Top 15 Foods for Women's Health

Top 15 Foods for Women's Health

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Throughout various ages and stages, women need to focus on certain nutrients to keep healthy and energized.

Genetics aside, there are many things a woman can do to promote a healthy body, including not smoking, drinking in moderation, maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising moderately several times a week, and eating a balanced diet.

Here are the top foods women should look to get more of in their diet to combat the most prevalent female health issues, along with 15 delicious recipes.

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Eggs

EggsEggs are a powerhouse of nutrition for women as a source of easily digestible protein, healthy fats and choline, a nutrient that’s been linked to lower rates of breast cancer. Start your day with omega-3, cage-free eggs when possible for the most nutritious, helpful option.

Get the recipe for Smoky Chickpeas on Grilled Toast with Poached Eggs & Zahtar

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Plain Yogurt

Plain YogurtUnsweetened, plain yogurt is rich in calcium and magnesium to help maintain and build strong bones. These nutrients are especially important for those in their child-bearing and post-menopausal years when requirements for calcium go up. Without added sugar, plain yogurt also delivers probiotics for total body health. Devour yogurt for breakfast with granola, mix into a salad dressing at lunch, use as a creamy veggie dip or use in a uniquely and healthy dessert.

Get the recipe for Strawberry Kiwi Greek Yogurt Popsicles

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous VegetablesCruciferous vegetables are rich in anti-cancer compounds, essential for women of all ages. Their high amounts vitamin C, A and E also help to stop free radical damage, keeping skin looking youthful. From kale to broccoli to cauliflower, there’s endless possibilities for incorporating more cruciferous veggies in your daily diet.

Get this recipe for Moroccan-Spiced Cauliflower Bites

Flaxseed

FlaxseedFlaxseeds are a plant-based source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytoestrogens, nutrients safe for most healthy women. The healthy fats and fibre in flaxseeds also work to keep skin supple and hydrated. Buy whole flaxseed and grind fresh just before using (they need to be ground to be absorbed) to avoid oxidation.

Get the recipe for Apple Carrot and Flax Muffins

Lentils

LentilsWomen should reach for lentils at least once a week for balanced blood sugar, weight maintenance, cancer preventative compounds, lean protein and plant-based iron. Red, black, green and brown, there are as many varieties of lentils as there are recipes, so getting bored of this humble legume won’t be an issue.

Get the recipe for Giada De Laurentiis' Italian Lentil Salad

Olive Oil

Olive OilCardiovascular disease is a serious health concern that all women should pay careful attention to, no matter their age. EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, compounds that help to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol for a well-functioning cardiovascular system, including a healthy heart. No salad is complete without a little olive oil dressing, so reach for the good stuff next time you’re craving something super-fresh.

Get the recipe for Salad Niçoise with Dijon Lemon Dressing

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark Leafy GreensKale and other dark leafy greens are a source of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A, all nutrients that women need to consume every day. These versatile veggies also contain many phytonutrients that have been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Add dark leafy greens to smoothies, salads, side dishes, pasta and more, just a handful a day does a world of good.

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay's Heartland Chopped Salad

Asparagus

AsparagusAsparagus is a source of folate, a nutrient that women in their childbearing years need to make sure they get enough of to set them up for a healthy pregnancy — even if it’s not on the agenda for a few years! This low-calorie veggie is also a source of prebiotic fibre, food for probiotics, contributing to proper immune function and absorption of the many essential women’s health nutrients.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Asparagus & Radish Salad with Avocado Tarragon Dressing

Dark Chocolate

Dark ChocolateRejoice; dark chocolate is a women’s health superfood! The flavonoids in cocoa work to reduce the risk of arterial clogs in women by stopping blood platelets from sticking together. Dark chocolate also provides a mild energy boost to keep you going stronger, longer. Choose chocolate with at least 70% cocoa (just an ounce or two a day) for best results.

Get the recipe for Dark Chocolate & Nut Granola

Coffee

CoffeeWomen who relax (or rush off) with a morning cup of Joe may have a lower risk of mortality, according to the National Cancer Institute. It’s important to drink your coffee black, skip the cream and sugar, and stick to one or two cups per day to get the most out of this antioxidant-packed brew though. When you do feel like indulging, skip the coffee house and blend up a healthier iced latte at home a more wholesome cup.

Get the recipe for the Healthy Vanilla Latte Smoothie

Blueberries

BlueberriesWomen who eat blueberries receive age-defying, heart health-promoting antioxidants in just half a cup per day, whether eaten fresh or frozen (unsweetened). The many wholesome compounds in blueberries can also help to prevent urinary tract infections, memory loss and certain types of cancers. With more than double the amount of antioxidants than most fruits, blueberries are a clear choice when it comes to women’s health. Get your fill on top of oatmeal, yogurt, tossed in a salad or baked up into something sweet.

Get the recipe for Healthy Blueberry Mini Muffins

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