Healthy eating is important for everyone, but certain foods are especially good for issues that affect women. Specifically conditions such as hormonal symptoms, osteoporosis and breast cancer.
Whatever your age these so-called ‘super foods’ are rich with the nutrients that will help to protect your body and keep it working at its best.
So just what are these and how can they help you with your hormonal symptoms?
The difference between soybeans and edamame is in the level of maturity when the beans are harvested. Mature soybeans are a light cream color while edamame is harvested when the beans are still young, soft and green.
These tasty soybean pods are full of fiber, good fats, and oestrogen-like compounds called isoflavones.
These can be very helpful at menopause to help cool hot flushes but not recommended if you’ve had breast cancer.
Their green leaves contain very high levels of vitamin K, which works with calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong and healthy.
If you are looking to protect from osteoporosis this is an excellent vegetable and one serving has more than 20% of the daily recommended amounts of vitamins A and C.
Another for help with bone building, this delicious vegetable gives you more vitamin K. Just half a cup, and you’ve got a third of what you need for the day.
It’s also full of folate, which helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida.
They have lots of protein, without the fat that comes with meat, and they’re high in fibre. They can lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart rate and these are all things that can lead to heart disease, a major risk factor for women at menopause.
This contains flavonoids, which help lower the likelihood of certain kinds of strokes in women and may also help your heart.
Grapefruit may not be a good combination with medication such as statins so check with your doctor or pharmacist first. Oranges work, too, but grapefruit has less sugar, so you could substitute them.
Berries and cherries
These have flavonoids and antioxidants, which can protect healthy cells from damage. Berries help keep your brain sharper as you get older and cherries are a great help for those who suffer from gout.
Plus, you need their vitamin C to build collagen, the protein that keeps your skin firm and smooth.
Not as easy to find in the UK, but Its red-orange colour comes from beta carotene (the same as in carrots) and lycopene (also in tomatoes and watermelon).
The human body converts beta carotene into vitamin A (retinol) as it is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.
Lycopene lowers your chance of getting cervical and breast cancers. It’s an antioxidant, too, and keeps cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels to help ward off heart disease.
Plain, low-fat yogurt
You need more calcium when you’re over 50. and it is an essential mineral. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat.
When we don’t get the calcium our body needs, it is taken from our bones so again helps prevent osteoporosis. Just 8 ounces of yogurt will give you more than a third of your calcium for the day and if it is enriched with vitamin D that help your body use the mineral better.
These are an excellent source of healthy fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium so again good for your bones.
Their omega-3 fats can improve the quality of breast milk, and sardines are good for babies whose mothers ate them while they were pregnant.
Did you know that ground flaxseed can help lower your risk for some cancers, including breast cancer? Full of fibre as well as lignans, plant compounds that act like oestrogen, thee are a healthy addition to an anti-cancer diet.
If you are on medication, please check with your doctor or pharmacist before you add flaxseed to your diet as it can affect how well some medications work.
These have an amazing number of health benefits. They’re packed with healthy `Omega-3 fatty acids and may prevent cancer as part of a balanced diet.
They are also believed to decrease Inflammation, promote a healthy gut, lower blood pressure and may help manage Type 2 diabetes.
You may have avoided these thinking they are full of fat – which they are – but it’s the good fat. In fact, studies show avocado-rich diets can help get rid of belly fat and protect your eyes and skin.
They may even help lower bad cholesterol levels and boost the good cholesterol.
Copper, fibre, vitamin B6, potassium, iron are all in sweet potatoes. Best of all, they’re chock-full of beta carotene, an A+ source of vitamin A.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding this is great addition to the diet as it ensures that yo9ur baby’s, it makes sure your babe’s lungs are healthy and strong.
Folate is something we know is essential during pregnancy, but don’t discount at menopause as it lowers your chances for getting dementia, heart disease, and colon cancer.
Spinach has plenty of folate and rich invitation C and iron – if you add lemon juice to your cooked spinach it will help the iron be absorbed. It also contains lutein, an antioxidant that protects the lens and retina in your eye.
Red meat packs a punch when it comes to iron and after age 18, you need lots of it. The menstrual cycle depletes women of iron an beef also gives you a zinc and vitamin B boost.
Best in moderation as eating lots of red meat might lead to uterine fibroids possibly due to hormone enriched meat.
A healthy diet is all about balance, and today there are so many choices it can be confusing. Paleo or Keto, low carb/low sugar, GI or something else?
Whatever you choose it needs to fit with your lifestyle so here are a couple of healthy diet options that can help you lose weight, and maintain hormone balance.
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