Women have specific nutritional needs to sustain a healthy system. Hormones, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and other biological changes can impact the body and mind. Women often neglect their own dietary needs trying to balance the demands of family and work. Often women turn to insufficient nutrition foods or junk food just to keep their energy up to sustain their activity without understanding the negative impact the choices have on their body function.
As they say, cake and donuts may taste like heaven, but you will regret eating them when you turn 37.
When you add the extra pressure that traditional media and social media feed into women’s psyche to look a certain way it can lead to extreme diets that lead to the deficiency of vital nutrients. Sometimes, the symptoms of malnutrition don’t appear early on but it puts women at high risk of developing diseases as they age. Impaired immunity, anemia, osteomalacia, arthritis, and fatigue are just the tip of the iceberg for some women after a certain age.
Middle-aged women are more susceptible to nutritional problems which set off a cascade of unfavorable events resulting in life threatening ailments or a life filled with medications. Women need more nutrients while aging due to less physical activity, changes in metabolism, menopause, and loss of muscle mass. Their nutrient needs are also affected by certain chronic diseases, medications, and changes in body composition.
Following a healthy diet plan and making every bite count is crucial for this age group.
And as you know, it’s never too late to start eating healthy. Today, people look at your health as a means of wealth for many reasons.
Here’s the list of six superfoods that are affordable and easily available at local grocery stores and farmer’s markets that should be incorporated into the daily or weekly diet. These superfoods not only help you meet your nutritional needs but also satisfy your cravings for junk.
The popularity of kale has increased dramatically in recent years. You can eat this green leafy vegetable raw or cooked. This vegetable is diabetes and weight friendly because one cup of raw kale has only 33 calories. Kale belongs to the cruciferous family along with brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, collards, etc. Kale is a nutritional superstar packed with vitamins and minerals. It has calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, and other minerals. The vitamin A present in Kale is important for bone and eye health and makes our immune system strong. Kale also possesses vitamin C which prevents us from chronic diseases and vitamin K for blood clotting and bone building. Folate is a type of vitamin B and plays a major role in brain development. Kale is also a source of Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid. Nutrients in Kale help women prevent obesity, cancer, and balance blood cholesterol levels. You can turn it into a smoothie, salad, soup, pesto, and can mash it with potatoes.
Spinach has powerful health benefits. Spinach used to be the superfood of choice for Popeye the Sailor Man for a reason. It possesses tons of nutrients and low calories. This leafy green vegetable provides surprising benefits to your skin, hair, and bones. Spinach is considered the best source of iron essential for our body to use energy effectively. To get the best out of spinach, just add some citrus fruits containing excessive vitamin C for better absorption of iron. Spinach also has magnesium that increases your metabolism and calcium to keep your bones and teeth healthy. It’s a great source of zeaxanthin and carotenoid that prevent cancer by flushing out free radicals from the body. The high potassium content of spinach reduces blood sugar levels. Vitamin A content of spinach boosts immunity and keeps you active all day. Acne and dullness are the major skin issues in women. If that’s the case, try consuming one cup of spinach daily since it reduces inflammation, prevents acne, and improves skin texture. Spinach juice, salad, and smoothie are great ways to add spinach to your diet without compromising on your taste buds.
Oyster mushrooms are a type of fungi. They belong to the family of grilled mushrooms. Around 40 types of edible mushrooms are commonly enjoyed at dining tables in dishes like pasta, omelettes, stir-fries, and steaks. Oyster mushrooms have impressive health-promoting properties. They contain a variety of powerful nutrients that have been used in traditional medicine approaches for centuries. They are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Oyster Mushrooms provide antioxidants that reduce cellular damage in your body. They regulate blood sugar and cholesterol level. They have strong anti-inflammatory factors and potential anti-tumor properties. Oyster mushrooms protect the gastrointestinal tract from pathogenic bacteria and promote the production of short-chain fatty acids. Oyster mushrooms are a good source of folate, choline, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
One medium-sized onion has just 44 calories but it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Onions are extremely rich in vitamin C which provides exceptional health benefits, especially to women such as it regulates the immune system, promotes collagen production, iron absorption, and provides protection against damage caused by free radicals. Onions are the major source of folate and pyridoxine which help in metabolism, red blood cell production, and normal nerve function. Onions provide extra sulphur to your hair scalp that promotes hair growth. Usually, middle-aged women suffer from severe deficiency of potassium which is important for cellular function, fluid balance, normal kidney function, muscle contraction, and nerve transformation. To overcome this insufficiency, try to add onions to salad, omelettes, steaks, pasta, sauces, soup, and many other dishes. Roasted, grilled, raw, or caramelized onions are one of the most versatile and universal ingredients in the culinary arts.
Did you know avocados are a fruit? Nutritionists and food scientists are raving about this superfood. You see numerous health influencers posting food stories where creamy avocado dip or garlic avocado spread paired with some hot dogs, tacos, or brown bread carrying the major chunk of the meal and wonder, why avocados are so hyped up? Well, the hype is real. Stress and anxiety are the major concerns of busy and overworked women. Avocados are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, omega-3’s can reduce stress, improve concentration, boost mood, and relieve anxiety. Avocados also contain tryptophan which is a precursor of the hormone serotonin known to promote good health and overall well-being. Avocados are usually mashed to add to any dish or sliced to add to salad. They contain high levels of vitamin C, K, E, and B6. Avocados are also a prominent source of magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, and riboflavin.
Are you suffering from Vitamin A deficiency? Just eat one sweet potato a day. It provides 400% of the vitamin A you need each day. Vitamin A is essential for your organs, immune system, and eye health. There are many types of sweet potatoes, some have yellow, red, or purple flesh and some have white. Sweet potatoes are rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Carotenoids give color to potatoes. They are strong antioxidants that prevent your cells from day-to-day damage. Carotenoids can also lower your risk for cancer. Boiled sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index which means they will keep your blood sugar level in control. Purple sweet potatoes can prevent inflammation and reduce fat cell growth which can help you lose fat easily.
Any one of these ingredients can add color and flavor to your plate while delivering innumerable health benefits as long as you don’t overcook them or destroy the enzymes or nutritional value.
Want more recipes watch Chef Cynthia on Amazon Echo Show, YouTube, visit her Soulgood restaurant in Denton, Texas or award-winning vegan food truck in Dallas, Texas.