There is certainly no shortage of advice with regards to nutrition for women both in print and online media. However, it is difficult to differentiate between the real nutrients and advertising tricks with all the hype about which foods are healthy and which are not, especially for women. Here we have compiled a list of 10 foods that are extremely healthy for women of all ages.
1. Low-fat Yogurt
The benefits of yogurt are enormous and experts say that health benefits of yogurt continue to reveal itself in several new and exhilarating ways. Yogurt, as well as any other fermented dairy product contains healthy ‘probiotics’, which are bacteria that can protect you in several ways. Yogurt reduces the risk of breast cancer, decreases the problems linked with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive tract disorders of inflammatory origin. Also, the risk of stomach ulcers and vaginal infections is low in women who regularly take yogurt. It also contains calcium, which helps keep the bone healthy, an element that is very important for women of all ages. Select a low fat yogurt with live cultures such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, and the flavored varieties.
2. Fatty Fishes Like Mackerel, Salmon, And Sardine
These fatty fishes contain omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid). These omega-3-fatty acids are important in maintaining the membrane of our body cells and protecting us from health threats, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), depression, osteoarthritis (joint pain), etc. While other foods such as walnuts, flaxseed oil, etc. have omega-3-fatty acids, only fatty fishes produce the types our body uses – DHA and EPA.
The several varieties of beans available in the market are low in fat and are a good source of protein and fiber, which makes it effective for the prevention of heart diseases and breast cancer. Beans are also likely to play a role in controlling female hormones, preventing cancer, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Since beans are a provider of both soluble and insoluble fiber, it can help lower cholesterol levels. Also, one of its major nutrient, isoflavones aid in regulating hormones and may be helpful in the prevention of perimenopausal symptoms. The protease inhibitors found in beans also help prevent breast cancer. During pregnancy, beans can provide a steady supply of folic acid.
4. Tomatoes, Watermelons, Red Grapefruits, Red Navel Oranges
These foods were lumped together because they contain a nutrient called lycopene, which is said to protect against breast cancer and heart diseases. Lycopene also makes you continue looking younger by protecting your skin against UV damage.
5. Low Fat Milk Or Orange Juice Fortified With Vitamin-D
Vitamin-D is essential in assisting the bones to absorb calcium from the walls of the intestines. It helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc. In fact, a recent research report revealed that Vitamin-D can potentially reduce incidents of breast, colon, and ovarian cancer by up to fifty percent. A lot of women may be Vitamin-D deficient as a result of staying out of the sun and using sunscreen, both of which obstruct the synthesis of Vitamin-D.
6. Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Cranberries)
Just like red wine, these fruits contain anthocyanins which have the potential to repair damaged body cells, thus reducing the risk of cancer. They are also high in Vitamin-C and folic acid, which is very important during pregnancy. It’s antioxidant properties also protect the heart and skin aging.
7. Lean Meats
While red meat can be very harmful, it is also very important depending on how it is cut and what the animal was feeding on. It is important to buy a lean cut from animals that are grass fed. Research has shown that meat from grass-fed animals more often has plenty conjugated linoleic acid (which has been shown in animal studies to combat cancer) and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than the grain-fed variety.
Turmeric (main ingredient in curry) is made of higher concentration of curcumin. Curcumin (the ingredient that gives curry its color), is an antioxidant that has been shown to stop tumor growth in clinical trials. These tumors are multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Scientists in the UCLA have claimed that these antioxidants help in breaking up plaques in the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient.
A recent research from the University of Toronto has revealed that Pistachios may decrease the risk of diabetes by reducing the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels due to their high protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fat content.
10. Brussels – The Cancer Fighter
Some people are turned off by the smell of brussels sprouts. However, the compound responsible for the smell, called allyl isothiocyanate, initiates the self-destruction of precancerous cells.
[Disclaimer: All information in this article has been compiled from research over the internet. We hold no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article. Please consult your dietician or doctor before taking any foods.]