There are certain dietary needs for women that differ from that of men. Women are more prone to iron deficiencies, categorized as clinical anemia. This affects attention, focus and memory just to name a few. Calcium deficiencies are also very common in the female population. The following is a list of 10 female friendly foods that come highly recommended for women to eat on a daily basis for optimal health and well-being.
1. Fermented Dairy Products
Fermented dairy products such as yogurt, hard cheese, cultured cream, cottage cheese and kefir are especially valuable for the calcium they contain. Fermentation makes the calcium more readily digestible vs. calcium from non-fermented dairy products. Women need extra calcium to prevent or at least slow the onset of osteoporosis in middle age. Cultured dairy products also lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, as well as provide additional energy. The best sources of fermented dairy can be from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk or cow’s milk.
2. Red Meat
Clinical and subclinical anemia is caused by a chronic deficiency in iron. Iron deficiency contributes to poor memory, attention deficit, irritability and fatigue. One reliable source of iron is red meat, including:
What about women who are vegetarian or vegan? Studies have found that leafy vegetables that are dark green and dried beans are not only good sources of plant-based iron – on a per calorie basis they are actually a better source than red meat. It takes 1,700 calories from sirloin steak to equal the amount of iron in 100 calories from fresh spinach.
3. Wild-caught Fish
Wild-caught fish is much higher in valuable nutrients when compared to farm raised fish. Nutrients in wild-caught fish are higher in:
- Omega 3 fat
When you shop for fresh fish, look for the labels that identify wild or line-caught vs. farm-raised. Fish from Alaska is especially healthy; as it comes from a pristine and natural environment and is considered genuinely organic.
4. Canned Fish
Canned fish such as low-mercury tuna and sardines may be an acquired taste for some, but they are a great resource of calcium as well as Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. Selenium is a natural antioxidant and protects cells from age-related damage in women. Note that many canned tunas are very high in mercury, so read labels carefully.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Flaxseeds and walnuts are particularly high in Omega 3 fatty acids and are a reliable source of insoluble fiber. Black sesame seeds and almonds also fall into this category. Women with diets are rich in nuts and seeds are likely to avoid constipation and colon-rectal cancers.
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are high in iron; they are also a good source of magnesium, vital enzymes, minerals and vitamins. The darker green the salad, the more nutritious it is. Spinach, romaine lettuce, butterhead and red leaf lettuces are best. Crisphead and iceberg lettuces contain almost zero nutrients! Women who eat enough dark green leafy vegetables have stronger bones, healthier hearts and arteries, lower blood pressure and sufficient insulin production.
7. Fruits and Veggies
Eating fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, particularly during menstrual cycles help the female body naturally cleanse and detox itself. Veggies that are calcium and magnesium rich also help with menstrual cramps and muscle spasms. Fruit contains natural anti-inflammatory properties such as Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which strengthen blood vessels as well as improves blood circulation.
8. Complex Carbs
Complex carbohydrates like beans, whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruit can minimize and even altogether prevent premenstrual symptoms and cramps. Complex carbs offer more relief from these uncomfortable symptoms than animal-based proteins.
9. Fermented Soy
Fermentation of foods enriches the amino acid, protein, vitamin and essential fatty acid content as compared to non-fermented versions of the same food. Fermented soy foods like tempeh, miso and natto originated in the Far East many centuries ago for their medicinal and health benefits. In particular, fermented soy helps relieve the unpleasant symptoms of menopause including night sweats, hot flashes, irritability and even age-related bone loss.
10. Oat Fiber
Oat fiber contains beta glucans, which are classified as complex carbohydrates. Barley, oats and yeast all contain this vital nutrient. Beta glucans boost the immune system and support healthy cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
These 10 female friendly foods have been studied extensively and proven to significantly support the health of women, especially when compared to women whose diets are lacking in these particular elements. Overall health, brain function, lifespan and quality of life is better for women who consume these nutrients on a daily basis. Organic and sustainably raised vegetables, meats and fruits are higher in these nutrients and widely prescribed for women by their doctors and nutritionists for improved health, weight management and overall wellness.