15 Super Foods For Women Who Want To Be Smarter, Leaner, And Stronger

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com


Today’s women lead very busy lives. Most work full time, take care of families, raise their children, run errands, cook meals, clean the house, do the laundry, take care of extended family members, and some still find time to volunteer for the good of everyone.

But when do they find time to care for themselves? Unfortunately, many women skimp on taking care of themselves, especially when it comes to eating. Too many women eat on the run, grabbing anything they happen to find or have on hand, without a thought as to what they are actually putting in their bodies.

Your mental and physical performance is directly related to what goes in your mouth. To keep up with today’s busy schedule, you need to eat healthy. Every woman needs to consume the right foods to get enough of the vital nutrients she needs such as protein, iron, chromium, calcium, vitamins B, C, and D, along with magnesium, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

That might sound like a whole lot of food, but not if you eat the right ones. Want to know more? Keep reading and find out the top 15 foods every woman on the planet should be including in her diet.

 

1. Green Tea

Not only does green tea help to boost the metabolism so that you can drop a few pounds or for maintaining your current weight, but this all-star beverage can help to prevent dementia, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, even cancer. Green tea is also a natural energy booster so it fights fatigue. Drink three or more cups each day.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

 2. Greek Yogurt

Why Greek yogurt and not regular yogurt? Greek yogurt is lower in fat but higher in protein and calcium, which are necessary for strong bones, strong muscles, and healthy teeth. Consuming Greek yogurt on a regular basis improves the digestion, prevents that annoying gas and bloat, and can even help with IBS. But the biggest reason to eat Greek yogurt each day is that it lowers your risk of breast cancer, vaginal infections, and stomach ulcers.

 

3. Walnuts

Walnuts contain protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, numerous vitamins and minerals as well as compounds that lower your cholesterol levels, improve brain function, prevent heart disease, and fight various types of cancer. What more can you expect out of one little food? Eat just one ounce (about 12 walnut halves) of walnuts each day to get all of this healthy goodness.

 

4. Red Beans

Although all beans are healthy, red beans in particular have important nutrition for women. Red beans are high in fiber, protein, and important flavonoids. Eating beans regularly can help to control blood sugar levels, protect you from breast cancer and heart disease, as well as help you to burn fat. Red beans play an important role in stabilizing hormones. If you happen to be a pregnant woman, you should know that red beans will give you a steady supply of folic acid, which is vital for your unborn child. Eat three or more servings of red beans each week. Put them in soups or salads or as a spread or even vegetable dip.

 

5. Broccoli

Research has found that the compounds in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli can prevent breast cancer by fighting excessive amounts of estrogen in the body. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C and has a good amount of vitamin A. Broccoli also has fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and folic acid as well. You can eat broccoli either steamed or raw, it will still give you a powerful nutritional punch. Aim to eat two or more servings each week.

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Spinach leaves in a wooden plate

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6. Spinach

Perhaps Olive Oyl should have consumed more spinach rather than Popeye! Spinach is a must for women of all ages. It is loaded with iron, calcium, vitamins E, B, C, and K, folates, and iron. Spinach also has powerful phytochemicals, antioxidants, and amino acids that are important for all women. This tasty green is important for the health of your bones, liver, heart, skin, and eyes. Aim to eat a half a cup of spinach each day.

 

7. Oats

You probably know that oats naturally lower cholesterol levels but did you know that oats can help to control your weight as well? They are also a terrific way to prevent colorectal cancer. How can oats do all this? It’s because they are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Choose steel cut oats over quick or rolled oats as they contain much more fiber.

 

8. Tomatoes

This little red beauty is a must for women. Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which protects women from breast and cervical cancer. Lycopene also acts as a natural sunscreen to protect you from the UV rays of the sun. This veggie also has powerful polyphenols which are good for your heart. Try to eat three to five servings of tomatoes each week. One of the great things about tomatoes is that whether you cook them, eat them raw, or make sauce, you still get all the health benefits!

 

9. Blueberries

Think of blueberries as little blue jewels for the body. They are Mother Nature’s own anti-aging foods. Studies show that blueberries prevent memory loss, improve motor skills, lower blood pressure, and even prevent wrinkles through their powerful antioxidants. If you can, get wild blueberries as these have even more antioxidants than commercially grown antioxidants. Still, if you can’t find wild blueberries, all blueberries are good for you.

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Fresh strawberries on summer with green background, strawberries

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10. Strawberries

Like blueberries, strawberries are powerful little fruits. Rich in vitamin C and potassium, strawberries are great for preventing varicose veins, fighting wrinkles, improve vision, reduce inflammation, and even fight urinary tract infections for women. Consuming strawberries regularly can lower your risk of developing cancer, especially breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancers such as colorectal cancer. Aim to eat one cup of strawberries each day. Whether fresh or frozen, strawberries, just like blueberries, cannot be beat!

 

11. Olive Oil

Olive oil is important for women as it offers serious protection from colon cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer. This is due to the high level of phenolic antioxidants in olive oil. The biophenols prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure. Olive oil is also highly anti-inflammatory so it can prevent chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Consume two tablespoons of olive oil each day.

 

12. Salmon

You can’t beat a good grilled salmon lunch! You shouldn’t skip it either because the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon nourish the brain and the entire cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for fighting cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, for fighting depression, as well as for a healthy pregnancy. Salmon is also one of the few food sources of vitamin D, something most women today do not get enough of. Don’t worry; however, salmon is low in calories, so it won’t cause damage to your waistline. Eat two or more servings of salmon each week.

 

13. Avocados

Yes, we can hear you already: avocados are fatty. This is true, but it is a healthy type of fat. Avocados contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats, which will help your body absorb other nutrients. Avocados are also a super anti-aging food as it is loaded with vitamin B6, E, K, and other nutrients such as potassium, folate, protein, potassium, and magnesium, a mineral most women do not consume nearly enough of. Aim to eat half of an avocado each day.

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Coffee & Chocolate

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14. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, is antioxidant rich and every woman should eat it. Just a small amount of dark chocolate each day will not only satisfy that sweet tooth, but it will prevent clogged arteries, which will reduce your risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate also releases serotonin in the body, which is the feel good hormone that will stop you from feeling depressed. Dark chocolate also has numerous nutrients such as copper, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, which are all important for strong bones. All you need is a quarter to half an ounce of dark chocolate each day.

 

15. Almonds

You can’t beat almonds when it comes to a tasty snack. Women should try to eat one ounce (about one handful) every day. Almonds are super nutrient dense. Almonds will lower your cholesterol levels, help you sleep better, prevent heart disease, improve cognitive function, and fight cancer. Some studies have shown that women who eat almonds regularly have less belly fat. How is that for a reason to eat almonds?

 

WATCH ALSO: How to Find Healthy Food in Supermarkets Video

 

Although we can’t control everything in our lives (don’t expect your boss to change just because you changed your diet) but we can control what we eat. By adding more of these foods to your diet, women of all ages can live longer, healthier lives.

References:

www.uofmhealth.org

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov