As women, many of us are prone to neglecting ourselves. We take on the responsibilities of looking after our family, our job and other tasks so we find it difficult to devote time for ourselves. However, we can't care for others unless we care for ourselves!!
The first step to self-care is to understand ourselves a bit better. There is a physiological and metabolic difference between men and women. Women's bodies go through the monthly cycle, childbirth and then menopause so our nutrition needs are different.
We need our bodies to be disease-free and alkaline. Hence, we need healthy dose fruits, vegetables nuts and sprouted seeds in our daily diet.
Fruits are important sources of many nutrients including glucose,(fuel for our body) , vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and petrochemicals. They leave no toxic residue (when they are organic), and require hardly any energy for digestion. They are our energisers and cleansers and thus the most perfect food on the planet.
Eating a diet rich in fruit is good for cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory diseases and almost all diseases. They contain fiber and are good for our gut.
Bromelain in pineapple prevents inflammation, citrus and berries contain phytochemicals and antioxidants. Almost all fruits contain vitamin C which builds our immune system.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish and turnips are all members of the cancer fighting crucifer family. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamin C which mop up the free radicals and so protect against cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and enable hormonal balance and weight loss.
All vegetables are good for us and are highly alkaline. They also contain Vitamins A and K which are fat soluble vitamins essential for our liver. Vitamin C builds collagen and protects our immune system. Onions are great for our bones as they have a polyphenol which boosts bone health.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds and other high fibre seeds and nuts contain pre biotics, which are the non digestible parts that create pro biotics when they pass through our intestines. It is essential for Women to snack on a handful as they lower our bad cholesterol, are high in Vitamin C, ease the gut and help with irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea, constipation and also boosts calcium absorption.
Sesame seeds and sesame oil provide our bodies with an excellent amount of calcium and zinc. This keeps our bones strong, boosts our digestion, helps fight stress and depression, stabilises blood pressure and is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for our body.
China seeds, beans and lentils, almonds, dark leafy greens, broccoli are high in calcium and extremely healthy.
Plant based sources of iron are more easily absorbed by the body when eaten with vitamin C rich foods. So add tomatoes to your lentil soup, kinnows to your spinach salad, or simply squeeze lemons on your vegetables and lentils.
Ensure you get your daily dose of folic acid (400mcg) with plenty of citrus fruits , leafy greens, beans and peas. Spice your dishes with Turmeric, garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin.
Eat regional, seasonal, local and organic.
Happy Women’s day!