Women’s health depends upon a lot of different factors. Between hormones, our busy lifestyles, and the stressful demands placed upon us by society, it is easy to fall into unhealthy habits.
Overworking, over-exercising, and neglecting to practice self-care are just a few ways that women can compromise their health, and by extension, their lives.
Luckily, the road to a healthy and balanced life has a simple beginning: the right diet. The following are the twelve healthiest foods for women with a brief explanation of just why we need them.
- Eggs: Filled with tons of nutrients and vitamins, egg yolks are one of the best foods for women.
Eggs contain plenty of essential nutrients that are often hard to fit into an everyday diet. These include choline, a nutrient that has been linked to low rates of breast cancer, and antioxidants that slow down aging and may prevent cataracts and other problems such as macular degeneration.
Despite claims that eggs can lead to heart disease, they’re actually incredibly healthy and should be added to your diet at least twice a week.
If you do have heart disease or a heightened risk for the condition, cut back on the egg yolks and focus more on egg whites to get your weekly dosage.
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt can be a healthy and delicious addition to breakfast, eaten as a snack, or saved for dessert. This food is great source of calcium and also contains a large amount of immunity boosting bacteria.
Women need these nutrients to help keep them regular, as well as, to promote strong bones and healthy teeth. In comparison to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has twice the protein, which most women don’t have enough of in their diets.
- Salmon: A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, salmon is one of the best foods to add to your diet. The fatty acids present in salmon offer a variety of health benefits, such as, prevention of heart disease, smoothing and softening skin, aiding weight loss, and even boosting your mood.
For women suffering from arthritis pain, salmon is also known to reduce the effects of this troublesome condition. Adding salmon to your diet at least once or twice a week could work wonders on your health.
- Lean Beef: This alternative to fatty red meat is one of the easiest ways to get a good source of iron in your diet. Many women suffer from anemia, which is a condition brought on by low iron levels.
Especially heavy menstrual cycles can contribute to anemia and general low iron levels, but adding at least one ounce of beef a day can help the body absorb iron from different sources.
- Nuts: Reduce your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes by adding 1½ ounces of tree nuts to your everyday diet. Various nuts contain different nutrients and vitamins that are vital to maintaining a healthy body.
For example, hazelnuts include arginine, which is, an essential amino acid that may be able to help lower blood pressure. Similarly, a simple ounce of almonds contains a good amount of heart-healthy polyphenols, similar to the amount present in a half cup of green tea.
- Edamame and Tofu: These soy foods are chocked full of vitamins and nutrients. When you add edamame, tofu, soy milk, and other foods can help fight heart disease. When eaten in place of fatty cheeses, meats, and similar foods, soy foods can help cut your saturated fat intake in half.
Soy foods also contain heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, lots of fiber, and essential vitamins. The isoflavones, or plant estrogens, present in edamame and tofu may also help prevent breast cancer.
- Avocado: Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, but they also contain tons of other nutrients and vitamins as well. Some studies have shown that adding these fruits to salads and salsa actually improved the absorption of plant compounds known as carotenoids that have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
These delicious fruits are also a great source of good fats, heart-protecting compounds, soluble fibers, vitamin E, potassium, and much more.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fats (MUFAS) which promote heart health by lowering the bad cholesterol in the body and raising the good HDL cholesterol. High in antioxidants which help slow aging and reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic conditions, olive oil is a deliciously healthy addition to all kinds of dishes.
- Spinach: This super vegetable contains high amounts of lutein, vitamins A, C, and B, iron, fiber and more. This food has been shown to guard against age-related macular degeneration, prevent or reduce the risk of heart attacks, and keep cholesterol clear from artery walls.
Add spinach to your salads, sandwiches, and a bevy of other breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain an antioxidant known as lycopene which may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. When eaten fresh, tomatoes retain the vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain healthy systems. Add olive oil to these veggies for an even tastier meal.
- Sweet Potatoes: Filled with the essential nutrient Vitamin A, sweet potatoes help protect eyes, skin, and the linings of the body’s intestinal, urinary, and respiratory tracts. This food contains beta-carotene, which is a nutrient that the body converts into Vitamin A.
- Lychee: This is one of the few fruits that contains extremely high levels of heart healthy polyphenols. The compounds present in this one-of-a-kind fruit may be able to prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer and other chronic conditions. This fruit can be added to all kinds of dishes for a delectable grape flavor.