Five Foods Women Should be Eating

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Written by contributor Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship.

“Less cellulite at 30 than 20?” My friend was ready to eat the next words out of my mouth when I told her I blamed one dietary change for my incredible loss of cellulite.

Quite often others counter my claim with a strange question: “How do you know?”

I’m sure their intentions are simply curious, but it’s a little uncomfortable to answer the obvious: “Um…I can see it.” My husband, as the only other person qualified to analyze the situation, concurs (with great joy, I assure you).

Men, I’ve noticed, do not worry about their cellulite. They also do not discuss monthly flow, experience PMS, or bear children. Although women often go to great lengths to prove that they are equal to men, we are far from “the same.”

Women’s Health Issues

When it comes to women’s health, there are many ways women have different challenges and different opportunities than men:

  • Women can bear children; men can’t. This alone opens the door to a huge list of health care topics, such as menstruation, PMS, fertility/ovulation, healthy pregnancies, and menopause.
  • Breastfeeding and postpartum care
  • Higher risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis
  • Different signs and symptoms of heart disease
  • Cellulite
  • Estrogen balance (Men have testosterone to balance, and we ought not be sharing our estrogen with them, one of the many reasons natural family planning is the green way to go.)

Considering I’m barely scratching the surface of women’s health issues, it seems clear that women ought to have some different dietary focuses than men.

Photo by veganfeast

Five Foods Women of Childbearing Age Should Eat More Often

The whole womb thing really sets us apart from men. Ladies, if you’re having menstrual cycles, trying to conceive, pregnant, breastfeeding, or nearing or experiencing menopause, make sure you’re paying attention to your intake of:

1. Eggs

Whole eggs, especially the yolks, provide choline for healthy eyes and brain development (for you and any unborn babies in your life), vitamin D for general health, and all the essential nutrients a human being needs. If you have a meal of one item, it may as well be eggs, which are nearly the perfect food for humans. Pay no mind to disillusioned health professionals who tell you the cholesterol in eggs will clog up your arteries. Whole eggs are back in style.

They won’t raise blood sugar because they’re a well-balanced protein and fat, and they even improve the look of your hair and nails. Eggs provide iron, which is hindered by calcium, so skip the milk with your omelet. Did you know Chinese women eat ten per DAY when pregnant? I shot for two eggs a day when I was trying to grow smart babies.
Photo by Andreas Kollegger

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*Food safety note: eggs should be consumed raw, very undercooked, for superb health benefits. However, I would only advise eating raw eggs from a trusted source with free range, well-cared-for chickens.

2. Spinach/Greens

Spinach may just be, as Popeye would have us believe, the ultimate superfood. It battles nearly every disease you can think of, but it’s especially important for pregnant women because of the high level of folic acid, along with iron, and even protein, all vital for fetal development and mother’s health. The lutein in spinach, especially when paired with eggs, is a powerful weapon against eye degeneration.

Why folic acid/folate? This B-vitamin is vital for a pre-conception/pregnancy diet; helps prevent birth defects, specifically spina bifida; builds baby’s brain; and helps avoid premature birth, high blood pressure, low birth weight and miscarriage.1 For those not looking to conceive, folic acid can help prevent strokes, heart disease, depression, and cancer.2

Photo by slave2thetea

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3. Salmon

Fish can be a tough menu item for most homes: it’s notoriously easy to cook incorrectly, is often high on the “I don’t like it” list, can be expensive, and is rife with controversy about whether it’s safe to eat or not. Wild salmon is also the very best way to get your omega 3s and DHA, which support hormones, fight depression and help mood issues.

Fish also battles menstrual pain, osteoporosis, breast cancer and negative effects of menopause. Salmon improves babies’ IQs when eaten by pregnant or breastfeeding moms. If ever there was a food for women contest, I’d give a blue ribbon to wild salmon.


Photo by Katie Kimball

That said, it is important to know how to find safe salmon. Luckily, the inexpensive stuff in the cans is almost always “wild Alaskan” and can be easily made into no-fail salmon patties. (Eat the bones, too, for an incredible calcium boost!) Now if I could just get my husband not to run screaming from the room when I open the can…

Don’t be afraid of eating fish – they have more benefits than deficits. An article from Harvard states: “Women should recognize that avoiding seafood altogether is likely to harm their babies’ brain development.”

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4. Full fat dairy/butter

Photo by Katie Kimball
Do you buy skim milk? Always grab the low-fat/fat-free versions of your favorite dairy products? If you’re hoping to conceive anytime soon, you may be making it an uphill battle for your womb. Research shows that women who eat low-fat dairy twice a day have an 85% greater risk of anovulatory infertility than those who go for the real thing.5, 6

When I recommend one change to someone seeking pregnancy, it is always to get rid of all the butter substitutes, margarine, and shortening in the house, pronto, and switch to real butter. You’re not only cutting out toxic trans fats and industrial oils, but you’re adding brain-boosting saturated fats. Grassfed butter in particular, although pricey, has incredibly higher levels of Vitamins D, A, E and K2.7

No matter what your gender, fat-soluble vitamins like A and D must be eaten with fat to be metabolized in the body. Your salad with fat-free dressing? Practically useless. You need to dip those carrots in a fat-full dressing in order to get the Vitamin A into your cells where it belongs.

If you’re worried that going from low-fat to “Hi there, fat!” will make you fat, you’re not alone. For our family, I can truthfully say that in nearly two years of trying to incorporate more fat into our diets, including going from skim milk to farm fresh, grassfed milk with at least three inches of pure cream on the top of every gallon, neither my husband or I have gained a pound, and his cholesterol even dropped the first year. You might also like to read Kelly’s “Does Fat Make You Fat?”.

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5. Liver

Photo by Kevinzim
Organ meats.

If that sounds a little “primal” or “hunter-type” to you who would rather be a gatherer and eat some berries and nuts, check this out – liver has one of the highest level of B vitamins8, 9, 10 and iron11, 12 of any food. B Vitamins give energy (what woman, especially a mom, doesn’t need more of that?), and iron is super important for women because of the quarter cup of menstrual blood we lose every month (I know, it seems like more sometimes).

“Women of childbearing age have an RDA of 15 mg per day for iron, which  doubles with pregnancy.”13 Iron also keeps energy up and helps avoid anemia.  Iron deficiency anemia affects about 20% of all women and fully half of mothers-to-be, yet only 3% of men.14 “Having too little iron can result in fatigue, hair loss and brittle nails (Oh, vanity!), irritability, weakness, lack of being able to think clearly, etc.” (Sarah of Heartland Renaissance)

The famous liver and onions might not go over well at your kitchen table (it didn’t the one time I tried it), but putting a bit of liver in with hamburgers, meatloaf, casseroles, spaghetti and soups is a great way to incorporate a cheap superfood with power-packed nutrients. Just be sure to only eat liver from organic sources, preferably local and grassfed, as factory farmed beef or chicken livers would be a net for toxins.

No?

Okay.

If you really can’t handle the liver, red meat like beef provides a great deal of iron and B Vitamins, too. If you can find grassfed beef, meaning the cattle eat only real grass or harvested hay and alfalfa, you get the most nutrients and a good source of CLA, a healthy fat that’s hard to find elsewhere, and even a high level of omega 3s. Don’t be afraid of red meat, ladies.

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Those among you who are very astute readers will notice I didn’t even share the secret cellulite solution. It turns out it was easier to choose ten amazing super foods than five, and you’ll have to hang tight until next month for part two of the series, 5 Foods Everyone Should Eat More of for Optimal Health (and Avoiding the Flu!), with a special emphasis on women’s health. There are two foods that fight the flu and cellulite, believe it or not!

Until then, I hope you’re as inspired as I was when I served salmon patties fried in butter and a spinach salad last night, along with egg drop soup for my fish-hating husband. I can’t tell you where I hid the liver in the meal; he might be reading!

So ladies…your turn to dish out. What foods do you hold near and dear in your diet?

Note: I asked many real food bloggers to help me out with this question, and special thanks goes to those quoted and cited in this article, along with Shannon, Sarah, Ann Marie, Donielle, and Michele.

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About Katie Kimball

An at-home mom who is passionate about food, her two kids, the good green Earth and her faith, Katie Kimball blogs about all that and more at Kitchen Stewardship.

Comments

  1. Yeah, I suppose you’re very right. I actually started eating liver since reading this post :) I had remembered eating something called braunschweiger as a kid and enjoying it. I read the label at the store a week ago and found out that the primary ingredient is liver! It tastes pretty fatty, but hopefully the benefits of the liver will outweigh the high fat content. Thanks for the awesome tips!
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  2. Thanks Katie, i m end to my 20′s and now its so terrific to handle my cellulite level as good as it was. but through above all stuff its quite easy to handle somehow.
    hetvi @ pregnancy miracle´s latest post: Pregnancy Miracle: Great Way to Get Pregnant Naturally

  3. Mollie Poisel says:

    Kate ,great info.I have been over weight for 15 years and eating fat free,low fat,salt free,low carb,low sugar.I love liver/onions fried,mmmm!I have yet to fully learn to appreciate seafood.Bacon wrapped prawns are great though!LOL!And I love grass fed beef but,my hubby says he thinks it taste weird,LOL! I eat spinach always,we have been using real buuter for a couple years now.I do how ever tend to lean towards veggies,eggs,fruits,grains more than meat.I am also allergic to olive oil,wheat( not gluten),and coffee.In about 6 months -1 year we are moving lock,stock and barrel to the wilds of Montana.Will be raising our own meats,veggies and fruits.

  4. I happened to pop by your page quite by accident. I come from a small Nordic/European country and eating all these things has been quite natural for me. My Mom prepares the best liver, she sprinkles it first with plenty of lemon and then fries it. I love it. Right now, at my third pregnancy I love it even more. We are living in the States temporarily and I hate the fact it is close to impossible to find whole milk products except for Trader Joe’s which is slightly on the expensive side and further off from where we live. It is hard to understand the national campaigns that are supposed to fight childhood obesity so prevalent here and then have one of the points there getting children to drink skimmed or fat free milk. As if American obesity problem came from eating or drinking ‘whole’ products. It is exactly the opposite – all the substitutes and fat free things contribute to the obesity. Luckily, just recently I discovered Canadian whole milk yoghurt in Target. Wow, what a difference in taste. Thanks for a great post!

  5. Pregnancy should be taken seriously because the essential nutrients a baby needs to develop from the mother’s diet. A mother who takes the time to learn about the right foods to eat during pregnancy and, in turn eat the right foods guarantees optimal nutrients for your baby through a well-distributed food during pregnancy plan. If the mother eats too many empty calories your baby’s development may be compromised cell and the baby is low birth weight.

  6. I was so excited to read this post, and then I read through the first few sentences. Are you kidding me?
    Men and women are different and you can tell because women worry about cellulite and men don’t?
    WHAT?
    Women are TOLD to worry about cellulite by articles like THIS. I do not worry about cellulite because I choose what influences tIlisten to, and I reject this guilt or shame or whatever it is that you’re trying to get me to feel. Especially if only you and your husband see that cellulite–why do you care? Is he trying to get you to feel shame about your appearance? Then shame on him. But if not, then really, really, you can feel embarrassed or you can say NO.

    I say no. Men and women are the same, in that society tries to tell us both what to be embarrassed and ashamed about; what differs is the subject of shame. My husband and I will laugh about this later, I’m sure, but right now I’m just annoyed. Stop perpetuating this nonsense.

    Phew! Okay, vent over. Now I’m going to read the rest of the article and hope it’s good and interesting advice about healthy eating.

  7. I’ve been doing research about this recently and I feel thankful there is someone like you dedicating such informative info about health…just realize I need to eat healthier, thank you for excellent post, Katie!
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  8. Nice stuff a useful one!Thanks for taking time to share your great experience here with us ..

  9. I love your writing style truly loving this web site. “I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.” by Jimmy Stewart.

  10. monalisa says:

    i want to say a very special thanks to ashra for been there for me when all hope was lost, let me start by saying i have never used child control pills before or done abortion but i have been trying to get pregnant and to have my own baby , i have had 2miscarriage in 2005 AND 2009 and am now 39year old with nothing to show for it, i have gone to the doctor i have have done series of test, i and my husband and everything was said to be fine with us but why am not getting pregnant was a major concern , i took various fertility drugs and vitamins yet nothing is steel happening , my husband has gone for series of test and the doctor said he is capable of impregnating me . i just could not figure what was wrong with me.
    Every month once i see my period i feel very down and frustrated any time is comes until one day i was browsing through Google on how to get pregnant and i saw so many testimonies pf different persons and different problems testifying how they got there problem solved by ASHRA the spell caster , i then copied the email address of ASHRA and i contacted ashra and narrated everything i am passing through ,

    ASHRA Reply me immediately me with words of comfort and immediately i had peace inside of me and ashra perform the cleanse spell and told me the reason why i havent been able to get pregnant and have my baby its because there is a work of witch craft that is causing me not to have my baby thats the reason the doctors could not find any medical report , he then cast the spell and remove the dark spell that the witch craft has put on me immediately ashra cast the purification spell i feet light and it was like a huge burden has left my body, 6weeks time i did a pregnancy test and i was pregnant this my second pregnancy two years later now my baby is healthy and a happy baby and caring another pregnancy now and it such a thing of joy , my advice to other women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant or they always have miscarriage is that it might be a witch craft dark spell ,contact ashra today and that might be your break through , you can contact ashra on email address :ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311

    MONALISA

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  11. Hi My name is ‘Bruno Rico’ just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 7years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that she filed for divorce… I tried my best to make her change her mind & stay with me cause i loved her with all my heart and didn’t want to loose her but everything just didn’t work out… she moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used roots and herbs… Within 7 days she called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma she had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… You can email him via akhidenorlovespell@gmail.com Don’t give up just yet, the different between ‘Ordinary’ & ‘Extra-Ordinary’ is the ‘Extra’ so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it’s truly worth it.

  12. Just wanted to add the idea that if possible, we should be buying not only grass-fed but also organic meats. Because when the cows are fed alfalfa in the winter, it is most likely GMO. : ( I am uncomfortable making bone broth from animals who have been eating GMO foods–same reason I always try to buy organic dairy. So I would argue that the best diet uses these kinds of healthy meats, but not predominantly–yes, it is more expensive, but I would rather not buy as much meat and know I am getting what is not scary to feed my kids.

  13. Yes, yes, YES! Katie, I hope you’ll share this on Wildcrafting Wednesday! Our 100th edition was yesterday, but the linky is still up for 12 more hours so stop by and share. Plus many of the hosts are offering giveaways. :)

  14. I want to testify of what a spell caster did for me and my hubby.we have been married since 2007 without a sign of pregnancy.I went off birth control then and did not have a period.my gyro gave me progesterone to jump-start a period and it did.,but i did not have another one.we did another round of progesterone followed by 100mg clomid for 5 months,we followed all doctors instructions but all to no avail.I have been buying ovulation kits pregnancy test AND i finally got 3 test when i was ovulating! So ever since that we been trying for years now! Well i was very confused because i keep taking ept test AND they all keep turning out to b negative! I really want a baby girl while my hubby want a baby boy LOLL! I think maybe we are just trying to hard, What i can tell you is that its been so many years now and i still yet do not have my period??nobody to help because every body around us was already at the verge of losing their faith on us.no were to run to until one faithful day i was reading a magazine and i stumble on a page were i found topic or a head line {A SPELL CASTER} who can heal someone from HIV AND AIDS,bring back your EX,enlarge your BREAST,help you win a VISA LOTTERY,losing your WEIGHT and even get six PACKS AND flatten your BELLY,I gave him a try and before i could no it Dr OJuku rescue me from my problem by casting a spell for me and told me to go and make love with my hubby,then nine months after the spell and making love with my husband i delivered a twins A BOY AND A GIRL.This spell caster name is Dr Ojuku so many people have witness his wonderful work..He is nice, contact him on (droyekpenspelltemple@outlook.com if you are in any predicament Hume•Thanks so very much!! All thanks to Dr Ojuku Regard…….

  15. Lord Azeez Reply me immediately me with words of comfort and immediately i had peace inside of me and Lord Azeez perform the cleanse spell and told me the reason why i havent been able to get pregnant and have my baby its because there is a work of witch craft that is causing me not to have my baby thats the reason the doctors could not find any medical report , he then cast the spell and remove the dark spell that the witch craft has put on me immediately Lord Azeez cast the purification spell i feet light and it was like a huge burden has left my body, 6weeks time i did a pregnancy test and i was pregnant this my second pregnancy two years later now my baby is healthy and a happy baby and caring another pregnancy now and it such a thing of joy , my advice to other women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant or they always have miscarriage is that it might be a witch craft dark spell ,contact Lord Azeez today and that might be your break through , you can contact ashra on email address : lordazeez1990@hotmail.com or call him on +2347054457050

  16. Cynthia Lawrence says:

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  17. A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but is especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow, and will keep you fit and well.

  18. Casey Deborah says:

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