6 Healthy Foods For Every Woman
Certainly there is no shortage of advice on nutrition and healthy eating but with all the media hype surrounding many “health foods,” it can be hard for a woman to tell the nutrients from advertising ploys. Women are sometimes led to believe that a specific food is healthier than it really is or that they need some exotic or expensive form of certain nutrients to gain benefits.
From the advertising that says a product has “no cholesterol” it’s still can be loaded with bad fats or tons of calories. You have to read the whole label, look at all the ingredients and the portion sizes, before you know for sure just how healthy a food is.
To help the women to have a healthy lifestyle, here are the six hearty foods they say for every woman needs.
Super Food # 1: Low-fat yogurt
Goal: 3 to 5 servings a week
What it does: Yogurt is good health itself and it continues to accumulate its benefits in many new and exciting ways. And not just yogurt, any fermented dairy product, including kefir, contains healthy “probiotics” – bacteria with the power to protect you in myriad ways.
Yogurt may decrease the risk of breast cancer and it can reduce problems associated with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory digestive tract disorders, both conditions that impact women more than men. In addition to that, it can also help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and vaginal infections.
A cup of yogurt is loaded with bone-healthy calcium, something every woman needs more of at every age. One cup of yogurt has about 448 mg of calcium, compared to just 300 for eight ounces of skim milk. Choose a low fat yogurt with live cultures, like Lactobacillus acidophilus and skip the fruit-on-the-bottom or other flavored varieties.
Super Food # 2: Fatty fish — like salmon, sardines, and mackerel
Goal: 2 to 3 servings every week
What it does: The fish has a healthy factor called omega-3 fatty acids, and specifically two types known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
A fatty fish not only plays a vital role in the health of the membrane of every cell in our body, it also helps protect us from a number of key health threats. Some of those threats include heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, joint pain, and a number of illnesses linked to inflammation, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and may even offer some protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Walnuts and flaxseed oil has an omega-3 acid known as ALA – alpha-linoleic acid, that it is certainly good for women but requires a process in the body to convert it to DHA. And that conversion process can be influenced by a variety of individual factors.
The good news is there as new products supplemented with DHA such as ready-to-drink milk product and egg fortified with DHA, a certain brands of soymilk, and making a way to the market is a cereal fortified with DHA.
Super Food # 3: Beans
Goal: 3 to 4 servings every week
What it does: Beans are a good source of protein and fiber. They are among one of the healthiest things a woman can eat.
Beans and lentils in particular, have protective effects against breast cancer. Doctors also found a relationship between a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and a higher intake of legumes. It can help lower cholesterol, while their level of a nutrient known as isoflavone can help in the regulation of hormones and may aid with PMS, perimenopause, or menopause symptoms. Lastly, it does does give a steady supply of folic acid essential to women’s pregnancy.
Super Food # 4: Tomatoes (or watermelon, red grapefruit, red navel oranges)
Goal: 3 to 5 servings each week
What it does: The powerhouse nutrient in all these fruits is lycopene. While it said to have a protective effects against prostate cancer, it has shown also it has tremendous health benefits for women as well.
Research is starting to show that lycopene may protect against breast cancer and it’s also a powerful antioxidant that can help a woman fight heart disease. It may also help keep you looking younger longer by protecting against UV damage from the sun.
Super Food # 5: Vitamin D fortified low fat milk or orange juice
Goal: At least 400 IUs of vitamin D daily
What it does: Experts say fortified foods, such as milk, are the best source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and may be vital in reducing the risk of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and tumors of the breast, colon, and ovary. It has the potential to prevent up to one–half of all breast, colon, and ovarian cancer.
A combination of staying out of the sun (which the body uses to manufacture vitamin D) and using sunscreen, which blocks the synthesis of vitamin D, has resulted in many women hitting a dangerously low level of Vitamin D.
Super Food # 6: Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries)
Goal: 3 to 4 servings every week
What It Does: Berries may protect your body with powerful anti-cancer nutrients known as anthocyans, which are believed to play a role in cell repair. This anthocyans may decrease the risk of several cancers, including those in the breast and gastrointestinal tract.
Berries are also high in vitamin C and folic acid, which is essential for all women in their childbearing years. And they offer powerful anti-oxidant protection, which not only protects the heart but also may protect against skin aging, from the inside out. Cranberries may help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in women, while the nutrient, lutein found in all the berries, can help protect vision.