These days it’s all about maximizing the nutritional punch of the foods you eat. The more they pack, the healthier you’ll be — and the better equipped your body will be to help fend off certain diseases (including type 11 diabetes and some cancers) and even reverse the aging process. Or so the thinking goes. Below are 4 Superfoods Women Need to Eat and The Reasons Why:
Because Broccoli keeps skin healthy and ward off breast cancer and death
Vitamin C is crucial for the production of collagen, the protein responsible for maintaining our skin’s youthful appearance and elasticity, and broccoli is filled with the stuff. The vegetable is also rich in fiber, a nutrient that can help keep you full without filling you out. And broccoli can not only help you look your best, but also keep you alive and kickin’. A 28-year Johns Hopkins study of 6,100 people found that consuming four weekly servings of cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower lowered their risk of dying from any disease by 26 percent. Still not convinced? Here’s more good news: Animal research suggests that sulforaphane, a compound found in the green vegetable, can reduce breast cancer stem cells, so it’s possible the same effects could hold true in humans, too.
Because Oatmeal aids weight management and helps lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
A Harvard study of more than 68,000 women found that those who ate the most fiber daily were 23 percent less likely to develop heart disease than were those who consumed the least. Thanks to the breakfast staple’s high fiber content, it can also slash the odds of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 61 percent! The superstar nutrient also helps stabilize blood sugar, which wards off diet-derailing hunger and dangerous dips in glucose. In other words, eating oatmeal can actually help keep you trim and healthy.
Because fish wards off weight gain, arthritis and heart disease-related death
Fatty fish like mackerel, herring and wild salmon owe their super health-promoting powers to their high omega-3s and vitamin D content. In fact, it’s those very nutrients that help fatty fish aid weight loss efforts. The vitamin D keeps hunger and cravings in check while the omega-3s slow the rate of digestion, which boosts feelings of satiety and crushes appetite, helping you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Because Waltnuts promote better sleep, lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
The heart-shaped nut is brimming with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that can help keep you safe. One recent study found that munching on two ounces a day could significantly improve blood flow to and from the heart in just 8 weeks–without causing weight gain. Health experts also say that the powerful nut can lower cholesterol levels and promote a better night’s rest, which can help keep you trim. Another recent study of more than 500 participants revealed that losing just 30 minutes of shut-eye ups the risk of obesity by 17 percent! Sounds like a good reason to start noshing to us.
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