Written by Natasha Jordan
Nutritionist, owner Gram Sustainable
You know what foods you shouldn’t eat, but the more difficult part is knowing what foods you should eat. Experts agree women’s nutritional needs differ from men. So what foods are beneficial for maintaining women’s health?
Studies show that the positive impact of diet on overall health can be dramatic if nutritional needs (based on your sex) are met. Essentially, when it comes to diet, one size does not fit all. Luckily, we have 5 foods that do fit, these foods can be eaten daily and don’t require a lot of preparation. Without further ado, here’s my top 5:
Walnuts are packed with nutrients not to mention they are a tasty easy to consume snack. On top of that, just adding a small serving of walnuts to your diet every day can have lasting benefits for physical and the mental health of women.
Studies show eating walnuts may actually improve life expectancy – they will actually help you live longer!
This nutritious nut can also help suppress hunger pangs, which can help if you are trying to lose weight. Walnuts also promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, which improves digestion and immune function.
It is a fact that women tend to develop depression more often than men. Walnuts are loaded with brain healing fatty acids which are beneficial for mental health and may help prevent depression.
As a bonus, walnuts are also known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, which can develop in women as we age.
So by adding walnuts to your diet, you can receive all of the above-mentioned health benefits while enjoying the rich flavour of this nut.
Nuts & seeds are like two peas in a pod, and the next food is a seed that perfectly compliments the flavour of walnuts. Ground flaxseed can be eaten whole, however due to the tough exterior of this seed, much of the nutritional content can often pass through the digestive tract unused. I would recommend consuming a combination of whole and ground flaxseeds.
Flaxseed supplies your body with omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. Omega-3 and fibre in flaxseed is linked to improved heart and bone health, which is exactly what women need to maintain their bones and heart health as they age.
Flaxseeds also contain lignans and phytoestrogens which are great for balancing women’s hormones and are great for managing menopausal symptoms.
Simply start by adding a scoop of flaxseed to your morning smoothie.
If you love chocolate then you are in for a treat because eating dark chocolate daily is recommended by nutritionist around the world. But, chocolate is more than just a tasty treat, in fact, dark chocolate has been linked with various health benefits that make it an important food for women.
If eaten in moderation dark chocolate can prevent stroke and reduces stress. In fact, if you are in a bad mood, eating chocolate can help release endorphins and can turn that frown upside down.
Remember to look for quality, because quality equals nutrients such potassium, selenium, and iron, which are known to improve thyroid function and maintain bone density.
The list of foods that women should eat every day wouldn’t be complete without mentioning almonds. Almonds are dubbed as the powerhouse of nutrients and make a great on-the-go healthy snack. Not to mention they are the delicious and come in many different forms including almond flour, almond butter, and sliced.
With that said, the convenience and great taste of almonds is not the only reason to add them to your daily diet. Almonds are known to contain antioxidants which can protect lower oxidative stress in your body, which helps keep every single cell in your body healthy – which is particularly important as women age.
Similar to walnuts, almonds also promote the development of beneficial bacteria in your gut, so you can expect improved digestive health and weight management.
The high fiber content in almonds makes them a great way to feel fuller for longer. So if you are struggling with overeating, try eating almonds when you feel hungry to avoid diving into that bag of junk food.
Maca also known as Maca Root is a blessing for women going through menopause. Studies have shown that Maca can help reduce the discomforts and symptoms felt throughout menopause by increasing the production of beneficial hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Since your hormones can seem like they are riding a rollercoaster during menopause, adding Maca Root to your diet can help put the brakes on and provide some balance. This makes Maca a great food for managing women’s hormones during menopause.
You may experience less sleep disruptions, night sweats, depression and other symptoms of menopause by maintaining daily Maca intake. As a bonus, this herb has good fats that can improve brain function and further reduce the risk of depression during menopause.
While it may not be easy to eat Maca as a whole, adding it to your smoothies in the powdered form is a great way to consume daily.
Now that you know the recommended foods for women and their benefits, you are probably wondering how you can stock up on them. Visit Gram Sustainable today at 350 Brunswick St, Fitzroy in Melbourne to stock up on these foods, and refillable personal and cleaning products. We have everything you need in store to help you live a healthy, zero-waste lifestyle.