So you go to the grocery store. It’s the first day of your diet and you can’t wait to lose all that water weight, feel fit and healthy. But then what do you pick from the endless sea of grocery store choices?
That’s where we come in. We have come up with a list of superfoods for the super woman in you! And as important as it is for both genders to eat healthy, some foods are better for women. Men, fear not, we will have a list up for you real soon!
“It is best to eat apples with the skin on as a lot of its vitamin C is concentrated just under the skin,” says registered dietitian, Perryn Carroll. “In addition to this, the skin provides a great source of insoluble fibre that is good for gut health.”
Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system. Insoluble fibre (‘roughage’) helps prevent constipation. Apple flesh also contains a soluble fibre called pectin, which can help bind cholesterol and lower blood cholesterol levels.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3s that may help with heart disease prevention and is also a good source of vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin which helps with bone health,” says Perryn.
Aim for at least one portion of oily fish per week if you are pregnant, or planning to be pregnant. If you are breastfeeding try not eating more than two portions per week.
Yoghurt contains calcium which is essential for women’s bone health, three dairy foods a day are recommended and a pot of yoghurt is an easy and portable option. Always read the labels on yoghurt as some are high in sugar, fat or both.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries not only taste good but are good for us too. They are high in folic acid and vitamin C which offer anti-oxidant protection.
One of the most portable snacks and much healthier than a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate. It may have a few more calories than other fruits but bananas are rich in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure.
6. Beans & Soy
There is a huge variety of delicious beans and legumes including kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chick peas), and lentils, to name a few. Soybeans can be eaten as tofu (silken, soft, firm), edamame, tempeh, and soymilk. Beans are high in fiber and low in fat, and are rich in phytoestrogens. Beans also contain something called “resistant starch” which helps us to burn fat and control blood sugar
7. Dark Chocolate
Yes, we aren’t just saying this to make you happy. Dark chocolate is super rich in antioxidants that help keep your blood vessels, cells, and nerves in prime condition by protecting against damage from free radicals.
While the headlines touted its protective effects against prostate cancer, more quiet research has shown it has tremendous health benefits for women as well.
Avocados are lean-green-power-machines! The oils in avocados are the good kind: the monounsaturated fats. Avocados are heart healthy, help keep your weight in control, and contain plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol. Eating 1/2 an avocado daily is a reasonable amount; if you are concerned about your weight, keep it to 1/4 avocado daily.
10. Dark Leafy Greens
The richest dark green leafy vegetables are kale, collard greens, and broccoli. They are a low-calorie source of phytoestrogens, plant steroids that help us to maintain hormonal balance. They are rich in numerous important nutrients including iron, calcium, folate, vitamins K, C, E, and B vitamins. Folate is especially important during pregnancy for ensuring proper neural tube development of the embryo, and has been shown to be important for heart health.
Nuts are filling and satisfying. They can be eaten alone as an energy boosting, blood sugar stabilizing snack, as a condiment on salads, grains, or in yogurt or whole grain cereals such as granola and oatmeal. They are nutrient dense, loaded with protein, good quality fats, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, folate, vitamin E, and Vitamin A.
12. Whole Grains
Carbs are considered villains in the dieting world, but they shouldn’t be. In reality, whole grains such as oats, brown rice, millet, barley, quinoa, and buckwheat should be a central part of our daily diet. There are numerous different whole grains. All are delicious and provide complex carbohydrates, which are filling and provide long-lasting energy, especially when combined with a high quality protein and good quality fat such as olive oil.