Why: 10 reasons! Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries could be considered to be the most nutritionally dense carbohydrates available for consumption. Here’s exactly why they’re so good: With a composition rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, berries help to prevent cells from damage sustained by free radicals. Research has shown that regular consumption of berries helps to prevent mental decline over time, and prevent the onset of some diseases such as Parkinson’s and lower blood pressure. Nutrient dense berries are high in fibre, which can help to keep you fuller longer as well as minimise blood sugar spikes and aid in weight loss. Lastly, they’re high in Vitamin C, which helps to protect the immune system as well as aid in the absorption of dietary iron.
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Why: As women we can tend to shy away from foods that are high in fat with the fear that consuming fat will actually make us fat. However research suggests quite the contrary. A diet rich in healthy fats helps to supercharge your metabolism and enable the body to work efficiently. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, mainly monounsaturated fat, which is the good kind known to lower bad cholesterol levels. In addition to healthy fats avocados also contain nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals such as folate, B vitamins, lutein, vitamins C & E.
Why: Chia seeds beneficial to health of all women, especially women who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Why? Chia seeds are composed of nearly 60% omega-3 fatty acids, also known as healthy fats, which are often harder to consume in adequate amounts from a plant-based diet. Chia seeds have been shown to help to reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high levels of cholesterol. They are also high in fiber – just two tablespoons contain 1/3 of the daily recommended intake of fiber which will help you stay fuller longer, and in turn, eat less overall.
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Why: Part of the legume family, Lentils are a tiny edible pulse packed with a ton of nutrition. Lentils and other legumes are an excellent source of iron, which makes them so important in women’s diets, particularly women of childbearing age or women who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Consuming foods rich in iron such as lentils can help to prevent an iron deficiency by building up iron stores within the body. Aside from iron, lentils also contain a great amount of fiber, which helps to promote satiety, or the feeling of fullness. They are also a low GI carbohydrate meaning they are broken down more slowly than other types of carbohydrates and minimise spikes in blood sugar.
Why: Almonds deserve a special place in the diet of women due to their heart-health promoting properties. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids which has been shown to both lower bad cholesterol numbers and to protect against heart disease. Almonds help to protect the heart by providing antioxidants that counteract the damage done to cells by free radicals. Studies have also shown almonds to be beneficial in the diet of those with diabetes, as almonds help to combat a sharp rise in blood sugar levels after a meal. Though be careful to limit your almond consumption to just a handful! These tiny nuts are calorically dense and you only need a few (approximately 23 per serving), to reap all the beneficial rewards and to feel fuller longer.
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With a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, Emily provides health and wellness nutrition counselling through her private practice website, RDNmommy.com. Emily is passionate about helping individuals to make positive and sustainable lifestyle changes. She strives to empower and enable her clients to develop the healthy and happy life they have always dreamed of.
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