Good Eating & Important Nutrients for Women

As women we need specific nutrients at different times of our lives. It’s easy to get consumed with family, work, the fast pace and demands of daily life. We can forget to take care of ourselves or put our health on the back burner as we fulfil our roles as caregivers, as we pursue our careers and generally juggle quite a number of things to keep the balance.

Well the good news is that one thing we can do for ourselves to help improve our wellbeing is eat good, healthy food! Its free, doesn’t take you away from other commitments and helps improve your body and mind for the better.

There are so many healthy, vibrant recipes out there, start looking. It can be as easy at having a smoothie and or juice every day, so you get nutrient packed food with high vitality. You can grab it on the way to work (so many places these days offer juices and smoothies), make it the night before or have the ingredients at work and use a stick blender and there you go, a liquid lunch or breakfast! See below for some more healthy meal ideas.

Important Nutrients for Women

Protein

Is important for building muscle and tissue and is the body’s building blocks. 

High protein foods = Avocado, fish, chicken, beef, nuts, seeds, legumes, some grains ie quinoa, dairy, eggs, whey, soya products (fermented recommended and not if endocrine issues).

Fibre

Is important for healthy bowels and help lessen constipation and haemorrhoids eg fruit, vegetables, psyllium husk, slippery elm powder and consuming a generous amount of water.

Iron

It helps to create new red blood cells and 15-20mg is recommended daily for women.

It is important for the brain, developing the nervous system and immunity. Necessary if menorrhagia (heavy bleeding) or pregnancy.

Iron rich foods include; Eggs, beef, organic liver, red meat, leafy greens, dried apricots, molasses, whole grains, legumes and spirulina

Calcium

For proper calcium absorption magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, C and D are needed. Calcium sources include; Tahini, chicken bone broth, bone marrow, kale, seaweed, sardines and salmon with bones, almonds, wheat grass and barley grass, some dairy (I recommend calcium made from sea vegetables for vegans and vegetarians)

To assist calcium absorption;

  • Get a little sunshine for Vitamin D
  • Increase magnesium rich foods eg green vegetables, micro algae
  • Soak grains and legumes for 8-12 hours before cooking so that phytic acid is neutralised
  • Use fermented dairy eg sour cream, yoghurt, quark, keffir
  • Be aware of foods containing oxalic acid, which block calcium uptake eg chocolate, spinach and rhubarb
  • Increase silicon rich foods eg alfalfa, oats, buckwheat and cucumber. 

Folic Acid

Found in leafy greens eg, broccoli, kale, herbs, pulses eg, chickpeas, black eye beans and lentils.

Folic acid is lost through cooking so raw and steaming is an optimum way of absorption.

Vitamin A

Toxic levels for the liver are quoted at being 20 000iu and above. Found in organic liver and cod liver oil. An vegetarian and vegan alternative is Carotene found in orange, red and yellow fruit and vegetables.

Vitamin D

Is important for healthy bones, teeth and mucus membranes. It is found in eggs, butter, butterfat, cod liver oil and fish.

Essential fatty Acids

DHA extremely important and necessary for correct brain and nerve growth and developing the retina in the eyes. They are necessary for helping create moisture and elasticity in tissue. Sources include Fish, Flaxseed oil, walnut oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seed oil, anchovies, salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel and eggs. Flax = richest source of omega 3. Hempseed oil = perfect ratio 3 (omega3):2(omega 6):1(omega9)

Iodine

Is important and good sources are celtic salt and seaweed. 

Recipes and Healthy options

Healthy Snacks

  • Soaked Almonds
  • Toasted sunflower, sesame and pepita seeds
  • Almond butter and Celery
  • Homemade Nori rolls
  • Dates stuffed with Almonds or Pecan nuts or cheese
  • Lettuce sandwich with Avocado, Goats cheese and Salad
  • Dairy or coconut yogurt with fruit
  • Banana dipped in Tahini

Healthy Breakfast

  • Buckwheat pancakes
  • Porridge (oats or quinoa flakes)
  • Smoothie (see ingredient list below)
  • Rocket & mushroom on sour dough
  • Bircher mueslie
  • Scrambled eggs or tofu & parsley on sour dough toast

Power Smoothie Ingredients

  • L.S.A (almond, sunflower & linseed)
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Macca powder
  • Hemp seeds
  • Wild Blueberries
  • Bee pollen
  • Slippery elm powder
  • Spirulina, chlorella, wheat or barley grass
  • Spinach, Kale, parsley, fresh greens

Start with a commitment to add something healthy and nutritious daily and if you already do, keep going and increase it. The good thing about a smoothie is it has lots of good ingredients in the one meal. Enjoy!

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