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Seven Superfoods for Women

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

As a woman, you’re tackling PMS, headaches, mood swings, menstrual cramps, energy depletion, and acne - not to mention juggling your job, managing your home, sustaining relationships, and looking stunning while doing it all! Whew! It can get super overwhelming and seem like too much to grapple with. However, there are ways to manage all your stresses successfully and easily.

One of the most important factors is to watch your diet carefully. Everything you eat is a sharp weapon in your wholesome-health armament! Pick the right foods and supercharge your health! There are a whole host of nutritious contenders – all sitting in your pantry. We've rounded up 7 super foods that guarantee to give you that extra edge and ought to be a part of the healthy diet for women – foods high in nutrients!

7 Foods every woman must eat

These 7 foods boast of being extremely beneficial to every woman's health– they help thwart cardiac diseases and diabetes, cancer, boost your immune mechanism, reinforce your bones and give you lovely hair and skin.

Apple: Eat Breakfast The apple tops the list of super foods! Clinical trials show that the apples can help decrease the risk of death from cardiac diseases among women. The studies reveal that women who integrated apples into their daily diet, had lesser abdominal fat and lower blood pressure levels than those who didn't consume apples. So, kick start your day with an apple or satisfy the mid-afternoon hunger pangs with fresh apple juice.

Turmeric: Curcumin in this golden spice is a robust antioxidant that has powerful anti-cancer properties. Curcumin is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Chronic inflammation is responsible for metastasis of cancer; curcumin's anti-inflammatory abilities diminish the formation of breast cancer significantly. Tata Sampann Haldi Powder comes from the fields of Salem and contains natural oils. What’s more, each packet of turmeric offers at least 3% curcumin – it should be a part of healthy diet for women. Have a turmeric latte or haldi doodh at bedtime and use copious quantities of the golden spice in your dals, gravies, and curries.

Beans: The beans are foods high in nutrients and must be an integral part of your diet plan. Contrasting to animal sources, beans do not contain unhealthy fats. Studies demonstrate that women who consume beans and lentils, a minimum of 5 times a week have a 22% reduced risk of developing cardiac disorders compared to those who consumed hardly any beans. In fact, consuming 1 cup of beans every day can help bring down levels of bad cholesterol by 5%. Thus, it is very essential to include legumes into your diet, more so for the peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Beet: Radish A nutritional champion, the beets are an exceptional source of betaine – which gives the root its vivid maroon color and makes it a formidable antioxidant and a robust anti-inflammatory agent. It battles inflammation, steadies your blood sugar profile, fires up your metabolism, helps shut down genes that persuade fat to accumulate, and peps up your mood. Whether you are already in love with the veggie or are trying to like it, including loads of it into your diet is a prudent move! Add beets to your recipes to lend them a vibrant color, great taste and loads of nutrients.

Sweet potatoes: Women are at a bigger risk for eye related diseases such as macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma. What’s more, women also face a higher risk for various health conditions which are known to have a detrimental effect on vision, such as diabetes mellitus. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, a precursor for vitamin A, which protects and maintains good eye health. Half a cup of the tuber gives you 80 % of your daily requirement of the vitamin. Additionally, sweet potatoes also contain carotenoids which proffer you a healthier, and a more radiant skin! So, include sweet potatoes into your diet plans.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are the ideal super food – they need to be consumed in tiny amounts to reap mega benefits! 1 ounce of the seeds provides 8 grams of protein and 23% of the daily requirement of iron! The protein can help you get fabulous skin and hair, stay lean and become fit. Iron is necessary to help your body make blood. This can help make up for the blood which is lost during your period and is required when you’re pregnant as it helps ferry oxygen to your baby. Top your yogurt with 2 spoons of pumpkin seeds and mix in some fruits for a healthy snack.

Cinnamon: Alzheimer's is genetic and if the condition runs in your family, it is very vital that you make alterations to your lifestyle to cut down on your risk. Cinnamon can help you in this quest. The pro-anthocyanidins and cinnamaldehyde in the condiment have the potent ability to slow up the development of Alzheimer's-causing protein aggregates and consequently decelerate the onset and progress of the disease-condition. Add a dash of the spice to your smoothies, desserts and gravies.

Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your family and other responsibilities. Pick up these foods the next time you go shopping to stay healthy and fit!



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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Diet, exercise and sunlight: Three factors women shouldn’t ignore for good bone health

Dr. Dharini Krishnan

Dr. Dharini Krishnan
11 January 2021

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Barring a significant injury or fracture, we rarely tend to think about bone health. Yet, for women, particularly those who are middle-aged or older, this is a vital concern because of the risk of osteoporosis.

In 2013, it was estimated that there were 50 million Indians who were osteoporotic or having low bone mass. Some studies have found that the prevalence of osteoporosis could be as high as 42.5% in women over the age of 50.

Osteoporosis and health complications

Eat Breakfast

Osteoporosis comes from the Latin for “porous bone”, and is a condition where bone tissue loses its density, and becomes weaker and more fragile. Such bones are easily susceptible to breaks, resulting in pain, disability and loss of functionality in everyday life.

Bones, which form the primary supporting framework of the body, grow from birth till our early twenties, which is the period of peak bone mass. Bone is an active tissue that undergoes regular replacement in conditions of health.

In osteoporosis, however, bone formation is outpaced by bone loss, leading to porosity or thinness of bone tissue and brittle bones. Such bones could easily be fractured even in the absence of significant trauma. Such fractures tend to reduce mobility and lead to increased hospitalization and dependence on others.

Why osteoporosis affects women more

Women are particular at risk for osteoporosis because they have lesser bone mass to start with. The geometry and structure of bone have also been increasingly recognized as important risk factors for fracture.

The risk of osteoporosis significantly rises during menopause because of the hormonal changes women undergo at the time. This is because estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone health, and the secretion of this hormone falls drastically during menopause.

The importance of protein and calcium in the diet

Skin Care

For some time now, awareness of the importance of calcium for bone health has been growing. Hence, women are advised to consume sufficient amounts of dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya products and nuts.

What many don’t realise is that sufficient levels of protein are just as important for strong bones. After all, protein makes up roughly 50% of bone volume and about one-third of its mass. Daily intake of protein is also necessary to provide the raw materials for bone formation. Unfortunately, research shows that the levels of dietary protein consumed by Indians are actually reducing.

For non-vegetarians chicken, fish and eggs are good sources of protein. For vegetarians, pulses are one of the primary sources of protein, along with dairy products. Daily intake of protein in at least two major meals of the day, particularly in healthy forms such as sambhar or dal is, therefore, vital.

The role of exercise and sunlight

Eat Breakfast

Bone health also requires good muscle health. This makes it necessary to undertake moderate exercise as often as possible. A 45-minute walk six days a week as well as resistance training using the body weight, such as surya namaskaras, can go a long way to building muscles. Importantly, the body also requires Vitamin D to mobilize calcium for bone health. Hence, exposure to peak sunlight between 11am and 3 pm at least twice a week is also vital for bone health.

Osteoporosis can be a serious health problem that disrupts life and limits mobility, particularly for women. However, a healthy diet, rich in calcium and protein, together with exercise, can go a long way in maintaining bone health.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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