Six Super Health Foods For All Women
How To Read Food Labels
Food & Nutrition
A woman's nutritional habits determine her life span and also her overall health and well being. A woman needs to care for herself in terms of health, personal hygiene, positive mental outlook, look good, dress for success, and of course, get optimum nutrition to maintain that radiant and peaceful demeanor. Often, a woman is seen taking good care of her husband and children, that she spares little or no time for herself. Sometimes she does not even bother to eat properly. Health risks are given the go by, until it is too late. Some women spend all their life fighting the battle of the bulge unsuccessfully and little realizing that they are depriving their bodies of healthy nutrients vital for all body functions. Whatever be a woman's education level or economic status, it is imperative that she gets optimum nutrition for herself,so as to add healthy years to her life. Many diseases can be prevented by eating the right foods on a daily basis. I am talking about stroke, cancer,obesity,diabetes,heart disease,hypertension,etc.
Today, nutrition information is available everywhere-from your local bookstore to the internet and the food pyramid, and of course celebrity endorsed food products and ad commercials on TV. But, not all advertisements carry the right information and not all food products are nutritious or safe. The so-called "health foods" on the supermarket shelves are not always the right choice. We are specifically led to believe that the so called "health foods" are superior in nutrition than it really is. And so, we justify the expensive price tag as well. We sometimes are led to believe that we need to take in some exorbitantly priced supplements or fortified food products to gain the benefits of nutrition. A product may be labelled," zero cholesterol", but in reality it will be loaded with calories or fats, or both, which is not mentioned. So, how does one know which foods to pick up and which is the most beneficial in terms of nutrition. Reading labels on packaged food products is absolutely necessary. Nutritionists advise that you read the whole label and understand the ingredients and what portion sizes contain what, before you make a purchase. Making healthy informed choices is very important.
So, which are the healthiest foods for a woman?
Nutrition experts recommend the following Super 6 foods for every woman. While this list of six does not cover all the nutrient bases that women across all ages need, it is generally beneficial to incorporate them as often as possible into your daily diet.
Super Six Foods - A Must For Every Woman
LOW FAT YOGHURT (atleast 3-5 servings every week)
A cup of yoghurt contains 448 mg of calcium, very necessary for a woman's bones. It is believed to decrease the risk of breast cancer. All probiotics or fermented milk products contain healthy bacteria, which reduce or help combat irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory digestive tract disorders, to which women are prone,much more than men. Yoghurt also helps in reducing the risk of stomach ulcers and vaginal infections. Have a cup of yoghurt with your breakfast,lunch or dinner atleast 3-5 times a week.
Additional tip: Do not choose a yoghurt which is flavoured as it contains more sugar, and those with fruit at the bottom,as it does not contribute to the fruit serving of the day.
FATTY FISH (atleast 2-3 servings per week)
Fatty fish such as mackeral,salmon,sardines all contain omega - 3 fatty acids which is protective against heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, joint pain, and a number of illnesses linked to inflammation, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Fish is also thought to offer some protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
BEANS (3-4 servings every week)
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber and are low in fat. Beans offer protection against breast cancer and heart disease. Nutritionists also state that beans may also be responsible in stabilizing the female hormones.
Legumes which include peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts can be incorporated in one's diet. Higher intake of legumes protect against cardiovascular disease.
Beans also play a role in lowering cholesterol, since they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. They also contain a nutrient called isoflavone, which regulates the female hormones, and thus is thought to reduce PMS, Perimenopause and Menopausal symptoms. Soyabeans are known to have the highest isoflavones. Beans also contain protease inhibitors which prevent breast cancer. Protease inhibitors also slow the division of cancer cells and thus prevent the formation of a tumor.
If you are a woman in her reproductive years,beans are extremely important should you become pregnant, as they provide a steady supply of folic acid.
TOMATOES (3-5 servings each week)
Tomatoes contain the valuable nutrient, lycopene, which protects against breast cancer for women and prostrate cancer in men. This powerful antioxidant also offers protection against heart disease. It also protects you from the harmful UV rays of the sun and keeps your skin looking younger longer.
Watermelon,red grapefruit,and red navel oranges all have similar properties as that of tomatoes.
VITAMIN D FORTIFIED LOW FAT MILK OR ORANGE JUICE (400 IUs of vitamin D daily)
D is absolutely necessary for calcium to be absorbed from the gut. It
helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis,diabetes,multiple sclerosis, and
tumors of breast colon and ovary. Vitamin D is manufactured by our
bodies on exposure to sun, but the use of too much sun screen blocks
the synthesis of this essential vitamin.
Vitamin D is found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, but the best food choice would be the fortified milk.
BERRIES (3-4 servings a week)
All berries including strawberries, raspberries, cherries,blueberries,cranberries contain powerful anti cancer nutrients known as anthocyans which are believed to repair cells. Research shows that these anthocyans are known to decrease the risk of several cancers, particularly those of breast and gastro intestinal tract. Being rich in Vitamin C and folic acid, these berries also offer protection for a woman in her child bearing years. Poweful antioxidants present in berries protect against heart disease, and keeps the skin from aging as well. Cranberries help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in women and the nutrient substance lutein present in all berries, protects vision.