There are a lot of popular diets. However, it is important to make sure they are right for you as a woman.
It is safe to say that women have unique nutritional needs that differ from men. These nutritional needs have a lot to do with hormonal changes that we go through from the time we hit puberty to when we reach menopause.
We need to worry about osteoporosis (which is why we have to take care of our bones in our 40s), our menstrual cycle, hot flashes, and cramps- things men don’t need to worry about. Thankfully, in case you feel you aren’t getting enough nutrition into your body, there are what experts call ‘superfoods’ that have twice or more nutritional benefits in a single serving. These superfoods are Spirulina, Moringa Leaf, Chia Seeds, Acai, Turmeric, and Maca powder.
Here is a breakdown of what they are, why they are ‘super,’ and how it helps your health and vitality:
Spirulina is a naturally forming algae powder that is high in protein and is touted as a great source of B-Vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. Even the World Health Organization recommends it as part of our daily diet. Spirulina is sourced from non-contaminated ponds but if you plan on buying Spirulina, make sure that it is from a certified supplier such as vitasave.ca.
Spirulina also contains Vitamin B1 and is often consumed to increase energy, improve eye health and nerve function, and increase brain function. Studies have also shown that consuming Spirulina can regulate blood sugar levels, thus being effective as a medication for diabetes. For women especially, Spirulina helps boost the body’s immune system after pregnancy.
Moringa leaf is from the Moringa tree, also known as drumstick tree, ben tree, or horseradish tree. This tree is found in Nepal, Pakistan, and India. It is a traditional remedy to treat and prevent diseases and illnesses such as anemia, arthritis, diabetes, and skin and digestive disorders.
Moringa is high in Vitamins A, E & C, and a good amount of B vitamins. It is also high in calcium, and vitamins A & E help keep our cells healthy and prevent any cellular mutations. More importantly, Moringa’s benefit to women is that it is taken as a PMS reliever and increases milk production for lactating mothers. Moringa is also being researched as an anti-cancer agent concerning ovarian and breast cancer and, if proven, would be extremely beneficial for women.
These tiny seeds are harvested from the Salvia Hispanica plant and are a staple in ancient Mayan and Aztec foods. These chia seeds are easy to store and transport, and they are known for their high-energy and nutritionally dense components. Small they might be, but chia seeds are a powerful superfood high in protein, fiber, Omega-3, six fatty acids, Magnesium, iron, calcium, Vitamin C, and of course, Antioxidants.
For women, the biggest puller would be that these seeds are energy-enhancing, especially when we get our PMS or during menopause when energy levels are lower than normal. It is also helpful in weight loss because it helps reduce cravings. Besides its amazing nutritional benefits, chia seeds are even easier to consume. You can mix it with your yogurt and have it as a breakfast pudding or blend it into your daily smoothie.
Acai refers to small, purple berries grown on the acai palm tree native to South and Central America. Most of the world’s acai production comes from Brazil’s Amazonian rainforests. It is loaded with antioxidants as well as immune-boosting vitamins. Because of this, it helps protect the body against free radicals and cancer-causing agents.
It is one of the best anti-aging agents out there because it helps improve blood circulation and reduces the risks of blood clots. Superior vitamin C levels also increase the regeneration process of our body. If that is not enough, acai also lowers the cholesterol in your body, helping you on your weight loss journey.
There are plenty of ways to consume acai berry, but experts warn to stay clear of acai juices with high sugar content. Supermarkets sell frozen acai pulp, which you can add to your smoothie or make juice. There are freeze-dried acai powder and capsule forms as well.
Turmeric is a spice usually used in curries to give them that golden, yellow color. People in India have been using it for centuries as a spice to flavor food, as a medicinal herb, and as a beauty treatment. Turmeric has plenty of benefits, from helping the body regulate its immune system, purifying the blood, removing toxins from the blood, and aiding our living and kidney function. It also improves insulin resistance and increases our metabolism.
Turmeric is also used in beauty treatments to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, smoothen skin, prevent acne, and support collagen production. So how do you consume turmeric? If you love making Indian curries, then look for curries that have turmeric as part of their ingredient. Otherwise, you can make golden milk by mixing turmeric powder with hot milk and steeping it in your tea. You can also make face masks and scrubs by mixing a bit of turmeric with coconut oil, yogurt, or sugar.
Do not confuse Maca with matcha- they are two different things. Matcha is Japanese green tea, whereas Maca is derived from a Peruvian root crop that belongs to the radish family and is usually referred to as Peruvian ginseng. Maca is abundant in vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and amino acids. It has been used for centuries to promote sexual function for men and women and to boost libido and endurance.
For women, Maca helps balance hormones and increase fertility. Aside from that, it also helps relieve menstrual cramps, hormonal imbalances, and side effects of menopause. Maca also helps alleviate symptoms associated with stress, depression, and anxiety. The best and easiest way to consume Maca is its powder form because it is very versatile. You can add the powder to your energy balls or mix it with your fresh juice. Many people take it with a glass of water, porridge, or oats. One teaspoon a day is enough to get you through.