A Must for Every Woman: Healthy Wholesome Diet!
Healthy Living

A Must for Every Woman: Healthy Wholesome Diet!

Mehvish Hamdare profile Authored by Mehvish Hamdare on 3 Jan 2015 - 12:12.

A balanced diet is a cornerstone of good health not only for women but for everyone alike. However it is emphasized for women, as their p physiological, psychological and biological, make, demands are different from that of men.

For many of us, juggling career, exercise, social life and family commitments can leave us with hardly any time to think about our health, lifestyle and eating habits, which can take a toll on our health.

Women have special nutrient needs and during each stage of a woman’s life, these needs change. It is essential for women to eat a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and lean protein to meet the nutritional requirement of the body.

Women have unique health challenges which can be controlled or eliminated by eating certain foods. There are specific foods that can help ward off osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer and even tone down a hot flash or two. Eating the right food can help reduce PMS, boost fertility, combat stress, make pregnancy and nursing easier and ease menopause symptoms.

Essential nutrients to be included in diet:

• Protein (building blocks of the body)
• Iron (for haemoglobin)
• Folic acid (for growth and reproduction of all body cells)
• Chromium (for healthy blood sugar)
• Calcium (for bones and teeth)
• Magnesium (for healthy functioning of nerves and muscles)
• Vitamin D (for bone health)
• Vitamin C (for healthy immunity and antioxidants)
• B vitamins (for adrenal health and to fight stress)
• Fibre (for good bowel moment)
• Essential fatty acids (to nourish your brain and vascular system)
• Water

Incorporating the following powerfully nutritious food in your diet does wonders to your health internally and externally too:

Yogurt
Low fat or plain yogurt is nutrient-dense, containing high amounts of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B-12. According to a study published in 2013 in “Nutrition Research” women who eat yogurt regularly generally have a better overall diet quality than those who don’t consume yogurt. In an article published in the American Family Physician, dietary deficiencies in calcium and magnesium have been reported in women who suffer from PMS. The consumption of yogurt is also said to decrease the risk of breast cancer, reduce irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory digestive tract disorders, stomach ulcers and vaginal infections, most common in women.

Flax seeds
Flax seeds has been shown to be beneficial to women’s health as they are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and heart disease. They help in preventing two painful conditions which are more prevalent in women i.e. arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome as they have anti-inflammatory properties and digestive benefits. Hot flashes common during menopause, decreased by 50 percent in women taking flax seed in a summer 2007 study in the “Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology’’ Flaxseed oil can be used to treat various women's health problems such as premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cramps, pre-menopausal symptoms, endometriosis and female infertility.

Dark green leafy vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of many vitamins (such as vitamins A, C, and K and folate) and minerals (such as iron and calcium) essential phytochemicals. They’re also great sources of fibre. The risk of hip fracture in middle-aged women was decreased 45% for one or more servings/day of green, leafy vegetables compared to fewer servings. Research has shown that magnesium may be beneficial in reducing many of the physical symptoms of PMS which plague women, including reduction of swelling, breast tenderness, bloating, weight gain and magnesium you’ll find in your greens.

Fish oil
Fish oil which is good source of omega 3 can be obtained from eating fish or by taking supplements. Women should take fish oil to prevent painful periods; breast pain; and complications associated with pregnancy such as miscarriage, and early delivery.

Nuts
In women, shifts in hormones, an abnormality in the reproductive organs, infection, disease, and even stress can lead to infertility. To boost your fertility, try foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts. Women who snack on brazil nuts, cashews, pecans and other popular varieties are less likely to develop pancreatic cancer, a study has suggested.

Tomatoes:
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant — lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Tomato juice can be a tremendous source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and C. Just one cup of tomato juice can provide women with 74 percent of their daily recommended vitamin C intake and 2 percent of their vitamin A

Foods to limit:

To keep weight in check at any age, women should avoid a lot of excess calories from added sugars, fat and alcohol:

  • Limit intake of aerated drink, fried foods.
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid excess salt and refined sugar in your diet.

A plate of nutritious food every day can keep many health disorders away. So watch what you are eating, it’s worth the effort.

 

 

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*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.