You’ve likely come across the word “superfoods.” But what does it really mean and how do these foods affect your health?
Superfoods contain high levels of nutrients and can help fight disease, prolong life, reduce the effects of aging, keep you at a healthy weight and help you feel better with improved energy. View the slideshow to learn about eight superfoods that are especially helpful for women.
Good for prenatal health: Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and arugula are chock-full of folate, which helps stimulate cell growth and red blood cell production, in addition to preventing birth defects – all key to a healthy pregnancy.
Good for maintaining a healthy weight: Avocado
Besides being high in nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium, avocados also assist in maintaining a healthy weight by helping you feel full longer. Because avocados are high in calories and fat, you need to watch portion sizes – one serving size is about a third of a medium-size avocado.
Good for reducing inflammation: Salmon
Thanks to high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, salmon may help reduce inflammation throughout the body and lower your risk for heart disease. It’s also a great source of protein, high in B vitamins and a good source of potassium.
Good for stronger bones: Citrus fruits
Did you know vitamin C helps prevent bone loss? This is especially important for women as bone loss occurs naturally with age. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C – just one grapefruit has 88 milligrams, which is the amount you need for an entire day. A navel orange is another great option with 83 milligrams of vitamin C.
Good for beating PMS: Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium, which can help relieve PMS symptoms including irritability, anxiety and depression. Magnesium can also ease breast tenderness and headaches, reduce sugar cravings and soothe painful cramps.
Good for keeping your mind sharp: Blueberries
Anthocyanidins are a powerful antioxidant that give blueberries their rich color along with their ability to help lower inflammation in the body and help prevent mental decline. They can also protect your body against heart disease and diabetes.
Good for upset stomach and bloating: Ginger
Many women experience upset stomach and bloating around that time of the month. Ginger can help alleviate these symptoms. As a natural anti-inflammatory, it can relieve abdominal bloating, pain and discomfort while supporting healthy digestion.
Good for stress/mood: Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols – an antioxidant that has been shown to lower stress levels. Make sure you pick a high-quality dark chocolate with at least 68% cacao content for the most health benefit.
Boost your nutrition with Edward-Elmhurst Health
Slide 9: Boost your nutrition with Edward-Elmhurst Health
Edward-Elmhurst Health provides the full range of women’s health services, including expert care for nutrition and dietary needs. Our dietitians are available to help you modify your diet or learn about ways you can get more from the foods you eat. To learn more, visit us online or call 630-527-6363.