Fabulous Foods for Fabulous Women!
By Amy Otis
ALMONDS: rich in heart-healthy vitamin E and fiber.
APPLES: A good source of pectin, a soluble fiber that provides bulk and digests slowly, helping you feel full.
BLUEBERRIES: contains the most antioxidants of any fruit
BOK CHOY: high in folate
BROCCOLI: great source of cancer fighting phytonutrient
CARROTS: loaded with beta-carotene, low in calories, and rich in fiber.
BROWN RICE: A source of complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained fuel and prevent fatigue. It’s also rich in the B vitamins that help turn food into energy.
FISH: excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids
KIWI FRUIT: most nutrients per calorie of any other fruit !
CANTALOUPE: It satisfies a sweet tooth but is low in calories
OATMEAL: high in fiber, iron and B vitamins
ORANGE JUICE: One of the best drinks there is. Vitamins C, B, potassium, antioxidants, and the list goes on and on! And of course, drink Florida orange juice. (Because that is where I live).
POMEGRANATE JUICE: This juice is delicious and refreshing. It has more antioxidant power than any other drink. Yes, more than red wine, green tea, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, orange juice and Noni juice. Antioxidants are extremely important because they guard your body against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can cause premature aging, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, even cancer.
RAISINS: high in iron and fiber
RED GRAPES: packed with resveratrol, a cancer blocker
SALMON: highest concentration of heart protective omega-3 fatty acids
TEMPEH: soy isoflavones from this fermented soy product
TOFU: full of cholesterol lowering soy isoflavones
YOGURT: full of calcium and “friendly bacteria”
Important Vitamins for Women (and men too).
Vitamin A: (Beta carotene) Essential for good vision, healthy skin, hair, teeth and bones; can also boost immune function and help protect against cancer. Recommended amount: 10,000 IU per day.
B Vitamins, including Folic Acid: Folic Acid, B6 and B12 work together to prevent anemia, manufacture red blood cells and build genetic material. Folic Acid also has been proven to reduce the risk of birth defects. The latest research also shows that these B vitamins may improve memory and reduce levels of homocysteine (a chemical found in the blood that may help predict heart attack and stroke risk), thereby lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. Folic Acid is also being studied as a means to ward off colon and breast cancers. Recommended amount: Folic Acid 0.4 mg. per day, B6 (pyridoxine) 50 mg. per day; B12 300mcg. Per day (micrograms).
Vitamin C: Helps prevent heart disease and cancer. Contributes to wound healing, immune functions, the production of collagen (connective tissue) and healthy gums. It also helps the body absorb iron. Recommended amount: 500 mg. per day
Vitamin D: Maintains healthy bones (by helping your body to absorb calcium) and promotes immune function; may help protect against the loss of lean muscle mass associated with aging. New research suggests it may also protect against breast and colon cancers. Recommended amount: 400 IU per day
Vitamin E: Helps form red blood cells, muscle and other tissues. In large quantities, it may protect against cancer causing cell changes, reduce your risk of heart disease and enhance immune function. New research indicates that E also may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and be a useful therapy for diabetes (it improves glucose control) and arthritis (it reduces inflammation). Recommended amount: 400 IU per day. Do not exceed 400 IU per day without the advice of your doctor.
Folic Acid: Take 0.4 mg daily when trying to get pregnant as this prevents some birth defects.
Important Minerals for Everyone
As with vitamins, it can be difficult, to get the amounts of minerals needed for optimum health through diet alone. Mineral supplements can help you make sure you are getting all the minerals your body requires. Below is a list of essential minerals we recommend.
Calcium: Calcium is vital for the formation of strong bones and teeth and for the maintenance of healthy gums. It is also important in the maintenance of a regular heartbeat and the transmission of nerve impulses. Calcium lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. It may increase the rate of bone growth and bone mineral density and children. It may lower blood pressure and prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis as well. RDA: 1000 mg. per day, 1500 mg. per day after menopause.
Magnesium: Magnesium assists in calcium and potassium uptake. Supplementing the diet with magnesium can help prevent depression, dizziness, muscle weakness and twitching, and premenstrual syndrome, and also aids in maintaining the body’s proper pH balance. Recommended amount: 750 mg. per day. Potassium Role: This mineral is important for a healthy nervous system and a regular heart rhythm. It helps prevent stroke, aids in proper muscle contraction and works with sodium to control the body’s water balance.
Selenium: Selenium’s primary function is to prohibit the oxidation of lipids (fats). A vital antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. It protects the immune system by preventing the formation of free radicals, which can damage the body. It has also been found to function as a preventive against the formation of certain types of tumors. Selenium and vitamin E act synergistically to aid in the production of antibodies and to help maintain a healthy heart and liver. This trace element is needed for pancreatic function and tissue elasticity. Recommended amount: 200 mcg. (micrograms) per day
Potassium: Important for chemical reactions within the cells and aids in maintaining stable blood pressure. Recommended amount: 50 mg. per day
Iron: Perhaps the most important of irons functions in the body is the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin and the oxygenation of red blood cells. Iron is the mineral found in the largest amounts of the blood. It is essential for many enzymes, including catalase, and is important for growth. Iron is also required for a healthy immune system and for energy production. Recommended amount: 30 mg. per day (if you take a supplement, this can cause black-looking feces and constipation).
Zinc: Assists with digestion and metabolism. This important mineral may help prevent acne and regulate the activity of the oil glands. It promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. It protects the liver from chemical damage and is vital for bone formation. Recommended amount: 15-50 mg. per day. The above dosage recommendations vary from source to source. Taking these vitamins individually may be costly and time consuming. Look for a balanced vitamin preparation with which you are comfortable. Ask your pharmacist for recommendations.
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