Super Woman: Nutrition Secrets to Conquer Your Top 6 Health Concerns
Even strong, vivacious women have health concerns. Here’s the latest news from women’s health researchers, including some surprisingly powerful nutrients every gal should know about. Arm yourselves ladies!
Women have known for a few years that vitamin D has some notable nutritional powers. Evidence that vitamin D supplementation promotes bone health is sufficient that Health Canada allows the health claim, “Calcium intake, when combined with sufficient Vitamin D, a healthy diet and regular exercise may reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.” Probiotics may also promote bone health. According to a 2014 study in Science World Journal, taking a probiotic supplement appeared to promote bone health in a group of women.
Phew! Is it hot in here? Hot flashes and night sweats are among some of the top complaints of women during menopause. These bursts of internal heat not only bother women during menopause, but also can affect them for years after, even into their late 50s and 60s, according to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. A 2015 study looked at soy isoflavones and inulin in the management of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and found it was beneficial. Early in 2016, data from a study in Central America pointed to regular exercise as a factor in reducing severity of hot flashes. According to the North American Menopause Society, exercising for 30 minutes, three times per week is linked with less severe hot flashes.
Ladies, let’s add iron to our list of nutrients with potential super powers. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficit among women, according to the World Health Organization. Being deficient in iron makes you feel lethargic. Your iron levels also affect your mood and cognition. A review in the journal Nutrients, says iron supplementation appears to improve memory and intellectual ability.
A yeast infection (bacterial vaginosis) can be a painful, burning, itchy assault on your body. Send in the cavalry! Probiotics have been found in clinical trials to be capable of helping re-establish a healthy microflora in the vaginal tract and help in prevent reoccurrence. Lactobacilli species have been found to be particularly effective.
Oh, how ladies love chocolate! Lucky for us, the cocoa in chocolate also loves our hearts. In a large clinical trail reported in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2015, cocoa was able to improve the Framington Risk Score of participants. The Framington Risk Scale can estimate your risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.
New research suggests certain foods may protect against some health concerns during pregnancy. In 2015, data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health showed women who ate a Mediterranean style diet prior to pregnancy were less likely to develop hypertensive-related problems during pregnancy. A Mediterranean style diet was defined as one focused on vegetables, legumes, nuts, tofu, rice, pasta, rye bread, red wine and fish. When the researchers looked for patterns between diets and gestational diabetes, they found eating a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fish was linked with lower risk.
These powerful nutrients can be found in many healthy foods including nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, beans, fatty fish and fermented dairy products. For a more potent dose of these nutrients, try a supplement. You can find many products that contain these nutrients on sale this month at your local Health First Network store.
Cocoa and CVD:
Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1246-55.
Climacteric. 2015 Oct;18(5):666-8.
Iron and Zinc and Mood:
Nutrients. 2014 Nov 14;6(11):5117-41.
Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2015;42(6):743-5.
Bone and Probiotics: