I know some people who absolutely hate to grocery shop. Maybe it's because I'm single with no kids (which means that I have less to get) yet I'm on the opposite side of the coin. Because I like to cook often and grocery shopping is how I get a lot of random thinking accomplished (because I'm away from my computer), I really like it. And over the past couple of years, I've become more intentional about getting what my body, as a woman, needs.
That's what we're gonna get into in just a sec. If money and/or time is tight and you're curious about what you should put on your own grocery list, so that your own system will be satisfied, here are 15 foods that really do a woman's body a lot of good.
1. Fresh (in Season) Fruit
Something that I definitely keep in my fridge at all times is fresh fruit. Right now, I've got some watermelon and mango slices up in there.
Anyway, fruit is good for you because it's loaded with antioxidants, it's full of water to keep us hydrated and many of them are low in calories too. As a bonus, fruit is low in fat and sodium and contains no cholesterol.
As far as some of the healthiest fruits to consume — apples, berries (in season), avocados, pineapples, bananas, citrus fruit and pomegranates top the list.
These days, I'm actually a huge fan of kefir which is a lot like drinkable yogurt that has a ton more probiotics in it. And that's actually why yogurt makes this list. It's full of probiotics which helps to keep your gut (check out "80% Of Your Immunity Is In Your Gut. Take Care Of It Like This.") and vaginal health on track. Yogurt is also great because it's full of calcium, vitamins B and D and phosphorus (which helps your muscles to contract, gives you a boost of energy and is needed to properly detox your kidneys too). Plus, yogurt has a ton of protein in it; good to know if you're a vegan or vegetarian.
3. 100 Percent Pure Tart Cherry Juice
Are you someone who has trouble sleeping? That's just one of the many reasons why you might wanna pour yourself a glass of some pure tart cherry juice. It's the kind of juice that also has your back because it has fiber, protein, vitamins A and C, manganese (which reduces inflammation) and potassium (which reduces your blood pressure and water retention in your system). If you're someone who works out a lot, this is the kind of juice that can naturally help to reduce muscle soreness. If arthritis is an issue for you, pure tart cherry juice has been known to decrease related symptoms. It's also the kind of juice that can help you to lose weight and boost your immunity. Just make sure it's pure because sugar tends to affect its potency.
4. Fresh Herbs
There are some people in my life who have their own herb gardens. What's really cool is there are actually several that you can grow in mason jars from the comfort and convenience of being inside of your own home (you can check out a list of some of those here). The reason why it's a good idea to add some fresh basil, rosemary, cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, oregano or mint (for starters) to your dishes is because fresh herbs can help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, regulate your blood sugar and they even contain properties to keep cancer cells at bay. Plus, they really do take the taste of foods to another level — so much more than herbs that have been processed and put into a bottle do.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are considered to be a perfect food. What that essentially means is you could eat one of those and get a ton of what your body needs in just one meal. That makes sense too, considering the fact that they're a vegetable that is high in protein, fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C as well as manganese. One of the sweetest ways to stay regular, fight cancer, support your brain function, keep your immune system up and even keep your eyes in good shape is to eat a baked potato or snack on some homemade sweet potato fries.
6. Portobello Mushrooms
If you check out the article, "10 Foods That Make Eating Less Meat...Easier" on our platform, something that you'll notice is portobello mushrooms topped the list because they've got such a meaty texture that makes them an awesome meat substitute. On the health benefits tip, these particular mushrooms are awesome because they're a good source of antioxidants, vitamins B and D, selenium (which can help to prevent cancer) and copper (which can help to prevent premature greying). Also, if you're looking to add some non-inflammatory foods to your diet, these kinds of mushrooms can check that box off too.
7. 100 Percent Pure Cranberry Juice
When it comes to this, I'm not talking about Ocean Spray. That stuff has more sugar in it than soda does. Matter of fact, I won't lie to you. The real deal kind of cranberry juice (the kind that contains zero sugar) is sour as all get out. Still, it's really good for your health overall because it also has a ton of antioxidants, along with properties that can reduce your chances of getting diabetes, protect your urinary tract, fight off free radicals and certain viruses and bacteria. Also, cranberry juice even has the ability to decrease the amount of plaque that tries to linger on your teeth, which makes it a pretty dope drink.
I've got some friends who seem to be eating traditional Indian food whenever I talk to them on the phone. On the turmeric tip (because a lot of Indian dishes use it for curry), that's a good thing because it's a spice that contains super potent medicinal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As a direct result, turmeric is known to help to prevent heart disease, give your brain a boost and even fight symptoms that are directly related to depression. Just make sure that you purchase the kind that has a high amount of curcumin in it. That's the compound that helps to make turmeric super powerful. One quick thing, though — if your blood is naturally thin, you might want to run consuming it by your doctor first. I used to take turmeric as a daily supplement and when I tell you that it caused my period to be heavy as hell? That is absolutely no exaggeration.
9. Dark Leafy Greens
There really is no way around the fact that if you want to stay in good shape, health-wise, you need some sort of dark leafy green in your kitchen stash. They are full of fiber. They are low in calories. And they've got so many nutrients in them, that you can get a lot of the vitamins and minerals that you need for the day with just one salad. Plus, they are directly attributed to lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Personally, I'm a fresh spinach kind of gal myself; however, if you're curious about what some of the (other) healthy greens are, that would include kale, collards, romaine lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, endive and turnip greens.
Something that I really like are fish tacos. So much, in fact that, I've been making them more often at home (mostly because I don't eat catfish or tilapia which is oftentimes served at restaurants).
Anyway, did you realize that tortillas are good for you too? They are high in fiber, calcium and folic acid. They are a low-calorie food. They are a great energy source as well. Although I like the texture of flour tortillas more, if you want the ones that are more health beneficial, corn tortillas are gonna be your best bet because they are high in whole grains and lower in gluten (unlike flour tortillas).
Either way, if Mexican dishes are a favorite of yours, now you've got a solid reason to make more of them from scratch.
11. Infused Water
You can read articles on our site like "10 Overlooked Signs That You're Dehydrated " and "Who Knew That Some Of Us Are Actually Drinking Water Wrong?" to get that we're big fans of water consumption over this way. Still, if you're like me and you don't drink as much of it as you probably should because it's what I call "wet air" (boring as all get out), turn a regular pitcher of water into infused water instead. By adding some of your favorite fruits and/or veggies and/or herbs to it, not only will you get a bit of flavor with every glass, you'll also get some of the nutrients from those foods into your system. Infused water is great on so many levels. Try it.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article for the site about how salmon can help to grow your hair out (check out "Let's Gain An Inch A Month Of Hair Growth 'Til December, Shall We?"). That's no exaggeration either because it has omega-3 fatty acids that our hair and skin need in order to remain moisturized, healthy and strong. As a solid source of protein that's filled with practically every B vitamin that you can think of, as well as antioxidants and potassium too, salmon is hailed for being the kind of food that fights inflammation, protects brain health and helps with weight control. Aside from personal preference or allergies, there really isn't one good reason to not eat it more often.
As far as perfect foods go, quinoa is a whole grain (that's technically a seed) that tops the list. It's got lots of fiber, protein, amino acids, vitamins B and E, calcium, zinc (which is great for skin, nails and hair), magnesium (a nutrient that your nerves and muscles need), iron — and that's really the tip of the iceberg! Some cool things about this gluten-free food is it helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism balanced. A great food, all the way around, when it comes to maintaining our overall health and well-being.
Tomatoes are a fruit that is a great source of vitamins A, C, K as well as calcium and potassium. The lycopene in it is a natural chemical that helps to reduce acne and keep our pores clear. The calcium in them can help to strengthen your bones. If you happen to be a smoker, the coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid in this fruit work together to protect your system from carcinogen-related damage. Tomatoes also have a reputation for playing a direct role in breaking down the beginning signs of kidney stones (who knew?).
15. Hemp Seeds
If you're looking for a seed to add to your dietary routine, definitely try hemp seeds. For starters, they top the list of being an incredible source of protein. Also, they've got Vitamin E, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and so many other nutrients in them. If you consume them on a consistent basis, the fatty acids in hemp seeds can slow down aging signs in your skin. Not only that but hemp seeds have a reputation for aiding in digestion, reducing your risk of heart disease and even decreasing the symptoms that are related to PMS and menopause. It really doesn't get any better than that!
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