Good nutrition provides women with plenty of energy, the means for life long weight control, and the key ingredients for looking & feeling great at any age.
- Focus on whole, plant based foods. Fruits & veggies such as tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, melons, peppers reduce risk for breast cancer. Leafy green vegetables & whole grains, beans, legumes give you fullness & keep you going throughout the day & fight fatigue. Adding fiber can help you feel full sooner, tend to be low in calories so it cuts your calories & curbs the craving for unhealthy foods
- Boost energy with quality protein. Adult women should eat at least 0.8 gm of quality protein per kg of body weight per day. Fish, chicken, egg whites, dairy, and plant based protein sources such as beans, nuts, seeds & soya products are good options. Opt for organic red meat rather than processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon & salami which have been linked to increased risk of cancer
- Go good fat, not no fat. Good fats contribute to your health, vitality, support your mood, help you maintain a healthy weight & improve the look of your hair, skin & nails such as olive oil, avocados, nuts like almonds & walnuts and seeds (pumpkin, sesame, flax seeds). Bad fats increase your risk for heart diseases & stroke like baked food, fried food, packaged snack food
- Cut down on sugar. Rely on natural sugars only e.g. found in milk (lactose) & fruits (fructose). Don't depend on hidden sugars like canned and frozen items, ketchup, soft drinks etc to avoid extra calories & mood swings
- Cut down on alcohol & caffeine. Both alcohol & caffeine worsens PMS & menopause symptoms & adversely affect fertility, so ladies try to limit it
- Make sure you get enough iron. Boost your intake by eating iron rich foods such as red meat, lentils, spinach, almonds & iron fortified cereals as these are necessary to make up the loss
- Focus on foods for strong bones. After the age of 30, you stop building bone mass & risk of osteoporosis increases. Nutrients that support bone health are calcium, magnesium & vitamin D. Good sources of ca are leafy green vegetables, oatmeal, tofu, cabbage, green beans. Calcium only works when taken in conjunction with magnesium which is present in broccoli, cucumber, beans, celery & a variety of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame. flax). You can get Vitamin D from about half an hour of direct exposure to sunlight & from foods (salmon, shrimp, eggs, Vitamin D fortified foods) & supplements
Whatever your age is, if you are committed to a healthy diet, it will help you look & feel your best, more confident & you can enjoy your life to the fullest.