Figuring out how to eat healthy for your body can be a daunting task. There’s a lot of complicated (and sometimes incorrect) information out there about food and health, and there’s really no single “best” way to eat.
But there are some things you can know for sure. All women need the same basic nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, to stay healthy. These compounds can help women stay healthy while aging, help stave off breast cancer and support women through getting pregnant and, later, menopause.
While you could try to rely on a multivitamin to get the nutrients you need, that might not be the best idea. The good news is that you may not need to take a multivitamin if you eat the right foods.
The saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” — and that may be true. But the same phrase could probably be applied to avocados. Avocados give your body healthy fats that help to combat heart disease and other ailments. In fact, there are a lot of reasons you should eat more fat, especially the kinds of fat from avocados.
They help with absorption of other nutrients, lower bad cholesterol and provide a good amount of folate, a mineral many women are missing.
Some women might choose to eat a banana every morning with every breakfast (although having just a banana for breakfast is probably a bad idea). Eating potassium-rich bananas with meals can help your body handle higher levels of sodium.
One of the best things you can do to lower your blood pressure is to eat potassium with your meals. The best part about bananas is that they’re just 19 cents each at Trader Joe’s.
They’re packed with protein and fiber, and they may even help prevent breast cancer according to some studies. Beans can also keep your heart healthy, lower your cholesterol, and increase your intake of vital nutrients such as iron and vitamin B.
Many women are deficient in both of these nutrients, so adding more beans to your diet is probably a good call. They’re also less than a dollar per can and pretty easy to cook with; adding them to your meals instead of meat or other more costly items can help you save on groceries.
There’s a reason neurologists recommend this berry over most others. Blueberries are brimming with antioxidants, which can preserve memory and keep blood vessels healthy. These antioxidants also make blueberries one of the best foods to eat to lower your risk of cancer.
They’re packed with fiber, naturally sweet and easy to incorporate into your diet. Eat them plain, buy them frozen to mix into yogurt or oatmeal, or bake something with them.
Brazil nuts are a highly underutilized superfood — each single nut has enough selenium to fulfill your daily needs, along with the many other nutrients in its compact shell. Considering most people forget to incorporate selenium into their diets, eating a Brazil nut each day could be a really good idea.
They might not have been part of your favorite dinner dishes during childhood, but as an adult it’s time you start eating Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, could combat excess estrogen that leads to breast cancer in many women, placing them among the foods that can help cut your risk.
In fact, they’re among the best foods to eat to prevent all types of cancer due to a phytochemical called glucosinolate.