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, boost fertility, combat stress, make pregnancy easier, and ease the symptoms of menopause. Whatever your age, committing to a healthy diet & daily supplements will help you look and feel your best so that you stay on top of your commitments and enjoy life. Women today face the challenge of a busy lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you are a successful career woman or a loving mother of 3 we all face the challenge of not having enough time in our day. Here are some simple tips to stay healthy with any schedule!
1. Eating actually controls craving and increases energy
Even if you grab a banana & yogurt as you are running out the door, something is better then nothing. You want to try and have protein with every meal and focus on complex carbohydrates for energy. Some good carbs are baked potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads, and bananas boost your “feel-good” serotonin levels without a crash. They also provide plenty of fiber, so you feel full much longer. You never want to go longer then 4 hours without eating so carry some snacks in your purse like raw almonds, or apple slices.
2. Get plenty of “Good Fats”
Rather than cutting fat out of your diet, make smart choices about the types of fat you eat. Saturated fat and trans fat—the “bad fats”—increase your risk for certain diseases, including heart disease and stroke. But polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats—the “good fats”—actually contribute to your health and vitality, support your mood, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Some good fats are found in things like fish, avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil.
3. Focus on Bone Health
It’s important for women of all ages to eat foods that contribute to strong, healthy bones. Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis than men. But osteoporosis is largely preventable with good nutrition, supplements and exercise. After the age of 30, you stop building bone mass, but you can maintain strong bones at any age. The key is to get enough of the nutrients that support bone health. Calcium and magnesium, in combination with vitamin D, are vital for women’s bone health. Calcium and magnesium needs are higher for people who eat the standard western diet (high consumption of sugar, caffeine, meat, and alcohol and a relatively low consumption of leafy greens and whole grains).
4. Ease PMS symptoms
Bloating, cramping, and fatigue experienced the week or so before your period are often due to fluctuating hormones. Diet can play an important role in alleviating these and other symptoms of PMS. Even though you are craving them at the time it’s important to try to avoid sugar, trans fat, & salt. These foods will just aggravate PMS symptoms. Stick to Organic, hormone free dairy products if they are something that you regularly consume in your diet. It’s very important to increase your essential fatty acids because it has been said that these nutrients help with cramps and ease symptoms. Also consider taking a multi vitamin with magnesium, B6, and vitamin E. These supplements are also proven to relieve cramps.
5. Nutrition for pregnancy & breastfeeding
Fats and protein are very important to your baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Stick to lean sources of protein and healthy fats for weight control. It’s a good idea to add an Omega 3 supplement to your daily routine to help with babies eye & brain development. Limit caffeine consumption which has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and can interfere with iron absorption. Limit yourself to no more than one caffeinated drink per day. Eat smaller more frequent meals rather than a few large ones. This will help prevent and reduce morning sickness and heartburn. Be cautious about foods that may be harmful to pregnant women. These include soft cheeses, sushi, deli meats, raw sprouts, and fish such as tuna that may contain high levels of mercury.
For women who are breastfeeding
- Keep your caloric consumption a little higher to help your body maintain a steady milk supply.
- Emphasize lean sources of protein and calcium, which are in higher demand during lactation.
- Take prenatal vitamin supplements, which are still helpful during breastfeeding, unless your physician tells you otherwise
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Just as with the pregnancy guidelines above, refrain from drinking and smoking, and reduce your caffeine intake.