This evening I presented a free Seminar at the Healthy Being Wellness Boutique- the topic was: Top 10 Foods Women Should Eat More Often.
I'd like to share with you the major points of my presentation 1. Pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement or wild salmon The omega-3s in fish and quality fish oil help your body burn fat more efficiently, make your mind more focused and spiritually inclined, and improve your mood. Fish oil raises serotonin levels which is especially important for women because women have half the level of serotonin in their brains as compared to men. This explains why women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression. As a bonus, fish oil also makes your hair and skin healthy.
2. Old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal In addition to being inexpensive, oats have a low glycemic index, are high in fiber, and contain GLA. GLA in the right amounts helps regulate female hormone levels.
Oats contain a lot of fiber, both insoluble and soluble, the latter has a beneficial effects on cholesterol. Without going into detailed mechanisms, oats lower cholesterol, and can lower blood pressure, which lowers the chances of cardiovascular disease. This soluble fiber (with other constituents) also helps to keep our blood sugar stable by releasing its energy slowly, preventing some of the complications associated with diabetes. Oats reduce our risk of getting cancer, help prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive function and keep us at a healthy weight. Oats are a good source of thiamine, folic acid and vitamin E. They contain zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium and have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than any other cereal.
Berries contain huge amounts of anti oxidants and other phytochemicals (anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and more) which help prevent cancer, aging, maintain healthy vision, lower cholesterol and total blood lipids and keep the circulatory system healthy. Berries may prevent and treat urinary tract infections, help age related cognitive decline and lower amounts of brain damage in strokes. They also contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber with very few calories and no fat.
Berries are easy to eat just as they are, add to yoghurt, muesli, make a smoothie, add to fruit salads and frozen are just as good for you as fresh - just get them down you!
Blueberries contain many antioxidants and have a very low glycemic index. I recommend buying large bags of frozen blueberries from Costco, since blueberries tend to be pricey. You can always enjoy fresh blueberries in season but buy them in small quantities because they are very perishable compared to frozen.
4. Organic sweet potatoes The deep orange color of an organic sweet potato shouts vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The average commercial sweet potato grown in depleted soil are not so vibrant. I believe the best multivitamin is to have a sweet potato three to four times per week. Sweet potatoes are also low glycemic.
There are so many types of nuts, each with their own unique health benefits so this one is a bit general. However all nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Eating a wide variety of nuts is best and stick to the plain ones, roasting and salting make them much less healthy! Women in a Harvard School of Public Health study who reported eating 5 or more 1 ounce servings of nuts/peanuts per week reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by almost 30 percent compared to those who rarely or never ate nuts.
Almonds contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium.
Brazil nuts contain selenium and may protect against breast cancer. They are also high in zinc, which is a vital mineral for digestion and metabolism. People with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis are often low in zinc and it is essential for immune system function.
Walnuts contain omega 3 (and 6) which prevent heart disease, maintain healthy joints and brain function and provide anti-inflammatory benefits for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis.
Cashews are lower in fat than most nuts and contain good levels of iron copper, magnesium, zinc which are essential for optimal bodily functioning.
Eating a variety of nuts can certainly help us keep healthy, do remember though, they are very nutrient dense so a couple of handfuls a day is plenty!
Cashews are a great source of monounsaturated fat and they are a nutrient-packed super food because they are grown in warm and humid environments close to the equator.
6. Avocados These luscious green fruits are high in monounsaturated fat, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are good for your metabolism and for promoting vibrant skin.
Those on weight loss diets will often avoid avocados because of the fat content; but we must remember that is some fat is essential; some fats are actively good for us and actually help, rather than hinder weight loss. Monounsaturated fats can speed up metabolic rate, help us feel fuller for longer and prevent binges on high sugar or saturated fat foods. Its low sugar content and absence of starch make avocado an ideal food for diabetics.
Avocados have a high nutritional density, containing many vitamins and minerals, protein and fibre. They are very high in anti-oxidants so helping to prevent cancer, cataracts and aging. Some of the constituents have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. When eaten with other fruit and vegetables, avocados increase absorption of other nutrients.
They are perfect, mashed, for babies who are just starting on solids. Add to salads, pasta, prawns, tuna or just eat as they are! Avocados can also be used externally for skin complaints.
7. Farm raised eggs Few foods can match the nutritional power of an egg yolk. The modern philosophy of balanced eating has overturned the fear of cholesterol because balanced insulin and blood sugar decreases cholesterol production in the body. People feed yolks to make their dogs coat healthy: eggs can do the same for human skin and hair. Plus, egg whites are an excellent source of protein.
8. Stem, stalk and leafy vegetables Greens, such as broccoli, kale, spinach and other leafy greens offer roughage, water, and many essential phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
9. Raw cacao Women usually crave chocolate during the menstrual cycle to escape the hormonal storm. Raw cacao contains anandamide, a substance that mimics marijuana, thus giving women a sensation of bliss. (10 tips to prevent PMS - naturally)
10. Organic yogurt Yogurt has probiotics for good digestive health and calcium for strong bones. It is also quite versatile and can be eaten for any meal of the day.
Bonus: 11. Olive oil and sesame oil These delicious unsaturated fats are heart-healthy and can reduce your cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammation. Rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin E and other nutrients, these healthy oils can be used in many cooking applications.
Olive oil Olive oil has been around for 1000's of years and is one of the main components of a Mediterranean diet which is widely thought of as one of the healthiest diets in the world.
Olive oil has high levels of monounsaturated fats (like avocados) which help prevent heart disease by lowering bad' cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good' cholesterol (HDL). It can lower blood pressure, possibly due to constituents called Phenols, and one study shows regular consumption of olive oil can reduce the need for hypertensive medication by 48%.
Olive oil is also high in Vitamin E, a powerful anti oxidant which protects the heart, slows down the aging process (hurrah!!) and is even considered an aphrodisiac!
A US study has found olive oil may act in a similar way to painkillers such as ibuprofen which are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation has been linked with a wide range of diseases from cancer to heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis. In fact studies have shown that regular consumption of olive oil lowers the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in later life.
Extra virgin olive oil is best and as we only use small quantities it is worth the extra money.
Use for stir fries, as a dip with balsamic vinegar for ciabatta or granary bread, pour over salads, vegetables or pasta, add to sauces, just have a bit of olive oil every day!