily requirement is 1300 mg.
45% bone development happens during adolescence.
9o% of bone mass by the time of 17 years.

Essential for reduction of the life time risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Adequate calcium intake during adolescence is a “window of opportunity for optimal bone development and future health”.
Source- Milk, cheese, yogurt ,milk products and small fish with bones. Avoid soft drinks.

• Iron

Daily requirement is 8 to 18 mg per day.
Vital for transporting oxygen in the blood stream and preventing anemia. The onset of menstruation imposes additional iron need for girls.
Source- Meat, fish, poultry, dates, grapes, banana, red-spinach, dark colored vegetables.

Daily requirement is 8 to 12mg zinc is associated with more than 100 specific enzymes and is vital for protein formation and gene expression.Helps growth and sexual maturation.
Source- Red meat, shell fish and whole grains.


Chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus and selenium are the important trace elements.
These trace elements are required only in tiny amounts but are essential


Minimum intake of 1 to 2 liters of water is essential. Optimum water intake is essential for keeping good general health., depending on the climatic conditions and physical exertion. Deficient water intake will result in renal calculus, urinary tract infection, back ache and dry skin.


Reduces serum cholesterol, moderates blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of obesity.
Inadequate fiber intake will result in constipation which in turn causes piles, certain cancers, coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.


Daily requirement of cholesterol is 320 mg daily.
Cholesterol is essential for up keep of normal health.
Normal cholesterol serum level is 150 to 200 mg.
LDL and VLDL are bad cholesterols.
HDL is the good cholesterol.Source – Almost all Plant oils contain HDL except few.

SALT (sodium chloride).

Daily requirement is 2.4 gms. low intake will result in low BP etc.
High intake will result in high BP and kidney damage