As women, we have unique needs. Our bodies are unique – designed to bear and rear children, manage the stress of both work and family life, all with grace, beauty and maybe a little style. That is why we must honor our needs and give ourselves the best support we can. The best way to do this is with superfoods: foods that optimize our hormone production, stabilize our emotions, increase our fertility and strengthen our bodies. The more we nourish with the foundational building blocks, the more efficiently we can perform…and truly do all we want to.
Take note of the list below and try to incorporate these foods into your diet daily. The easiest way to get many of them in is by making a superfood smoothie. To start, whip up this mint chip green smoothie, then add in a tablespoon of chia seeds and coconut oil, and top with bee pollen, goji berries and some extra cacao. This is the perfect breakfast for the woman on the go. Then try out the broccoli seaweed recipe, which is one of our favorite snacks or side dishes, and wash it down with a bottle of kombucha. The simple addition of these foods into your daily routine can drastically improve your health, while also diversifying your culinary palette.
The 8 Best Foods Women Should Eat Daily
Bee pollen contains almost all nutrients needed by the body. It is 40% protein, including the eight essential amino acids. Amino acids are needed by the body to build tissue, to produce hormones, including growth hormone, and to maintain lean muscle mass. Bee pollen is also rich in over 12 vitamins, almost 30 minerals and a whole range of enzymes and co-enzymes. For women, bee pollen is essential to optimizing liver health, which is needed for detoxification and balancing hormones. Pollen also stimulates ovarian function, increasing ovulation and fertility. Finally, pollen is a great source of bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are antioxidants that strengthen veins, the bladder and uterus, helping to prevent spider veins, excessive menstrual bleeding, while preparing the uterus for pregnancy.
Seaweed is one the best sources of minerals, specifically iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium. This is especially important for women, since women often require higher levels of these minerals to prevent osteoporosis, anemia, menstrual cramps, constipation and depression. Iodine is especially important as it is needed for normal thyroid functioning. A deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism. Iodine can also help to protect against radiation exposure. Radiation can be an underlying cause of conditions of the thyroid and parathyroid, and is known to cause cancer and birth defects.
TCM Pick: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Nori Sheets
Broccoli is an excellent source of a host of nutrients including vitamin K, vitamin C, chromium, and folic acid. These specific nutrients are needed to maintain proper bone and skin health, blood-sugar levels and a healthy pregnancy. Broccoli is also a powerful detoxification agent. It contains DIM, diindolylmethane, a compound that clears xenoestrogens from the body. Xenoestrogens have been shown to lead to cancer, including breast and ovarian cancer, and to cause hormone imbalance. Broccoli also helps to lower inflammation levels in the body, reducing pain, PMS and risk of inflammatory disease. Finally, a study from Johns Hopkins University has shown that broccoli contains high amounts of the compound sulforaphane, which has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-microbial benefits. Don’t like broccoli? Opt for another cruciferous vegetable such as kale or Brussels sprouts, as they have very similar properties.
Chia seeds are one of the top sources of plant-based calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and protein. This is what makes chia such a superfood for women. It helps to prevent osteoporosis, while lowering inflammation and building lean muscle tissue. Chia also balances blood sugar and keeps bowels moving, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Chia can also ease symptoms of PMS and menopause, prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular conditions and can help promote beautiful skin, hair and nails.
TCM Pick: Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
Ounce-for-ounce, goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than soybeans and spinach. This makes them vital for clear skin, a strong immune system, good vision and healthy blood. Goji berries also contain zeaxanthin, betaine, polysaccharides. Zeaxanthin protects against macular degeneration, betaine supports liver and cardiovascular function, and polysaccharides have anti-infective properties. Goji berries also have one the highest antioxidant capacities, making them the ideal anti-aging and cancer-preventative food. Goji berry is singularly the most popular tonic herb used throughout Asia. It is renowned for its mood-supporting effects, for strengthening sexual functions in women, and for its adaptogenic qualities. Being an adaptogen, it helps the body to function at a higher level despite current states of mental or physical stress.
TCM Pick: Dragon Herbs Goji Berries
One of nature’s highest dietary sources of magnesium, cacao beans are also rich in iron and dietary fiber. This makes them essential for battling stress, fatigue, migraines and constipation. They are one of the world’s most antioxidant-rich foods, reducing aging at a cellular level. Cacao beans also contain potent flavonoids and powerful alkaloid chemicals including theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamine. These are “feel-good” chemicals that create the sensation of love, bliss, and happiness. Cacao also raises levels of tryptophan and therefore serotonin, a neurotransmitter that provides a sense of calm – reducing anxiety, insomnia and depression. Finally, cacao contains sulfur, which helps to build strong nails, hair and skin.
TCM Pick: Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs
Coconut oil is the oil taken from the meat of a coconut, and it is revered for its far-reaching health benefits. It is composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) – saturated fat that can help to lower cholesterol, balancing HDL-to-LDL ratios. MCTs can also improve energy and aid in weight loss. Unlike other fats, MCTs are sent directly to the liver for use, giving the body a burst of energy, rather than being stored as fat. Coconut oil is also nature’s richest source of lauric acid (a type of MCT). Lauric acid is abundant in breast milk, and has strong anti-infective properties. Classified as a “functional food,” coconut oil provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil contains anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, making it excellent for immune system stimulation. It can help our body’s defense against both viruses and bacteria, as well as yeast, fungus and Candida. Coconut oil also has the ability to affect hormones. It has been shown to stimulate the thyroid while balancing blood sugar. We like to think of it as good-mood food.
TCM Pick: Artisana Raw Coconut Oil
Known as “the elixir of life,” kombucha is a fermented tea that provides key nutrients for improving women’s health. First off, kombucha is rich in B vitamins which are needed to improve mood and to support the adrenal glands. It also contains unique organic acids which support detoxification at the liver and strengthen the immune system. Finally, kombucha is a fermented food meaning that it has naturally occurring probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are needed by the body for proper digestion, and to prevent infection especially from vaginal yeast. Finally, kombucha contains a valuable amino sugar called glucosamine that has been extensively studied for its ability to improve joint health, thereby preventing cartilage degeneration and arthritis.
Super Woman Salad with Broccoli and Seaweed
2 sheets nori seaweed, cut into strips
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups broccoli, steamed
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1. Saute onion and garlic in coconut oil until transparent. About 7 minutes.
2. Add onion and garlic to steamed broccoli. Toss in almonds and mix in a bowl.
3. Add olive and sesame oil, lemon, vinegar, sea salt and ginger to a small jar and thoroughly mix.
4. Dress the broccoli and top with nori seaweed. Serve.