The 10 Best Foods For Women

It’s no secret that women are the world most incredible multi-taskers. Is it any wonder that the female of the species has specific nutritional needs? Attaining that elusive nutritional balance in our stressed-out lives has never been more important — especially for women who are the quintessential balancing act queens.

These are the people who, more often than not, somehow manage to get the kids off to school in the morning and figure out a carpool/work/after school activity schedule that would make an air traffic controller gasp. She’s usually the one getting dinner on the table, taking the cat to the vet and helping a friend out in need.

To keep in control, women need to eat right. So here you go, my favorite, very best foods for women, starting with number 10:

10. Bean There, Done That
Beans should be included in everyone’s diet — they’re nutritious, low in fat and are cheap to boot. Be a good bean counter and check out the fiber in beans. There’s over 5 grams of fiber in one measly half-cup serving — that’s a whopping fourth of your daily allowance. Pretty good, huh? Even better when you consider that a fiber-rich diet is one of the first components to colon cancer prevention. And with more women dying of colon cancer than breast cancer every year, you’ve just gotta bring on the beans!

9. Kale to the Chief
Kale is an often-overlooked vegetable that is positively loaded with folate, an important B vitamin for women. Having a deficiency in folic acid during pregnancy may cause neural-tube defects in babies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend that women take in 400 micrograms of folate daily. That’s more than twice the current RDA! Don’t forget that kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium, too.

8. Beta Sight
Those orange squashes (and tubers) like pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potatoes are a gal’s best friend. Beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, is just screaming to get out and work its antioxidant magic on your body. All you have to do is eat it! Beta-carotene is thought to help reduce the risk of breast cancer and is responsible for helping your body repair your skin.

7. Just the Flax, Ma’am
Flax seeds and flax seed oil have so much to offer women. For starters, flax is full of Omega 3 fatty acids (EFA’s) which may help protect a woman from heart disease (the leading cause of premature death among women) and the pain of arthritis. The fiber in flax is due to lignans, an important type of fiber especially for women. Lignans are thought to be both an antioxidant and phytoestrogen and are currently being studied for their role in cancer prevention. Use care with flax. It would be preferable to grind your own seeds and sprinkle them on your cereal each morning. The EFA’s are very fragile and grinding your own (in a clean coffee mill, just for this purpose) is the best way to utilize both the flax’s fiber and oils.

6. Iron It Out
Women need to eat more iron-rich foods. Getting iron from food sources (as opposed to a supplement) is a better way to get the iron needed because the form of iron contained in food is much easier to absorb than in pill form. Lean red meats and dark poultry, as well as lentils, are a few of the best sources for iron.
5. Nuts to You
With equal parts monounstaturated and polyunsaturated fats in these little gems, you’re got the power of the monounsaturated cholesterol lowering properties and the polyunsaturated power to help prevent heart disease. Not only that but they are a great little protein snack, as well as a great source for zinc (for pretty skin), calcium, phosphorus (strong bones), folate (prevents birth defects), vitamin A & E, too (powerful antioxidants).Though they are rich in calories, a little can go a long way limiting your nuts to just a handful a day.

4. Water, Water Everywhere
Hey, don’t think you’re getting gypped out of a food here. Water IS a nutrient and the fact is, we need it… and plenty of it. Water keeps the fat away, plain and simple. Water may be one of the best tools in the weight loss game. It suppresses the appetite and helps your body metabolize stored fat! Now can you see why water made it to the top ten? Bottoms up!

3. Broccoli Power!
Broccoli was on a “best foods for kids” list I did in a previous life. But aren’t you glad it’s on the gals’ list, too? That means we can all eat together at the same table! Broccoli is a fabulous source of calcium and contains other important nutrients like potassium and a good smattering of B vitamins, too.

2. Chalk up the Calcium
Women really need to crank it up in the calcium department. The RDA is 800 milligrams a day, but some experts say that isn’t enough and it should be more like 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams a day. When you take into consideration the epidemic of osteoporosis among older women, it might not be a bad idea to up your dairy product intake. My personal preference would be yogurt. You get the nutritional extra of beneficial bacteria for good colon health and it’s a lot easier to digest than other dairy products.

1. Something’s Fishy Here!
Salmon was once turned down in favor of white fish or sole by weight-conscious women. Now that we understand the value of Omega 3 EFA’s, it’s time to get serious with wild salmon (farm raised is not as rich in Omega 3). Salmon is also high in protein, low in cholesterol and contains quite a few B vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium.