Your every day diet impacts your health. Unfortunately, many women seem to ignore this. It’s important to remember that you should consume food that is ideal, balanced and good for you. Always make a healthy choice. It goes a long way in maintaining your health even when you reach a certain age.
A woman’s dietary needs are a little different. Women need fewer calories when compared to men. But the diet should be high in nutritive value, which is of utmost importance. These differing nutritional requirements among men and women arise more due the hormonal differences. For a girl, after puberty sets in, there are many hormonal changes that continue until the end of the childbearing stage. Hence, healthy eating choices should be made right from the beginning, so that they become healthy lifestyle choices later in life.
Discover how to make a healthy choice. Eat right, Stay healthy!
- Choose what you eat wisely:
Look out for the nutrition in the food, rather than calories. Higher nutrition content is what makes it ideal for women. You certainly do not want to add on more calories. Generally speaking, the fat percentage in women is slightly higher, reason being, a woman is genetically designed to bear children.
- Keep it simple:
Eat meals that are made from simple ingredients. Do not over do it. Let your dishes not be a combination of more than six ingredients.
- Include all Groups of foods:
Only a single group cannot provide all the nutrients. Understand that your body also requires the right amount of fat and carbohydrates. Balance the food you consume with the right portions of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, fat and carbohydrates (whole grains).
- Go in for perfect portions:
Portion control is one the best ways to stay healthy. Always eat what is right in the right quantity. Personalize your portions to suit your body type. Proteins should be more while carbohydrates can be portioned to the size of your clenched fist. The portion size of buttery and fat spreads should be just the amount that comes in the tip of your thumb.
- Eat plenty of natural foods:
Go in for a whole fruit instead of juice. Chew on a raw salad instead of a dressed salad. Eat as close to natural as possible. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake does wonders to your body. Apart from the weight control and maintenance that it achieves, your skin also becomes very radiant.
- Say no to processed foods:
Processed foods are loaded with sugars and salts that your body does not need. Though easy to cook and eat, sometimes off the shelf, they end up in larger waistlines and fat accumulation.
Sugar, when consumed in excess, is very harmful. The effects are devastating as excess sugar alters the metabolic rate too and also leads to insulin resistance, higher amounts of triglycerides etc. All these are obviously not good for your health.
Processed food also increases your cravings. You cannot stop at one. They have so many artificial preservatives, that your brain is tuned to go in for more, even after you are actually full.
- Have food rich in Iron:
Women need more iron. They need to pump up their iron intake. Blood loss during the menstrual cycle may sometimes lead to iron deficiency and anaemia. A daily diet rich in iron addresses this issue. But remember, along with iron rich food; increase your intake of vitamin C enriched food. This helps in better absorption of iron into the blood.
Some foods that are naturally high in iron are spinach, beans, lentils, chicken and fish.
- Do not forget your bone health!
You want stronger bones, then drink milk. A habit that should have been formed during your childhood. Calcium is essential for stronger bones. Eat calcium rich foods to increase your bone density. After menopause, the oestrogen hormone decreases, making the bones weak and brittle. This could lead to osteoporosis or brittle bones.
Foods which are rich in calcium are dairy products, nuts, green leafy vegetables, soya beans and fish.
Ensure that you get sufficient Vitamin D, as this helps in better absorption of calcium by the bones. You may be eating calcium rich food. But if it is not absorbed into the body, then the purpose is not served. Vitamin D can be got from sunlight as well as foods such as egg yolk, cheese, oily fish etc.
- Vitamin Power:
Never underestimate the power of vitamins! They are very significant for your overall health. Your smart food choices ensure that you get your daily dose of vitamins along with your regular food. Very rarely, you might have to take up vitamin supplements.
Each vitamin has a role to play in your overall health. Ensure proper intake of vitamins by having more of foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, citrus fruits, milk, green leafy vegetables etc.
- Bulk up on fibre:
Any food that is high in natural fibre content is good for you. Foods rich in high dietary fibre help you lose weight, decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes and also stroke.
The more natural and unprocessed the food is the more is the fibre content. Always go in for whole grains, oats, wheat bran, brown rice, flax seeds etc.
- Understand what fat is good and what fat is bad!
Not all fats are bad. Your body needs some good fat too in the right quantity. The good fats help you in maintaining your physical and emotional health. They are found in nuts, avocados, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds etc.
The trans-fats are to be shunned. They are bad for your health. They increase the risk of heart disease. You should cut down on saturated fats too. Go in for lean meat, low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
- Some great superfoods for women:
Some foods are best for a woman of any age. They enhance the health, boost metabolism and also prevent some diseases. Check out these superfoods and their health benefits.
- Apples: They are rich in anti-oxidants and boost your body’s disease fighting mechanism.
- Broccoli: Rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene. It helps you give younger looking and radiant skin.
- Spinach: It is a powerhouse of nutrients. This green leafy vegetable is high in vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, and minerals such as manganese, folate, calcium etc.
- Avocados: These are high in the good fat content i.e., the monounsaturated fat.
- Egg yolks: They have some of the essential nutrients such as choline which lowers the rates of breast cancer in women. Eggs have calcium, iron and protein which are very vital for a woman’s health.
- Beans and Lentils: Perfect foods that are loaded with proteins and nutrients like calcium, magnesium and potassium. They reduce the risks of heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer.
- Nuts: In the right amount, they are super beneficial to your health. Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and calcium.
Your healthy food choice paves way for a healthy lifestyle. Combined with a small fitness regimen, like a 30-minute workout, and get ready to greet a healthier and happier you!