Why Diet MattersThe right diet for womens health isnt complicated. Forstarters, these nine terrific foods will help preventcancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, a significantthreat after menopauseAccording to researchers who recently reviewed the risks •associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) in women, apoor diet was linked to 20 percent of all cases of heartdisease. Factor in diet’s effect on other chronic diseases likediabetes and osteoporosis, and it’s obvious that goodnutrition has huge womens health benefits. One way toimmediately turn your health situation around is throughthe foods you choose to eat. Here are nine foods that youllwant to make part of your daily diet.
Bring on the Berries “Berries, and a lot of fruits, are an excellent source ofantioxidants and water-soluble vitamins,” They are important forthe prevention of cancer and to maintain your weight.” They may also lower your risk of coronary heart disease
Get Lots of Leafy Greens“The more colorful the vegetables — and fruits — the more nutrients you’regoing to get in your diet,” And green leafy veggies, like turnip, collard andmustard greens, kale, Chinese cabbage, and spinach, all rich sourcesofvitamins and minerals, are a great place to start. Many are also a goodsource of iron, important for women’s health, especially after menopause.One serving of cooked leafy greens — a half a cup — is not a lot, consideringthat just around two and one half cups of veggies, or five servings in total, isall you need each da
Add Omega-3 Fatty AcidsIt sounds counterintuitive, but fatty fish are actually good for you becausethey deliver omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), fats withcardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. While fish oil capsules willhelp you meet your PUFA needs, studies have foundq that fish itself offerseven more nutritional benefits, including vitamin D, selenium, andantioxidants. Recommendations are for 1 gram of PUFAs daily for people withcoronary heart disease and at least 250 to 500 mg daily for those who want toprevent it.
Go Nuts“Nuts are a great source of protein and monounsaturated fattyacids, as well as much needed vitamin E. Examples of greatchoices include walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Nuts are alsovery calorie-dense, however, so you need only a palmful for goodnutrition and to feel satisfied — just one-half ounce of nuts isconsidered equivalent to one ounce of a typical proteinchoices, like chicken or beef.
• Serve Up Some Whole Grains“Whole grains help with digestion •and are excellent for yourheart, regularity [because of thefiber content], and maintaining asteady level of blood sugar. “Theyare also a great source of energyto power you throughout theday.” Whole grains, such asoats, also help improvecholesterol levels. While foodmanufacturers are adding fiber toall sorts of products, wholegrains, like whole wheat, rye, andbran.Watch your servingsizes, however. Current guidelinesare for six one-ounce equivalentservings per day (five if you’reover 50). One ounce of whole-wheat pasta (weighed beforecooking) is only one-half cup
• Fiber Up With BeansBeans are another nutrient •powerhouse, providing youwith a reliable proteinalternative to meat as well asthe fiber needed forgood digestion and preventionof chronic diseases. Beans —including navy, kidney, black,white, lima, and pinto — arepart of the legume family thatalso includes split peas, lentils,chickpeas, and soybeans.Many are good sources ofcalcium, important to preventosteoporosis, especially aftermenopause. If you’re new tobeans, add them gradually tominimize gas. Count each one-quarter cup of cooked beansas one ounce of protein.
Say Yes to Yellow and Orange Veggies Nutritionists recommend • choosing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables because each one provides a unique blend of nutrients. Within the color spectrum, yellow or orange veggies are great sources of vitamin A for skin and eye health and better immunity against infection. At the top of the list are carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and the many types of squash. While it takes just one whole carrot or six baby carrots to make one serving (one- half cup), you’ll need only half a starchy sweet potato.
Turn to Tomatoes Call it a vegetable or a fruit, • the tomato is in a food class by itself. Interestingly, cooked tomato products, like tomato paste, puree, stewed tomatoes, and even ketchup, deliver more of its well-known antioxidant lycopene, a cancer fighter, and potassium than when eaten raw. Tomatoes also have vitamins A and C and phytochemicals that make it an nutrition essential for women’s health
Look for Low-Fat Dairy Calcium is extremely important • after menopause when your osteoporosis risk increases. But it’s actually vital to women’s health at every age, particularly while the body is still making bone. For optimal bone health, you need three daily servings of dairy products (for example, eight ounces of milk or yogurt, or one and a half ounces of cheese per serving), which also provide other nutrients, like protein, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. “If you can tolerate dairy, low-fat sources are extremely important,. Besides low-fat or skim milk, try calcium-rich Greek-style yogurt,.