Super Foods for Super Women – Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

 

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ashley and I thought it would be the perfect time to do a feature on Women’s Health.

Us ladies work our butts off! We are strong, smart, creative women and the best way to keep us moving is to fuel our bodies to be their best and brightest. A lot of us tend to spend so much time worrying about getting everything so perfect in our lives – I think sometimes we just need to take a step back and really remember how lucky we are to be us! We may miss deadlines, forget phone calls, break heels… burn dinners… but we are still pretty darn cool. And strong. And we sure as hell know how to have fun!

So today I’m going to let Ashley, RD take the stage and show off some of her own girl power smarts! She’s come up with a great read for you all today full of tips to fueling our bodies to be their best.

Hi guys!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I love any opportunity to shed light on women’s health and girl power.   These recommendations aren’t necessarily geared toward breast-cancer prevention specifically, but more towards women’s health in general.  Women need fewer calories but more nutrients than men to be at their best.  Real fair right?!  There are several key nutrients that women need in greater amounts to improve overall well-being and prevent health conditions down the road: calcium, vitamin D, iron, folate, vitamin C.

1.)   Calcium - We all know we need calcium for strong bones. But women at menopause need it even more! Lower levels of estrogen make it harder to keep calcium in your bones. And its just as important for us younger ladies too – the stronger our bones are now, the stronger our bones will be later when we hit menopause.

2.)   Vitamin D – We need Vitamin D to help maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in our blood, and keep our bones strong. It also may help maintain a healthy immune system and help healthy cell growth and development!

3.)   Iron - Iron helps our blood carry oxygen throughout our body. If you don’t get enough iron in your diet, you may feel fatigued. We absorb iron best from meat and fish. Nonmeat eaters can get their iron from from iron-rich sources such as almonds, apricots, beans, fortified bread, broccoli, lentils, fortified oatmeal, raisins, rice, spinach and tofu.  To boost absorption, combine iron-rich foods with orange juice and other foods that contain vitamin C.

4.)   Folate – This nutrient helps make red blood cells, prevent birth defects such as neural tube defects and spina bifida, and lower homocysteine levels.  Dark greens provide the highest amounts of folate.  Other foods rich in this B vitamin include navy beans, oranges, and fortified grains.

 

 

So what are Ashley’s picks for best Super Foods for women? Check out the slideshow below!

Super Foods For Super Women

Low Fat Yogurt

What It Does:

Fermented dairy products — including kefir — contain healthy “probiotics” — bacteria with the power to protect you in myriad ways. According to experts there is a strong suggestion that yogurt may decrease the risk of breast cancer and can reduce problems associated with irritable bowl syndrome, inflammatory digestive tract disorders, and help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and vaginal infections. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend three servings each day!

Beans

What It Does:

Low in fat, beans are a good source of protein and fiber and may have protective effects against heart disease and breast cancer. Beans may also play a role in stabilizing female hormones.  As a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, Krause says, beans can help lower cholesterol, while their level of a nutrient known as isoflavone can help in the regulation of hormones and may aid with PMS, perimenopause, or menopause symptoms. 

Tomatoes

What It Does:

The powerhouse nutrient in all these fruits is lycopene. While the headlines tout its protective effects against prostate cancer, more quiet research has shown it has tremendous health benefits for women as well. Research is starting to show that lycopene may protect against breast cancer and is also a powerful antioxidant that can help a woman fight heart disease.

Vitamin D fortified low fat milk or orange juice 

What It Does:

Essential to helping the bones absorb calcium from the gut, vitamin D helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and may be vital in reducing the risk of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and tumors of the breast, colon, and ovary

Recent studies from the University of California San Diego suggest that vitamin D has the potential to prevent up to one–half of all breast, colon, and ovarian cancer in the United States.

While Vitamin D is found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, experts say fortified foods, such as milk, are the best source.

Berries

What It Does:

Berries may protect your body with powerful anti-cancer nutrients known as anthocyans, which are believed to play a role in cell repair. Research shows anthocyans may decrease the risk of several cancers, including those in the breast and gastrointestinal tract.

They’re also high in vitamin C and folic acid, which is essential for all women in their childbearing years. And they offer powerful anti-oxidant protection, which not only protects the heart but also may protect against skin aging, from the inside out. Even more, cranberries may help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in women, while the nutrient, lutein found in all the berries, can help protect vision!

 

Here’s a list of some of my favorite recipes packed with Super Foods for Super Women!

 

 Girl Power Bars 

White Bean Nicoise Salad

 

Tomato Bruschetta

 

Blueberry Whole Grain Muffins

 

Berry Papaya Power Parfaits 

 


Comments

  1. Love this post! I definitely love reading about foods that can better our health. Plus, this was a wonderful idea! :)

  2. A wonderful post to raise awareness my friend, thank you :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  3. Such an important post!

  4. Girl power! Whoo! HiYA! Huzzah! Whoopee! I’m done.

  5. This is a great post! Love those Girl Power Granola Bars!

  6. This is a beautiful post for a very important and noble cause!

  7. What a great post! I usually take supplements for all those mentioned, but I need to be better. Or eat more of your great recipes! Thanks so much for sharing! Btw- congrats on your pumpkin bars being featured on tasty kitchen! :)

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