You are what you eat. But with all the options out there, it can get confusing for those trying to make better choices. This dietary struggle can cause many to just give up, hence why 25.7% of women turn to junk food instead. But women—whose hormone fluctuations can create sensitivity to food—don’t have to overstock their pantry or break their budgets to be healthy. Instead, include these seven basic superfoods to get your fitness started.
An iron-rich root crop, beets can help women who are pregnant or on their period. Because you lose a lot of blood during these times, iron is crucial to prevent anemia. In the long run, this will also result in better energy levels and circulation in your body. Try consuming a glass of beetroot daily to get your fill of Vitamin C and fiber, too.
After centuries of use in Ayurvedic treatments, this golden root has been proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The curcumin found in turmeric fights free radicals that cause disease. The subtle spicy kick it has improves insulin resistance and increases the metabolism, which are both necessary for proper weight loss.
A study by Cornell University recently showed that women who had a blueberry-enriched diet had better muscle growth and repair. Blueberries can also help reduce belly fat and risk of cardiovascular conditions. Women who have a larger waist than hip ratio are more prone to heart attacks as per Harvard Health, which means keeping your waist trim is important.
A protein-packed gluten-free grain, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids you need for protein. Quinoa also comes with iron and magnesium that helps regulate muscle and nerve function. The latter also helps control blood sugar levels. On top of that, quinoa has a low glycemic index which makes it an ideal grain for those with heart disease or diabetes. Though quinoa can be simmered in a pot, this very versatile grain can also be cooked in a rice cooker, along with many other whole grains. Be sure to soak it before putting it on for maximum fluffiness.
If you were to opt for any nut, this should be it. Walnuts have the highest amount of antioxidants and omega-3 of any other nut. According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 1.1 grams of omega-3 a day, and a single ounce of walnuts satisfies this. Observational studies also suggest that eating walnuts can reduce risk of certain cancers, including breast. Since most women are sensitive to dairy, you can even opt for walnut milk which you can make at home.
Gut health is important to keep the body functioning well. Yogurts which have probiotics can boost digestive health and even alleviate bloating, diarrhea, constipation, especially among women. Yogurt is also rich in nutrients and proteins. In one cup of yogurt, you can already consume 49% of the daily calcium needed. However, because many commercial yogurts are pasteurized, sweetened, and then flavored with additives, it may be better to make your own batch at home. Using an electric yogurt maker makes the cooking process much easier and customizable, too.
With over 30% of desirable fats, hemp seeds also provide omega-6 which are essential to the body. These fats help manage blood pressure and inflammatory responses. Just three tablespoons of hemp seeds also contain 11 grams of protein to complete the daily dietary requirements. This is especially helpful for those on a plant-based diet. Hemp seeds are also comprised of 20% soluble fiber which forms a soft gel in the gut. This is beneficial since it promotes good bacteria and reduces blood sugar spikes.
Eating well is the best way to honor your body. By incorporating superfoods in your diet, you are investing in a future where you feel good inside and out! Find these Super Foods in every ThunderBird Bar.