Eating well is one of the best ways you can take care of your self and those who depend on you. What you eat makes a big difference in the way you look and feel. A healthy diet gives you energy to get through your busy day, supports your mood, helps you maintain your weight, and keeps you looking your best. What you eat can also be a huge support as you go through different stages in your life. Your food choices can help reduce PMS, combat stress, and ease the symptoms of menopause. Whatever your age, committing to a healthy diet will help you look and feel your best so that you stay on top of your commitments and enjoy life. Good nutrition starts with the basics: a well-rounded diet consisting of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. These kinds of foods provide women with plenty of energy, the means for lifelong weight control, and the key ingredients for looking and feeling great at any age.
Focus on whole, plant-based foods.Fill most of your plate with fruits and leafy green vegetables. Also include a variety of whole grains, beans, and legumes to give you filling fiber and keep you going throughout the day. Try to find minimally-processed or locally-grown foods whenever possible and make these foods the mainstay of your diet.
Bone up on calcium.Women are at a greater risk than men of developing osteoporosis, so it’s important to get plenty of calcium to support your bone health. While dairy products are high in calcium, their animal fat and protein can accelerate bone loss. So also consider plant-based sources of calcium like beans, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens.
Don’t eat too much protein.Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet, but eating too much animal-based protein—such as the levels recommended in many low-carb, high-protein diets—is particularly dangerous for women. Eating lots of protein causes calcium loss. Over time, this could lead to a decrease in bone density and osteoporosis.
Make sure you get enough iron.Many women don’t get enough iron in their diet. On top of that, women lose a lot of this important mineral during menstruation. Boost your intake by eating iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, dark poultry, lentils, spinach, almonds, and iron-fortified cereals.
Cut back on alcohol and caffeine. Women who have more than two alcoholic drinks a day are at higher risk of osteoporosis. Caffeine consumption interferes with hormone levels and also increases the loss of calcium.