Eating healthy and exercising is important for everyone, however, since women go through multiple hormonal changes in their lifetime, good nutrition is vital for a long healthy life. There are many ways women can maintain a strong healthy body throughout their lifetime, and eating a good amount of superfoods and drinking lots of water are keys to success! You can find a list of superfoods below to help you get started in your healthy eating habits!
Water, water, water!
Why is water so important? It helps keep skin looking young and fresh. When you’re dehydrated, your skin will look dry and scaly. Lots of water helps your skin look like you spent the day at the spa. Water also helps you digest your food well. The daily recommendation for fiber is 25-35 grams. In combination with plenty of water, you will feel great and be able to maintain your weight well.
I know, I know. Quinoa was all the rage...8 years ago! But it still packs a mighty good punch. It is high in protein and fiber and a grain that gives you strength and energy. Quinoa is a good source of magnesium which helps relax blood vessels and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, and our bodies can’t make amino acids or store them, so we need reliable sources from our diet.
These little beans are loaded with folate, magnesium and iron. They are rich in protein and fiber. Black beans may help strengthen bones, which is very important for women who suffer from osteoporosis. Black beans also contain quercetin and saponins which may protect the heart.
Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables, and they are high in sulfur-containing chemicals called glucosinolates. These compounds get broken down into what's called indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane which have been shown to fight cell damage and inflammation and can even block blood vessels from forming in tumors, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). So steam up a bowl of broccoli tonight, and add some cheese and herbs for extra flavor; you won’t regret it.
These are a great source of alpha-linoleic (ALA) omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower your risk for breast cancer, stroke, and diabetes. You can find flax seeds in just about everything from frozen waffles to chips and breads. However, the best way to eat flaxseeds is when they are ground as grinding the seeds makes their nutrients more bioavailable. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, yogurt, pancake mix, and whatever else you can think of.
Overall balance and moderation is most important. I have never regretted eating healthy but have regretted eating processed foods. This month I have made it my goal to eat well and aim for high amounts of vegetables in my diet, join me?
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JoAnn Gruener, RD, CDE
Health Advisor | Email JoAnn