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A Woman’s First Choice

Life Essentials

I used to believe that all that was needed to stay healthy was to eat right. Things change ~ I am older and hopefully wiser. I have discovered that my nutritional needs have changed along with a few other things. Thanks to research it is now known that, even the healthiest foods packed with vitamin, minerals and phytochemicals are not enough to deal with our busy schedules. So now as I evaluate women’s diets, I find myself discussing their lifestyle and talking about the total person.

Here is a frightening statistic for you to think about: Half of American women do not hit the daily target for optimal health. The significant amount of food you eat today will have little nutritional value. Researchers from Queens College of the City University of New York found that 20 percent of the calories in the average woman’s daily diet came from junk food ~ desserts, salty snacks, candy, soda, other sugary drinks and fats (butter and/or salad dressing).

Below are some of the recommendations I am sharing these days for the special lifestyle need of women. The solution is not to depend solely on dietary supplements, but take them in addition to healthy eating, exercise and a good attitude. Below is a list of ten key vitamins and minerals many women lack. Included are there best food sources.

Vitamin C / Antioxidant

Best sources: Cantaloupe, broccoli, brussel sprouts, grapefruit juice, orange juice, papaya, strawberries & blueberries.

Vitamin E / Antioxidant

Best sources: Peanut butter (not processed), sunflower or safflower oil, 1oz of almonds or hazelnuts, 1/4 oz of sunflower seeds (raw is best).

Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin

Best sources: Milk and milk products, breads (not white), fortified cereals. The amounts in these foods are not great enough to get results.

Vitamin B6 / Pyridoxine

Best sources: 4 oz of halibut, mullet, yellow fin tuna or lean beef, 3 oz of chicken breast, turkey breast or salmon, 1/2 cup of chickpeas, 1 medium banana, baked potato or sweet potato.

Folic Acid / Folate

Best sources: 1 cup of asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, orange juice or spinach, 1/2 cup of chickpeas or kidney beans, 1/3 cup of lentils or sunflower seeds, 1 small avocado.

Vitamin D

Best source: Egg yolk, milk, 8 oz of milk contains 300 mg. Fifteen minutes of daily sunshine enables the body to make its own Vitamin D. 

Calcium

Best sources: Skim milk, low-fat yogurt or calcium enriched fruit juices; 1/2 oz of sardines with bones (eat the bones) or salmon, 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1 oz cheddar or Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of collard greens.

Iron

Best sources: 4 oz lean beef or shrimp, 1/2 cup of white beans, lentils, soy nuts or dried apricots, 3/4 cup of firm tofu, 1 oz of clams or oysters, 1 large baked potato.

Magnesium

Best sources: 1 cup of lima bean, 2/3 cup spinach or Swiss Chard, 3/4 cup of tofu; 1/3 cup of almonds or hazelnuts, 1/2 cup of soy nuts, 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds.

Zinc / Antioxidant

Best sources: 3 oz lean beef or veal, 1/2 cup of tofu, 1 large container of sardines with bones.

The FDA has concluded that frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh and may even retain their nutritional value longer.


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