Superfoods for women

January 11, 2010 RENU

  1. Wild Alaskan Salmon: Omega-3s boost mood, fight depression, may protect against Alzheimer’s disease & cancer. Add in salmon’s lean protein & vit D (a critical nutrient many women lack), & you’ve got yourself a near-perfect food. Eat 2servings/wk.
  2. Wild blue berries: Compounds called anthocyanins in them are one of the most powerful forms of antioxidants. They prevent memory loss, may improve motor skills & help lower BP. Eat 1/2-1c per day.
  3. Oats: Since rich in soluble & insoluble fiber, can help lower cholesterol. Keeps you full so you can control your weight. Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats but deliver more fiber. The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 30 gms of dietary fiber a day—that’s about 6 times the amount of fiber in an average serving of oatmeal.
  4. Broccoli: Chemicals in cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, may help prevent breast cancer by fighting excess estrogen. Rich in vit C & A, broccoli helps you feel full on less than 30 cals/serving. Also provides fiber, folate (folic acid), calcium, iron, potassium.
  5. Walnuts: Eating just a handful(12 halves) of walnuts a day can help lower cholesterol, boost brain power, sleep better, cope with stress, prevent heart disease, fight cancer, etc.
  6. Avocados; The heart-healthy MUFAs help lose belly fat, a risk factor for heart disease & even some fertility problems. Avocados also pack high amounts of potassium, magnesium, folate, protein, vitamins B6, E, K. Add to that fiber & cholesterol-lowering plant sterols, & you have one nutrient-dense food. Take one quarter to one half an avacado per day.
  7. Red beans: Rich in antioxidants, packed with protein, folate, minerals, fiber, including resistant starch. Resistant starch seems to have several imp benefits, like boosting the body’s ability to burn fat, helping you feel full, controlling blood sugars, even reducing cancer risk. Eat 3c/wk.
  8. Greek yogurt: Rich in calcium & good for the bones. One serving supplies nearly 1/4 th of a woman’s daily calcium needs, & the fat-free variety is packed with twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Fat-free yogurt is high in probiotics, cultures that can help ease irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that affects mostly women. And even though the evidence is inconclusive, some experts say probiotics help boost immunity—a plus during flu season. It’s a healthy swap for artery-clogging sour cream. Eat 3servings/day.
  9. Olive oil: Protects against Alzheimer’s disease & also helps with mild fuzzy thinking. Get 2T/day & it may lower your risk of heart disease.
  10. Dark chocolate: Rich in heart-protective antioxidants, dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of stroke & heart disease. It’s loaded with magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus—all imp for strong bones. May also help hydrate the skin, lower BP, sharpen thinking. Eat 1/4 ounce a day, look for kinds made with at least 70% cocoa.

These 15 runners-up are also full of healthy goodness.

  1. Almonds: Lower cholesterol, help you lose weight.
  2. Beef: The zinc in lean beef may help build immunity, while its high iron content fights fatigue & iron-deficiency anemia.
  3. Eggs: are a high-quality protein that’s rich in vit D & A, low in saturated fat. They also have choline, recently in the news for its importance in brain function. They deliver two kinds of carotenoids essential for healthy eyes.
  4. Green tea: May fight cancer & heart disease, help prevent dementia, diabetes, stroke. It hydrates like water, too, so it helps fight fatigue. Drink 4c/day to kick up your calorie burn by 80 calories.
  5. Organic milk(fat-free/low fat): Rich source of protein, calcium, vit D(a nutrient women are often low on).
  6. Pumpkinseeds: Packed with protein, zinc, magnesium, selenium, pumpkinseeds help protect against depression & heart disease, may ease motion sickness.
  7. Quinoa: An excellent source of protein, high in bone-boosting minerals like copper, phosphorous, iron, magnesium. Good source of PMS-fighting manganese.
  8. Raisins: Here’s a great snack with energy-boosting carbs, in addition to fiber, iron, vit C. Raisins are high in natural sugar, yes, but their special phytochemicals help fight tooth decay.
  9. Soybeans: They’re a terrific vegetarian source of protein. And eating moderate amounts of soy foods may lower the risk of breast cancer & keep bones strong after menopause.
  10. Spinach: Is loaded with vit A, C, K, lutein—an essential nutrient for healthy eyes.
  11. Kefir: Think of it as a smoothie that’s good for your gut. Rich in calcium & protein, the tangy drink has probiotics that help with digestion & can soothe intestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome.
  12. Sweet potatoes: High in cancer-fighting antioxidants, sweet potatoes are loaded with energy-boosting carbs, plus fiber, vitamins, manganese, & potassium.

Tart cherries
One of the highest-antioxidant foods around, they help fight memory loss, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

You can’t beat ’em as a source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help protect against cervical and breast cancers. The lycopene in tomatoes act like a sunscreen; eating them cooked can quadruple the SPF in your skin. And the polyphenols in tomatoes thin your blood naturally, so they’re good for your heart. Cook them with broccoli for even greater benefits.
A great source of energy, lentils deliver protein, fiber, and antioxidants.


Entry Filed under: Nutrition

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