By Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
“Superfood” is a big buzz word these days to describe nutrient-packed foods that work hard to project us from disease. The 6 foods listed below are particularly beneficial for women. Eating right is not limited to eating a handful of foods, but rather is the health quality of the entire diet over time.
Low-Fat Yogurt: Did you know? One in every three women after age 50 will fracture a bone because of osteoporosis. Yogurt contains as much bone-building calcium as a cup of milk. Yogurt contains “probiotics” or friendly bacteria which are good for our digestive tract and immune system.
<!–////–>The best place to get the right bacteria is in plain, nonfat yogurt. Look for the words “live cultures” on the yogurt container. Eat 3-5 servings of low-fat yogurt a week. Eat your yogurt plain or sweeten with fresh fruit or a high fiber cereal. Use yogurt in smoothies or as a topping with fruit on pancakes. You can also use yogurt as an ingredient substitution for sour cream or mayonnaise in some recipes.
Fatty Fish: Did you know? Fatty Fish is the best source of superfats called omega-3s which benefit everything from our heart health to mental health. Omega-3’s help the brain develop properly, which is critical in during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Omega-3s also boost levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, and might lower Alzheimer’s risk by up to 60%! Include at least two 4-ounce servings a week in your meal plan: top a spinach salad with sliced salmon, red onions, mushrooms and walnuts and toss in a light vinaigrette made with olive oil. If fish isn’t your thing, choose foods fortified with the omega-3 fat DHA, like Egglands Best Eggs or some soy milks.
Beans: Did you know? Beans are a virtually fat-free source of protein. They rich in fiber and nutrients, supplying more than half a day’s requirement for folic acid which is an extremely imp vitamin for women in child-bearing years. How to include more in your diet: Heat refried black or pinto beans with cheese on top of corn tortillas for a healthy tostada. Add a 1-2 tbsp of healthy guacamole. Sprinkle chickpeas or white beans on top of salads or serve hot on top or rice.
Did you know? The red pigment in tomatoes comes from the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant which can protect our hearts and new evidence shows lycopene can fight breast cancer as well. Lycopene is absorbed 2.5 times better from processed tomato products than from fresh tomatoes. Try to get 3-5 servings or more a week, so add vine-ripened tomatoes to salads and sandwiches. For a dinner, spread tomato sauce on a toasted English muffin, top with low-fat cheese, and broil until cheese bubbles. Let your kids take their pick of toppings for their mini pizzas.
Vitamin D fortified low-fat milk or orange juice:
Did you know? That most of us don’t get enough of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D? Vitamin D is particularly imp for women because it may substantially cut the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Fortified foods like milk and OJ are some of the best sources.
Berries: Did you know? Berries have more antioxidant muscle power than most other fruits? Antioxidants strengthen our cells against oxidation and inflammation, which are responsible for most age-related diseases, from heart disease to cancer All berries help lower risk for breast, oral, and colon cancers in women. Frozen berries are tasty for an after dinner snack or toss them on a salad or on top of waffles or breakfast cereal. Eat 3-4 servings per week
Easiest Dessert I Ever Made:
Key Lime Yogurt Pie
Ingredients: 4-5 light Yoplait Key Lime Pie yogurts 1- 8oz Container of Light Cool-Whip ½ cup chopped pistachios 1 freshly squeezed lime
1 Graham Cracker crust.
Directions: Combine first 4 ingredients and pour into crust. Freeze 3 hours, and let thaw 20-30 minutes before serving. Slice and serve, delish!