Top 10 healthy foods for women

By Salome Phelamei | Last Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 21:25

Salome Phelamei

Women not just differ from men physiologically, psychologically and biologically, but their nutritional requirements also vary from those of men. Here’s a list of food that every woman must include in her diet to stay healthy and fit.

Milk

Though everyone should drink milk, it is extremely beneficial to women’s health. It is also a great source of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium. Milk has multiple health benefits because it contains almost all nutrients except for iron and Vitamin C. It is also essential for glowing skin, healthy bones and teeth and weight loss. Milk is heart friendly and is also believed to cut down the risk of cancers like breast cancer and colon cancer.

Berries

Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries have powerful anti-cancer agents that play a key part in repairing cell and may shield off many forms of illness, including breast cancer and colon cancer, the two cancers that affect fairer sex the most. Cranberries and cranberry juice can also ward off urinary tract infections.

Whole grains

Whole grains are high in fiber and therefore help stave off digestive problems which are so common in women. Whole grains have been known to cut heart disease risk, diabetes and certain cancers. Whole grain food like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice are the best source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Folate or Folic acid

Although everyone needs folate, it is especially essential for pregnant women. Folic acid can prevent major birth defects. According to experts, folate also plays a key role in keeping the heart healthy. Folate or folic acid is found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains.

Walnuts

Walnuts are known to lower cholesterol levels and are full of monounsaturated fats. They also have polyunsaturated fats, which prevents heart disease.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are called ‘Super Foods’ due to its numerous health benefits.
Green leafy vegetables include cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, etc. These vegetables contain a lot of fiber, polyphenols, Group B Vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Vitamin C-rich fruits

Strawberries, guava, papaya, orange, grapefruit, tomatoes, apples, bananas and citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C. These fruits have multiple health benefits. Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, is also known cut down the risk of coronary heart disease. Recommended dietary intake for Vitamin C for female is 75 mg/day.

Foods rich in iron

Iron is important for hemoglobin formation, muscle function, brain function, etc. Iron is mostly important for carrying life-giving oxygen to human blood cells. Deficiency of iron often leads to anemia, which is very common amongst pre-menopausal women due to their monthly cycles.

Good sources of iron are red meat, egg yolks, beans (soybeans and lentils), dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale, chicken, liver, seafood (fish, oysters, clams and shrimp), dried fruits, etc. Women need 12 to 15 milligrams of iron each day as recommended, compared to just 10 to 12 milligrams for men.

Calcium-rich foods

Calcium is an essential element of the body, and is crucial for strong bones and teeth apart from other health benefits. Adequate intake of calcium helps stave off osteoporosis, reduce obesity and prevent colon cancer.

Calcium is available in milk, curds/yogurt, cheese, egg, fish, soya bean, broccoli, spinach and all leafy vegetables.

Water

Our body is composed of 75% of water and 25% solid. Water is essential for all metabolic processes in the human’s body. Water improves energy, removes toxins and waste products from our body and keeps the skin healthy and radiant. Drinking at least 8-10 glasses a day helps in digestion and weight loss.



First Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 00:03

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