Top 10 Superfoods For Women

International Women’s Day celebrates achievements of women throughout history and across nations. Originally known as International Working Women's Day, it celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. World over women successfully multitask entire day — they hold high power jobs and nourish their families by providing them sustenance with lovingly prepared meals. In earlier days, Hindu mythology referred to one of the roles to be played by women was that of Annapurna, the provider of food and nourishment.

Eating healthy is important for a woman’s body and mind as it gives her energy to do umpteen tasks throughout the day, supports her mood, maintains her body weight, and keeps her looking and feeling good. It also supports the transition a woman goes through during the different stages of her life. Irrespective of any age group, committing to a healthy diet will help her to be best physically and mentally so that she stays on top of her commitments and enjoys life.

Eating healthy starts with a well-balanced diet comprising a variety of foods that adequately meets women’s needs for carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. For overall good health, women need to pay special attention to calcium, iron and folate (folic acid) intake.

On the occasion of International Woman’s Day,Wicked Spoon Confessions lists 10 Superfoods for Women to be included regularly in their diet.

1. Almonds

Almonds are highly nutritious as they have a high content of oleic acid, folic acid, vitamin E and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Calcium is the main mineral which helps in toning up muscles and bones and preventing osteoporosis. Folic acid reduces the chances of cervical cancer.

2. Lentils

Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse and a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and an excellent source of several important minerals, B-vitamins and lean protein. Lentils contain dietary fiber which has beneficial effects on the digestive system while the magnesium and folate content help in cardiovascular health. Regular consumption increases energy by boosting iron store and also provide slow burning complex carbs that help balance blood sugar levels.

3. Spinach

Spinach is well-known for its nutritional qualities and a remarkable ability to replenish energy, improve vitality and the quality of blood mainly due to the high iron content which plays a key role in the function of red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen around the body and production of energy. Spinach is also a good source of folic acid and minerals such as manganese, magnesium and calcium and is rich in vitamin A and vitamin K which help in bone health.

4. Avocados

Avocado is an excellent fruit for women as it contains vitamins and minerals to boost overall health. The vitamin B6 in avocado is important for women as a lack of this vitamin often leads to developing anemia. Its calcium content helps in bone development and the magnesium boosts immunity and keeps the bones strong.

5. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals such as zinc and magnesium. Zinc is required for a healthy immune system and healing wounds while Magnesium is required for bone strength. Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens which studies indicate might help to increase good HDL cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure.

6. Chicken

In addition to being delicious, Chicken is a powerhouse of protein and one of the most important macro-nutrients while being low in fat (without skin) compared to other meats. Being an important source of essential amino acid, vitamin and minerals like phosphorous, calcium and selenium, chicken consumption helps keep bones healthy. The vitamin B6 promotes heart health. Having a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup gives instant relief from common cold and flu too.

7. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a mood elevator as it contains phenylethylamine (PEA) which is the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA stimulates your brain to release endorphin, which make you feel happy. It also contains antioxidants that help to prevent premature aging. Studies also indicate that dark chocolates lower your blood pressure and improves blood flow.

8. Berries

Berries are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols and have a long list of health benefits. The flavonoid content in berries helps in cardiovascular health and the high content of carotenoids have a positive effect on bone density. It also contains cancer fighting ellagic acid and studies indicate that consumption of berries help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

9. Olive Oil

Olive oil consumption can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. It contains oleocanthal, a phytonutrient which mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation. A high consumption of olive oil helps individuals suffering and also averting the onset of osteoporosis as it helps improve bone mineralisation and calcification. There is evidence that diabetes is best controlled by a diet rich in olive oil, as it lowers “bad” low-density lipoprotein while improving blood sugar control and boosts insulin sensitivity.

10. Bulgar Wheat

Bulgar wheat is a nutritious addition to ones diet as it is a good source of fiber, protein, iron and vitamin B-6. According to the Harvard School of Public Health consumption of Bulgar, may lower the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.