We hear a lot about ’superfoods’ but are some better for women than others? You may not think of some of these as ’super’ at all as they are probably part of your everyday diet, but they can bring you some real benefit if regularly included.
Edamame: These tasty soybean pods are full of fibre, good fats, and isoflavones. These oestrogen-like compounds called isoflavones may help to cool hot flushes. However there is still some debate about whether they are best avoided by women who have had breast cancer.
Kale: Packed into these green leaves are loads of vitamin K, which works with calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong and healthy. One serving has more than 20% of the daily recommended amounts of vitamins A and C.
Asparagus: A good source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone building
Beans: An excellent source protein but without fat and high fibre. They can help to lower your heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Grapefruit: The flavonoids they contain can lower risk for certain kinds of strokes in women, and are helpful for your heart. Half a grapefruit a day is fine, but if you are statin medication they may interfere with the medication if eaten in any quantity.
Blue, red and purple fruit: Yet more flavonoids, as well as antioxidants to prevent cell damage. Found in cherries, blackberries and blueberries they help with brain function and their vitamin C content helps build collagen, and that is what keeps your skin firm and smooth.
Natural yoghurt: Bones need calcium and if your yoghurt also has vitamin D then that will give your bones an even better boost.
Sardines: These contain healthy Omega-3 acids, vitamin D and calcium and also have less mercury than most other fish.
Walnuts: Not just at Christmas, but eaten year round they are full of healthy fatty acids and recommended to reduce cancer risk when part of a balanced diet.
Avocado: A very popular superfood that helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and boost ‘good’ cholesterol. It is also believed to help reduce belly fat as well as benefiting your eyes and skin.
Sweet potato: An excellent source of beta carotene which is an excellent source of vitamin A, as well as vitamin B6, potassium, iron and fibre. If not keen on eating it alone, then combine with ordinary potato in a health giving mash.
Spinach: Its folate content can help lower your risk for dementia, heart disease and colon cancer. If you are prone to eye problems then it is also a good source of lutein, the antioxidant that protects the lens and retina in your eye.
Whether you know they are ’superfoods’ or not, including all these in your diet each week will definitely help you improve your health. If oestrogen dominance is also a factor then switching to a diet that will also tackle that at a dietary level will help your hormones too.