Nutrition for Women
Well balanced meals provide you with your nutritional needs and support you through all your life stages.
Benefits of consuming healthy and well balanced meals for women:
Support your immunity Maintain your healthy weight Support your heart health Support your bone health and reduce your risk for osteoporosis Reduce your risk for cancer Reduce your risk for diabetes Boost your brain functions Boost your fertility Lower stress Meets your pregnancy and lactation nutritional needs Improve your skin, teeth and hair Ease menopause symptoms Support your activities and work performance
Well balance and healthy meals includewhole grains and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, lean meat or skinless poultry, sea foods, low fat or non-fat milk and its products and fluids. All these will provide you with energy and make you look and feel the best at all your age stages.
General Nutrition Tips for Women Health:
Support your bones. Dairy products, preferred low-fat or non-fat are the best sources for calcium which is the main building nutrient for bones. You need to consume 2 – 3 cups of low-fat or non-fat milk or Laban or yogurt per day. This amount should be increased to 4 cups per day in case of pregnancy or lactation. Milk products are fortified with vitamin D that helps calcium to be deposited in the bones. Other sources of calcium are sardines with bones, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Exposure to sunlight for 15 minutes a day will help your body make vitamin D. Other sources of vitamin D are sardines with bones, egg yolk, fortified cereals, and salmon fish. Regular exercise supports your bone health and provides your body with many health benefits. Smoking, alcohol, excessive of intake of salt, lack of activity, excessive of intake of caffeine and meat, all decrease your bones density and increase your risks for osteoporosis. Include fiber rich foods in your daily meals,such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cereals and legumes, such as lentils, beans and hummus. Fiber makes you feel full, reduces your hunger, prevents constipation, lowers sugar and fat absorption from your intestines and reduces your risks for heart diseases and some types of cancer. In addition, fiber rich foods provide your body with many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Get enough iron. Iron is needed for women nutrition and health as they lose it during menstruation and delivery. Iron is found in red meat, legumes, such as lentils and beans, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk and fortified cereals. The absorption of iron for plant sources is not optimal. Vitamin C rich food such as citrus helps plant iron to be absorbed. Caffeine reduces iron absorption. Accordingly, it is recommended to consume caffeine containing beverages in moderation such as tea, coffee, coco and cola. Decaffeinated beverages are good options as they are caffeine free and contain antioxidants. Consume your healthy meals and snacks regularly. This will you maintain your health, avoid weight gain and other nutritional problems. The meals should contain low-fat or non-fat dairy products, whole grains and cereals, lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables and healthy oils. This pattern will provide you with the necessary complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The meals also should contain less sugar, saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol and salt to reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and cancer. Boost your meals with complex carbohydrates:these provide your body with many nutrients that regulate your blood sugar, make you feel full and provide you with long lasting energy. Simple carbohydrates such as sugar, sweets, jam, white rice, pies, and white flour, make fluctuations in blood sugar level, don’t support your immunity, don’t satiny your appetite or maintain your healthy body weight and may lead to obesity. Simple sugars also don’t contain valuable nutrients that support your health and lower your risks for cancer, stroke and heart diseases. Get enough healthy oil in your meals.Healthy oils such as corn oil, canola oil, olive oil or sunflower oil provide your body with the essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins and energy. Healthy oils are good for heart health; brain health, skin health and hair health. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts, salmon fish, avocado and tuna provide your body with antioxidants such as Omega 3 that help in reducing the risks of heart disease and cancer in addition to its benefit for mental health. Healthy oils will help balance your meals and make them flavored and tasty. Unhealthy fats should be limited such as animal fats, butter, margarine, ghee as they increase the risks for heart disease and stroke.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Proper nutrition and exercise play important roles in reducing the risks for breast cancer. Women should maintain their healthy body weight through consuming well-balanced meals and practicing exercise as obesity increases the risks of the breast cancer.
To reduce breast cancer risks, the healthy and well-balanced meals should include the following:
- Nonfat or low-fat milk products.
- Whole grains and cereals.
- Minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, in particular the ones with bright colors such as oranges, sweet melon, watermelon, strawberries, red grapes, green grapes, grape fruits, squash, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, green pepper and broccoli. This provides the body with antioxidants that reduce the risks of breast cancer in addition to other health benefits.
- Lean protein such as lean meat, sea food and skinless poultry. • Healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil, nuts (almonds and walnuts).
- Avoidance of alcohol.
- Limiting foods prepared at high temperature cooking, as high temperature increases the risks of cancer in particular for the meat, fries and fried breaded dishes that take long time exposed to high temperature and boiling oils. Burned food should not be consumed.
- Limiting the excessive intake of red meat.
- Adequacy of vitamin D. Vitamin deficiency increases the risks of breast cancer. Women should consume low-fat or nonfat dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D. Other food sources of vitamin D are egg yolk, salmon fish and fortified cereals. Direct exposure to sunlight for 15 minutes a day is encouraged to support their bodies meeting vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight through glass windows or clothes or after putting sun block creams don’t help the body make Vitamin D when the sun light touches the skin.
- High fat intake from animal sources such as animal fat, butter, ghee, fatty meat, processed meats, full cream dairy products, and fried food may increase the risks of breast cancer.
- Some studies recommend consuming soy products such as soy milk and soy beans as they have protective role against breast cancer. Other studies recommended adding cumin spice to food for the same reason.