Top 10 Superfoods for Women’s Health

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Women face the biggest challenge in getting their diet right because of their multidimensional lifestyle. A balanced diet that helps you stay healthy, lean and is power-packed is on every woman’s wish list, but achieving it a seems like a far fetched dream.

Women’s body requirements are different from men as they face distinct deficiencies, health problems, fight fat and their body goes through pregnancy and hormonal changes.

While some problems are genetic and inevitable, most chronic diseases reflect what we eat. Small lifestyle changes, knowledge of superfoods and nutrition, and understanding your body can help you stay fit and strong in the long run.

Below are a few superfoods to help eat your way to good health and beautiful skin.

This is not an exhaustive list, as there are hundreds of superfoods competing for the spotlight. But these are the essential foods that women should keep on their priority list for best health and vitality at any age.

1. Salmon

salmon

Considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals.

The heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids occur in salmon as EPA and DHA which are not only important for healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and general well-being, but also important for a healthy pregnancy.

Omega-3s also help in fighting depression and diseases like cancer, in addition to providing lean protein and vitamin D (what most women are deficient in)
How much you need: 2 servings a week according to the American Heart Association

How to incorporate: The versatile fish can be baked, broiled, grilled, pan-fried, poached, roasted, steamed, or raw.

Read healthy and delicious Salmon recipes here- http://www.superfoodliving.com/healthy-and-delicious-salmon-recipes

2. Avocado

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From its rich, creamy texture to its ability to manage weight, the reasons to rank them as women’s best friend are many. They are loaded with B6, calcium, vitamins, magnesium and potassium which most women are deficient in. Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats which work wonders for your heart.

They are also great for your skin and weight management. Avocados are also highly recommended during pregnancy for their high folate content that’s good for the baby’s development. Read more facts about the various health benefits of Avocado here.

How much you need: 2-3 servings a week

How to incorporate: The possibilities are endless because of its great taste. Add them to your salad, sandwiches, smoothies, dips or soups.

3. Green Leafy Vegetables

spinach

Dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and broccoli are a powerhouse of essential nutrients. To ward off iron and calcium deficiencies women should try leafy greens that are also low in calories but high in dietary fiber. They are rich in folate, which is important in pregnancy along with anti-oxidants that help in removing toxins.

Kale has also claimed to reduce a woman’s cancer risk and to help reduce cholesterol levels. Read why kale can be termed as the king of superfoods, here.

How much you need: 3-5 servings a week

How to incorporate: Many women prefer green juice to cleanse and get rid of toxins. You can also enjoy them sautéed or steamed in soups and salads.

4. Nuts

walnuts

Ask any women for the best, quick, convenient and healthy snack and the unanimous answer will be nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios. These nuts contain healthy fats important for healthy heart, weight management and reducing cholesterol.

They have the ability to fight cancer and reduce stress. Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega-3 while Almonds can improve brain health.

How much you need: Recommended daily serving includes a handful of nuts.

How to incorporate: Keep a bag of mixed nuts in your purse for anytime snacking. Add on top of your your cereal, yogurt or salads. You can also fold them in your baking recipes for increased health and taste.

5. Berries

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The bright and flavorful berries like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, acai and cranberries are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that help fight diseases and even cancer. The high in fiber and vitamin C but low in fat, berries are also good for your heart health.

How much you need: 1-2 cups a day.

How to incorporate: Sneak them in your daily diet by adding them to smoothies, yogurt, cakes or jams. You can enjoy them fresh or frozen. Get more Goji berry recipes here.

6. Whole Grains

grain

Its no secret that whole grains like wheat, quinoa, amaranth, and millet are the key to good health and lower your risk of many chronic diseases. They are the best source of fiber that helps reduce cholesterol and heart disease. Whole grains are a rich source of many important nutrients for women like B vitamins, folate, iron and magnesium.

How much you need: 3 servings a day

How to incorporate: Read the labels of your food products carefully to include more whole grains in your diet rather than processed foods. Whole grains like whole oats, brown rice, buckwheat, 100% whole wheat flour and even popcorn should be on every women’s top buying list.

7. Tomatoes and Fruits rich in lycopene

Vitamin-c

Fruits like tomatoes, watermelon, oranges, pink guava and grapefruit are rich in lycopene. Lycopene is a powerhouse ingredient that helps protect against cervical, ovarian and breast cancer in women.

Research shows that lycopene can also help women get that ageless skin by protecting against UV damage from the sun. Lycopene can also help reduce menopausal symptoms.

How much you need: 3-5 servings a week

How to incorporate: Add fresh juicy tomatoes to your salads, soups, sandwiches and sauces for health and beauty benefits.

8. Yogurt

yoghurt

Yogurt is synonymous  with good health. It’s an amazing source of protein, calcium, potassium, zinc and B vitamins.

Yogurt is the diet essential for every woman as the good bacteria improve digestion and are good for bone health. It is being studied to reduce the risk of cancer and vaginal infections.

How much you need: 3-5 servings a week

How to incorporate: Enjoy low-fat greek yogurt with fresh fruits.

9. Beans

beans

The protein rich beans are packed with fiber and antioxidants with no saturated fat. They are not just good for weight watchers but also have disease prevention properties.

Studies have shown that beans, especially lentils, have breast cancer fighting effects. They are also rich in iron and calcium, important for women’s health.

How much you need: 3-4 servings a week

How to incorporate: There is a wide variety of healthy beans and legumes like kidney beans, soy beans, black beans, chick peas, and lentils, to name a few. Replace meat in your salads and soups with beans for great taste and health. You can also include them as dips (like hummus) or in the form of tofu.

10. Dark Chocolate

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Yes, you read that right! Chocolate can not only be tasty and healthy but a disease killing bullet for you if you buy it right. Dark chocolate with 70 percent cacao is packed with antioxidants that helps flush toxins.

It not only improves your mood but also improves energy levels that most women need. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your heart health, lower blood pressure, hydrate skin and best of all, help in weight loss.

How much you need: A quarter ounce a day

How to incorporate: You probably don’t need our suggestions in getting this one right. If you’d like to know about healthy chocolate recipes, read here.

Remember to hydrate your body to replace lost water and fluids and most importantly, exercise daily.

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