Healthy foods are good for everyone; even your dog will appreciate an organic diet rich in lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and pure spring water.
However certain foods are especially beneficial for a woman’s body, which is much more than just a smaller version of a man. Female bodies and brains are physically different than male bodies and brains; we are much more sensitive to the artificial hormones and pesticides crammed into many commercial food products, which can wreck havoc on a woman’s reproductive system. Protecting your body with antioxidants and other vitamins and nutrients that ward off disease is crucial to keep your system healthy, balanced and functioning at a optimal level.
Although these foods are healthy for all humans to eat, they are especially beneficial for females. And remember to buy organic!
- Kale One of the most potent leafy greens, kale is packed with folate, which is an essential B vitamin for women and unborn children; even those females not planning to get pregnant anytime soon should consume it regularly. Kale is also a rich source of calcium (for strong bones) and vitamin C (for immune defense), and B vitamins are known to be mood balancers.
- Orange squash and roots
Butternut squash and pumpkins as well as orange root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant. You may know beta-carotene as the protector of vision, but it is also thought to protect against breast cancer and repair damaged skin as well, slowing the signs of aging.
Menstruating women must consume iron or risk anemia; although this important mineral is widely taken in multivitamin form, your body will absorb iron better if you consume it in foods like spinach, lentils, lean red meat and dark poultry. If you are taking a multivitamin, make sure it is one made specifically for women that includes iron.
- Broccoli A bonafide superfood, broccoli is a stout source of many vitamins and nutrients. Ounce for ounce, broccoli provides more vitamin C than an orange and is also loaded with fiber, beta-carotene and folic acid. Broccoli is one of the best foods an expectant mother (or anyone!) can eat and is particularly useful for those with digestive disorders.
- Mangoes Like many fruits, mangoes are powerhouses of vitamin C, a nutrient that fights inflammation and keeps your immune system running smoothly. However juicy mangoes are also very high in vitamin A and are thought to help protect against cervical cancer- a great excuse for a smoothie.
Many women suffer from digestive irregularities such as IBS, and having plenty of natural fiber in your diet from beans, lentils and legumes can help prevent such chronic diseases like colon cancer, which kills more women every year than breast cancer. Plus, bulky beans are low in fat, inexpensive and are a filling way to beat hunger.
- Yogurt Women need a high intake of calcium to keep their bones strong against the brittle breaks of osteoporosis. Dairy is a fine source of calcium, and yogurt gives the added benefit of good bacteria (also know as probiotics) to keep the colon healthy and the whole body system in balance. Skip the premade, commercial yogurts that are extremely high in sugars and instead opt for natural yogurt and flavor it yourself with honey, or agave syrup and fresh fruits.
- Figs Shapely and elegant, figs contain high levels of vitamin B-6, a nutrient that has been proven to balance the mood and ease the symptoms of PMS. The fiber in figs helps you feel full and can sooth many common digestive irregularities as well.
- Salmon Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are indeed necessary for proper brain function as well as protection from arthritis and heart disease. Most people today don’t get enough of these brain-protecting nutrients, so you should try to include salmon and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids several times a week.
- Berries Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries aren’t just cute and delicious- they contain powerful anti-cancer agents that play a key role in cell repair and may protect against many forms of disease, including breast cancer and colon cancer, the two cancers that affect women most. Dense in vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidants as well, berries ward off urinary tract infections, help your vision and may also protect against skin aging. Try to include berries in your daily diet.