Good health is key for a longer, happier life, but we often forget that the secret to good health isn’t hidden in a lab somewhere. Many times, the reason why we feel tired, sad, and unproductive, and why we experience seemingly unexplainable health problems, is simple: poor nutrition.
Our modern lives don’t always go hand in hand with healthy, mindful eating. Stuck between daily commutes, stressful 9-to-5 jobs, and family responsibilities, we forget to eat healthy and resort to all sorts of snacks, sugary drinks, and processed foods. While these options may be quick and provide momentary satisfaction, they aren’t doing your health any good in the long run.
Food is fuel for your body. In the same way that putting low-quality fuel causes a car to break down, unhealthy food affects your energy, mood, skin, and internal organs. It can make you feel irritable, sad, angry, and increase the risk of MANY health conditions.
What’s more, a diet that’s not adapted to your age, lifestyle, and health conditions can be just as harmful. For best results, it’s important to have your nutritional needs assessed by a nutritional therapist, who can help you create a bespoke diet.
Best power foods for women
Genetics aside, there are many foods that can help you stay in shape and lower the risk of certain health conditions that are common among women. Here are a few of the power foods that can improve your life:
- Omega-3 rich foods such as salmon and nuts are not only great for heart health, but for your reproductive health, too. Beans and eggs have also been proven to increase fertility and feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are an important ally in the fight against acne, which, contrary to common belief, can appear at all ages. Kale and brown rice can also help clear your breakouts, as can foods that are rich in zinc (lean meats, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains).
- Whole fat dairy products don’t make you fat. In general, their naturally occurring fats are beneficial for your health and can also regulate estrogen levels during menopause. If lactose causes you trouble, chose goats milk products, as their proteins and fats are easier to process and absorb. Other essential foods during menopause include flax seeds, chickpeas, chia seeds, and whole grains.
- Broccoli may help reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing a specific type of estrogen.
Habits to avoid
The number one myth that women need to stop believing is that food is the enemy of a slim body and that you need to starve yourself to lose weight. In reality, a balanced diet is key to staying in shape. Regardless of whether you’re working out or not, try to avoid highly-refined carbs, saturated fats, and liquid sugars. Things like sugary cereals and fruit juices may look healthy, but they harm your health in the long run. Last, but not least, try to develop a healthy relationship with food. Emotional eating or stress eating can become harmful coping mechanisms that not only make you put on weight, but also affect your mental wellbeing and prevent you from dealing with stress in a healthy way. Optimising your nutrient intake usually has a range of positive side-effects; losing some weight is only one of them.