Six foods to support women's health

Written by Adelle Rutch | 7 March, 2022

Woman holding a bunch of fresh kale

For all humans, eating a balanced, wholefood-rich diet is crucial for good health. There are some foods, however, that are particularly beneficial in supporting women. In celebration of International Women’s Day, let’s look at some of these foods that support female health.

Some of the best nurturing and nourishing foods to incorporate into your diet, particularly as a female, are the following:

Cruciferous and brassica vegetables

Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and kale! These vegetables are especially beneficial for balancing hormones as they contain important phytochemicals and compounds and help detoxify excessive oestrogen from the body. This can aid in the prevention of the hormonal issues that drive a variety of health complaints commonly experienced by women.

Flaxseeds

Seeds are little nutrient powerhouses, but if I had to choose a favourite to include within the female diet, it would be the humble flaxseed. Flaxseeds are a great source of soluble fibre, helping you to feel full for longer and aiding the stability of blood sugar levels. In addition to this, they are also jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for brain health, skin health and maintaining the healthy balance of triglycerides.

Flaxseeds also contain lignans which act as an antioxidant and are beneficial due to their unique ability to balance hormones (in particular, oestrogen). No matter whether your oestrogen levels are high or low, lignans will work to balance the hormone levels depending on what your body needs. While flaxseed oil and powder is available, the best form of flax is the seeds as it is the act of breaking them up through chewing or blending that releases the wonderful lignans.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D which supports both bone health and immune function. There are also very strong studies that indicate mushrooms can be beneficial for the prevention of breast cancer. Incorporating mushrooms into your diet is easy and definitely worthwhile.

Seaweed

The people of Okinawa, Japan are part of what is called a ‘blue zone’. This population has long been studied due to their strikingly low cases of cancer, heart disease and dementia in comparison to Western countries. Interestingly, Okinawan women live longer than any other women on the planet. This is an absolutely staggering statistic and one we should be taking note of. Seaweed is one part of the Okinawan diet that is of particular interest. Sea vegetables are rich in trace minerals and iodine, a mineral deficient in our soil here in Australia. These minerals are not only vital for overall health but, more specifically, thyroid and breast health.

Figs

Figs are rich in fibre and potassium! Some studies have indicated that the consumption of figs can be supportive in normalising blood glucose levels and reducing insulin resistance which is a common peri- and post-menopausal issue. Figs are also high in calcium and can support bone density which is another thing to be mindful of particularly for women journeying through menopause.

Papaya

This superstar fruit even looks like a womb, so there is no wonder it is beneficial to female hormones. Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, it is a fruit to incorporate into the diet for cardiovascular health and support. Papayas also contain a compound called ‘papain’ which aids in supporting digestive health.

And there you have it, six nurturing and nourishing foods to incorporate into your diet to support female health. The female body is magically complex and intricate, but learning which foods are going to benefit you is a journey you won’t regret taking.

Interested in Nutrition?

Endeavour offers a range of courses covering Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine – Check out our Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine), Undergraduate Certificate in Building Health Through Nutrition, or our brand new range of Nutrition short courses. Set the pace towards a happier, healthier you.


Adelle Rutch

Adelle completed her Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) with Endeavour in 2016 and currently works within a small team of women at Eat for You as an in-house nutritionist! She is passionate about all things generational health but has a particular focus on pre-natal, post-natal, and children's health and nutrition. Adelle's role at Eat for You enables her to make a difference in the community for all walks of life. Adelle's goals are to continue to grow within her role at Eat for You and continue the heavy focus on community support, food donations and education for the vulnerable.

You can find Adelle's educational content on the @_eatforyou Instagram.

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