No one ever said being a woman was easy. You’ve got to juggle ten thousand things and also make it look completely effortless. But the main thing you have to juggle? Your health.
Unfortunately, there’s historically a shortage of research when it comes to women’s health. According to The Guardian, “only one-third of cardiovascular clinical trial subjects are female and only 31% of cardiovascular clinical trials that include women report results by sex”.
But what little we do know shows us that women metabolize prescriptions differently than men, have increased risk of lung cancer and Alzheimer’s than men, and experience different endocrine changes throughout life, like menopause.
This is why it’s important to get vitamins and nutrients that, while beneficial for everyone, are uniquely beneficial for women.
Without further ado, here are Sam’s picks (our lead RD!) for the best foods to get the nutrients you need.
1) Healthy Food Pick: Leafy greens
Why: “Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and swiss chard are an excellent source of an array of nutrients, including fiber, folate, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin K. Especially for women of child-bearing age, folate is essential.”
How to eat them every day: “The great thing about leafy greens is that they’re incredibly versatile, so you can sauté them in some grass-fed butter or avocado oil, add them to a smoothie, or make them the base of a salad. You can also use certain types of lettuce for lettuce wraps for a low carb, nutrient-dense take on a traditional sandwich or taco. Tons of possibilities!”
2) Healthy Food Pick: Berries
Why: “Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and more. Some studies show that regular consumption of berries may help protect against breast cancer.”
How to eat them every day: “Berries are great as a snack with some nuts or deli turkey, but you can also add them to smoothies, toss them into salads for an added burst of flavor and crunch, or eat them alongside your meal. Their sweet flavor makes them a great dessert stand-in, too! I love pairing berries with whipped cream made from coconut milk or a bit of yogurt (full-fat or coconut-based) for an evening treat.”
3) Healthy Food Pick: High-quality protein
Why: “High-quality protein can include anything from wild-caught salmon, pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken or pastured pork. Women especially tend to neglect this nutrient, opting for portions that are too small or leaving it out entirely. Protein is essential for satiety, and it has important functions in the body, from muscle building to transporting and storing nutrients and boosting immune health.”
How to eat it every day: “I recommend incorporating 4-6 ounces of protein at each meal, and it’s pretty easy to do! We design all of our meals at Snap Kitchen to include a healthy balance of high-quality, responsibly-sourced protein with veggies and healthy fats. You can top your salad with protein or simply pair with your veggies of choice. If you’re in a pinch, you can add collagen peptides or whey protein powder to a smoothie.”
4) Healthy Food Pick: Healthy Fats
Why: “Healthy fats like grass-fed butter/ghee or avocado oil are essential for hormone and brain health, as well as satiety. Fat is another nutrient that women often don’t eat enough of since it is higher in calories compared to protein and carbohydrates. Fats are essential to optimal hormone function in women, so it’s important to include them at every meal.”
How to eat them every day: “As far as cooking fats are concerned, you can cook your veggies in them, or make a homemade salad dressing. You can also choose fats like avocado, olives, coconut or nuts and seeds and simply add them to your plate in addition to veggies and healthy fat. You can also add avocado or coconut to your smoothie for a boost of nutrients and healthy fat.”
Think of any more that you like to add to your daily routine? Let us know in the comments below!
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