Top Twelve Recommended Foods For Women

Women are special. They have unique nutritional requirements to keep them energized and focused, especially as they age. And, that means over the age of 30 years! Here’s a great list of foods that every woman needs to incorporate into her weekly diet to guarantee that as each year goes by, she stays as healthy and fit as she can.

Time to make a quick list of the best foods for women to keep them in good health and shape.

Soy protein is found in products like tofu and soymilk to soy nut butter and cereal. Soy protein is heart healthy (helps lower “bad” cholesterol levels) and is rich in phytonutrients. Aim for up to 25 grams of soy protein per day.

Whole grains are high in fiber and therefore help stave off digestive problems that are so common in women. Try to incorporate more whole grains like brown rice, bran flakes, whole grain breads, barley and quinoa into your diet.

Foods rich in folate like asparagus, oranges, fortified cereals and beans. Folate is important during pregnancy for ensuring proper neural tube development of the fetus and has been shown to be important for heart health. Make sure to get the RDA of 400 micrograms (mcg) per day.

Cranberries and cranberry juice. The proanthocyanidins found in cranberries help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, thus warding off urinary tract infections (UTIs). New research also suggests that cranberries may promote cardiovascular health.

Water. Though it’s not a food, water is important for all metabolic processes in the body. It also helps with digestion, weight loss and improves the appearance of the skin. Drinking 8 to 10, eight-ounce glasses of water each day is key, but eating foods with a high water content (like fruits and certain vegetables) will also contribute to your water intake.

Nuts are full of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels, and polyunsaturated fats, which can help prevent heart disease. Plus, nuts are a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, folate, vitamin E and vitamin A. Nuts pack a lot of calories into their tiny packages, so try to limit your serving to an ounce a day. That’s 28 peanuts, 14 walnut halves and only 7 Brazil nuts.

Green leafy vegetables. Everything from kale to bok choy to darker lettuces. These vegetables provide important nutrients as well as fiber (aim for 20 to 35 grams each day) to the diet. Try to get at least three servings of vegetables each day.

Iron rich foods. Due to their monthly cycles, premenopausal women need more iron. Good sources of iron are garbanzo beans, lean beef, Swiss chard, tofu and dried apricots. Women need 12 to 15 milligrams of iron each day, compared to just 10 to 12 milligrams for men.

Calcium rich foods. Calcium helps keep bones strong and along with regular weight bearing exercise, helps to stave off osteoporosis. Good choices are low fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, collard greens), calcium fortified soy products and tofu, calcium fortified juices and calcium fortified grains. Check this list to see how much calcium you need each day:

Salmon. Prevents heart disease, depression (including postpartum depression), and memory loss, encourages optimal brain and vision development in your baby.

You are hearing a lot about the omega-3 fats these days and salmon tops the list for the tastiest, best source of these healthy fats. The omega-3s reduce the risk for blood clot formation and may lower blood levels of the bad cholesterol, which helps prevent heart attack and stroke. These fats help the brain develop properly, which is critical during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The omega-3s also boost levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, and might lower Alzheimer’s risk by up to 60%!

Tomato paste.Women average less than 3 ounces of canned tomatoes daily, which is no where near enough. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in the red pigment in plants that might be a heart saver. Maintaining high blood levels of lycopene could lower heart disease risk in women by up to 50%. Another study suggests that lycopene also might reduce the risk for fibroid tumors, which affect up to 45% of women.
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