Eating healthy food is important to good health. Women have specific nutritional needs that are different from men. There is a higher sensitivity to the chemicals and artificial hormones found in many processed food products. Additionally needs for nutrients such as iron are different due to menstruation and reproductive concerns. To keep your body healthy and strong it is important to have the adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients that your body requires. There are a variety of specific foods that can be very beneficial to women’s health.
Calcium Rich Foods: This is needed to maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. There are various foods high in calcium. They include dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables. Kale: This is a vegetable that is a great choice for women. It’s high in calcium as well as folate which are important to women’s health. Kale also has vitamin C and B for additional nutritional value. Other good choices are broccoli and brussel sprouts. Too much dairy is not healthy. Limit it to healthy portions with foods such as yogurt. This will give you the additional benefit of the probiotics found in yogurt. This is good for a healthy digestive system. Avoid the premade yogurts that are full of sugar and use the plain ones instead. You can just add some fresh fruit and nuts for added flavor and nutritional value.
Nutritional tips for women:The best food choices are plant based. You should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. When selecting produce use organic as much as possible to avoid the pesticides that are often sprayed on non organic items. Include fiber based foods as well. Beans and healthy whole grains will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Alcoholic beverages should be limited. One glass per day should be the maximum intake. Drinking wine is a good choice due to the healthy benefits of the resveratrol. Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. This is a heart healthy habit. Caffeine is also fine in moderation, with one cup per day being a good standard to follow. Caffeine can affect hormonal balance in some women as well as decrease calcium levels if consuming excessive amounts.
Keep protein levels in moderation as well. The popular high protein diets are not healthy long term. A well balanced diet approach is the key to good health, energy and weight management. You need the healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains and dark leafy vegetables on a regular basis. Excessive protein can also deplete calcium levels over time, potentially leading to osteoporosis later in life. Healthy snacks for women include nuts such as walnut and brazil nuts. They contain monounsaturated fats which help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. One ounce per day is a good serving size.
Fiber Rich Foods: Foods high in fiber include beans and whole grains. They are a very affordable, filling and healthy food choice. They help maintain a healthy digestive system and may prevent problems in this area from occurring. Green leafy vegetables such as kale are high in fiber. Whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread are also fiber rich choices to include in your diet.
Iron Rich Foods: Women have unique needs when it comes to iron. A high quality multivitamin made for women should contain the adequate amount of this very important mineral. Women also need more iron during their monthly cycle as it becomes depleted. Some good food choices for iron include beef, dark meat poultry, spinach and swiss chard.
Omega Rich Foods: Women need adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. This is important for proper brain functioning. It also protects against heart disease and inflammation which can lead to a multitude of disease conditions. Foods such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are very good sources. Symptoms that you are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids include dry skin, joint pain, fatigue and depression.
You should aim for 2-3 servings of omega rich foods weekly. Omega 3 fatty acids contain two very important forms known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA and EPA are the omega-3 types that are found in seafood. Other omega-3 forms such as ALA or alpha-linoleic acid, is found in foods such as flax seeds, walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables.
Folate-Rich Foods: Women also need to have an adequate amount of folate in their diet. Folate is important to building red blood cells. Some women have a tendency to become anemic and folate is important to preventing this from occurring. Symptoms of a folate deficiency may include confusion, mental fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and depression. Sufficient folate is very important for women during pregnancy. The RDA recommendation is 400mcg daily. Foods such as broccoli, lentils, asparagus and oranges are all great sources of folate.
Healthy eating is so very important for everyone. Women in particular have specific needs in this area and therefore should include foods that will help them maintain energy. The variety of gender specific concerns women face such as pregnancy, pms and menopause can all be helped with correct food choices. Foods that contain the key nutrients needed for these areas can help women to feel better, manage stress and control weight. It is very important to always consult with your medical doctor before undertaking any changes in your diet or lifestyle, particularly if you are currently taking prescription medications or have been diagnosed with any disease.
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