Here is the list of the 10 super foods every woman should include in their diet plus their advantages for good health and wellness, especially female fertility health.
Most of the health challenges facing women today can be combated and be overcome by consuming food items rich in some essential nutrients and vitamins such as the ones mentioned below;
Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly.
Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Over 99% of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth. In the bloodstream, calcium is used to send nerve signals, release hormones like insulin and regulate how muscles and blood vessels contract and dilate.
If you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet, your body takes calcium from the bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones.
Though, calcium is famous for strong bones and healthy teeth, but did you also know it is essential for getting pregnant?
Two different studies have shown calcium’s role in conception.
One study shows that calcium is a vital ingredient in the process of triggering growth in embryos. The more calcium in the surrounding fluid, the better.
The second study focused on what triggers sperm to abruptly convert their swimming style from a slow and steady swim or side to side motion, to a whip-cracking snap that thrusts them into the egg!
What they found was that when the sperm arrived in the alkaline environment of the female reproductive tract; it triggers the tails whip-like motion.
Minerals (calcium being one of the most important) help to create an alkaline environment in the reproductive tract and the nutrient that sperm soaks up, which creates the thrusting towards the egg is calcium.
Long story short, calcium is necessary for conception, a healthy reproductive system, healthy baby and birth.
- milk, cheese and other dairy foods.
- green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach.
- soya beans.
- soya drinks with added calcium.
- bread and anything made with fortified flour.
- fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards.
Iron helps get oxygen to cells. Too little iron leads to anaemia, which can make you feel tired.
Good sources of iron include lean beef, turkey, and chicken, as well as beans and fortified cereals. When considering the best source of iron for you, make sure you consider organic sources especially from animal sources such as beef, chicken.
Iron is another important fertility nutrient, as studies show that women with insufficient amounts of iron in their bloodstream run the risk of suffering from anovulation (lack of ovulation).
Not only can low iron stores prevent ovulation, it can also lead to poor egg health, which can significantly inhibit pregnancy.
Iron deficiency also put one-third of pregnant women at risk of complications. Around 35 percent of expectant mothers may be at risk of pregnancy complications – such as miscarriage or preterm birth – as a result of iron deficiency.
As you’ve seen above, there seems to be a link between iron and female fertility.
In one study, researchers found that women who took iron supplements had a significantly lower risk of ovulatory infertility (an inability to produce healthy baby-making eggs) than those who didn’t supplement.
If you have anaemia because of too little iron, you may need to take iron supplements or a fertility enhancer to directly supplies all the nutrients you need to conceive a healthy pregnancy such as the one here.
If you have anaemia as a result of excessive bleeding during menstruation, click here to read about home-remedies for excessive bleeding.
The best source of iron is animal-based foods, especially red meat and offal (such as liver).
Chicken, duck, turkey, eggs and fish also have iron.
Iron is also found in many plant-based foods such as: green vegetables, for example spinach, silverbeet and broccoli.
3. Vitamin D
Your body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.
You also need vitamin D for other important body functions.
Vitamin D deficiency has now been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other maladies.
Vitamin D is one of the most potent hormones for regulating cell growth. It was discovered that many cell types contain vitamin D receptors. The protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status and a lower risk of cancer has been found in many studies.
A vitamin D supplement can help with the regulation of insulin flow and balance blood sugar, allowing the body’s natural hormone cycles to function more effectively.
Lack of Vitamin D has been linked to such things as Osteoporosis and Osteopenia, Infertility and PMS, Chronic fatigue syndrome, 17 varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon), Heart disease, Obesity, Autoimmune diseases, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia – just to name a few.
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
- Beef liver.
- Egg yolks.
4. Folic Acid
Folic acid is an important vitamin for both men and women. Getting enough folic acid can help decrease the risk of birth defects, and it may improve sperm count in men.
Folic acid helps make DNA and helps your cells divide. It’s very important during pregnancy for a healthy baby.
Folic acid is a B vitamin. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby’s brain and spine.
As for improving fertility in women, folic acid has been found to be helpful in improving egg quality.
As a woman ages, both the quantity and the quality of the eggs she produces will be reducing. While the total number of eggs (quantity) cannot be increased, research has shown that egg quality can be improved.
Supplements containing Myo-inositol, folic acid and melatonin have been shown to help improve egg quality and ovarian function.
- Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach.
- Citrus fruits, such as orange juice.
A high-salt diet can raise your chances of high blood pressure and stroke. These can lead to heart problems.
Women should keep salt under 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1 teaspoon). Even if you don’t add salt, many processed and restaurant foods already have a lot of salt.
If you’re 50+, African, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease, keep sodium below 1,500 mg/day.
6. Heart Health
A heart-healthy diet helps keep a fatty substance called plaque from building up in the arteries around it. To keep your heart in good shape:
- Eat fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, and fish.
- Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
- Limit saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. Avoid trans fats.
Protein is an important building block for bones, muscles, and skin. In the body, proteins do many things like fighting germs, breaking down food that you eat, and controlling your metabolism.
Fish, poultry, red meat, eggs, and nuts are good sources. Women should get 46 grams of protein every day. You can get that from ½ cup of milk and two 3-ounce servings of lean meat.
Fibre helps you digest food and helps prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
They are also anti-inflammatory in nature and therefore helps combat cases such as uterine fibroid in women.
Beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals are good sources.
Women under 50 should get at least 25 grams of fibre every day.
9. Vitamin C
You need vitamin C for healthy bones and skin. Vegetables, such as broccoli and red peppers, and fruits, especially citrus fruits – are good sources.
Women should get 75mg of vitamin C every day or 85 mg during pregnancy. You can easily get that by drinking 3/4 cup of orange juice or eating 1/2 cup of sweet, red pepper.
10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These “good” fats may lower your chance of heart disease.
You should eat at least two servings of fatty fish (salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines) a week.
Flaxseed and walnuts have omega-3s, too.
A recent study suggests people who eat a handful of nuts a day live longer and weigh less than people who don’t. But take it easy — too much of any food can cause weight gain.
With the above categories of healthy diet tips for you, everywoman will enjoy good health and keep diseases away from themselves.
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