4 min|Rhiannon Lockhart
Nutrition for Women: Tips to Feel Your BestWellness, Nutrition, Health
Who run the world? Girls. Especially when they're well fed!
Nutrition for women is something that can be overlooked. We become easily fixated on the number on the scale or our shirt size. However, we can't check off all the amazing things on our to-do list when we're under-nourished.
Before we even get into some of the finer details about which foods you should include, the first thing to remember is to actually schedule time for you to eat! Many clients that I see either intentionally under-eat as a weight management tool or just forget due to their busy schedule.
Eating provides us fuel for our daily activities, helps us to stay focused and sharp, keeps our body from feeling chronically tired and helps keep our immune system up.
If you can’t find the time to eat during your day, opt for a smoothie or a blended soup that provides ample nutrients but is quick to grab and go!
When it comes to nutrition for women, here are a few key nutrients and practices that will help you feel your best:
1. Add in ironIt is common for women in their reproductive years to have lower iron levels. In most cases, we can reconcile this with iron-rich foods including:
- Spirulina: try it in a smoothie!
- Liver: if you don’t love liver, try hiding it. Make it into a pâté, or add it in with some meat balls or hamburgers
- Chickpeas: roast them, mash them, eat more hummus!
- Grass-fed beef
This is my number one recommendation for women as it can be beneficial for our energy levels and can help reduce sugar cravings through the day.
2. Balance your blood sugarThe best way to start this is to consume a protein-rich breakfast, with lower carbohydrates, to keep our blood sugar levels stabilized through the day. This may look like:
- A smoothie with 1 scoop of your favourite sugar-free protein powder, some berries or 1/2 banana, 1/2 avocado or 1 tbsp nut butter, spinach, 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds
- 2 eggs with some avocado on a bed of greens
- Chia and hemp seed pudding
3. Eat protein at each mealConsuming 20-30g of protein with each meal is another important step in regulating blood sugar as well as helping us to feel full and satisfied after meals.
It can be plant-based sources or animal, you choose!
4. Try seaweedIt is common for women to experience symptoms of thyroid imbalance. Typically, this is in the form of an under-active thyroid, which can result in weight gain, constipation, cold hands and feet, fatigue and brain fog.
Adding seaweed incorporates a naturally iron-rich food that can support our thyroid. These include foods like kelp, dulse, nori and kombu.
If you are taking medication to support your thyroid or notice you begin to feel like you've had one-to-many cups of coffee by incorporating seaweed, speak to your ND.
5. Avoid poor quality fatsCanola, safflower, sunflower and soybean oil, margarine, feed-lot animal fats, non-grass-fed dairy products. These are some of the poor quality that can increase overall inflammation in the body, which can lead to various health conditions and pain.
6. Choose omega-3-rich foodsUnlike poor quality fats, omega-3 fatty acids are an important fat that can help to reduce overall inflammation in the body. In our world today, we tend to lack omega-3 foods as we rely on conventionally raised animals, omega-6-rich (inflammatory) oil and fats, and some omega-3 foods that are harder for our body to utilize.
Omega-3 foods that are easily absorbed include: wild-caught, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, as well as algae and oysters.
At the end of the day, the best nutrition for women comes down to eating real foods! Each woman is different and may require a different diet that is specific to their needs, but focusing most of your diet on simple, whole foods will increase your energy and help you feel great!
If you want to learn more about how to eat best for you, book in a consultation with our holistic nutritionist.
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!