20 Superfoods Vital to Women over 40

So…what exactly are “Superfoods?”  They are foods rich in antioxidants and the vitamins and minerals that are considered to be beneficial to living a longer healthier life and to have anti-aging properties. As women age it becomes more important to get the right nutrition and below are 20 Superfoods vital to a nutritious diet. 

1) Apples:  The soluble fiber in apples may help lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood sugar levels by slowing the uptake of glucose. They’re also a source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, and antioxidants like vitamin C. Apples may lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and asthma, while aiding lung function and weight loss.

2) Asparagus: The protein, iron, and vitamin A in asparagus are important for our immune system and eye health. The high fiber content helps to reduce cholesterol, control body weight, and encourage heart health. Asparagus also contains prebiotics, which promote healthy gut bacteria. 

3) Avocados:  High in magnesium and fiber, avocados help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, and can help reduce the risk for heart disease. 

4) Blueberries:  High in soluble fiber, blueberries can help lower cholesterol and slow glucose uptake, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. They also contain vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and manganese, and appear to lower blood pressure. Blueberries may also promote brain health, aid memory, and fight against age-related cognitive decline.

5) Broccoli: Antioxidants and vitamins, such as A, C, B9 (folate), and K can help your eyes, red blood cells, immune system, bones, and tissues, and are all found in broccoli. This vegetable may also aid in the fight against certain cancers, including liver, breast, and colon cancers.

6) Butternut Squash: Beta-carotene in butternut squash is important for eye health, and vitamin C benefits the heart. There is also a high fiber content, helping to lower cholesterol and maintain good blood sugar levels. Butternut squash also has potassium to help control blood pressure.

7) Eggs: The yolk contains nutrients that lower the risk of cataracts and eye degeneration.

8) Fava Beans:  Low-fat, no-cholesterol fava beans have fiber and B vitamins, including folate, thiamin, and riboflavin. They’re also rich in nutrients like manganese, iron, and potassium.

9) Garlic:  Helps prevent heart disease and strokes by slowing the hardening of the arteries. This herb may also help fight inflammation and cartilage damage associated with arthritis.

10) Greek Yogurt:  A serving of low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt may have twice the protein and half the sugar of its non-Greek counterpart. It also has more digestive-friendly probiotics than American-style yogurt.

11) Green Kale:  Contains important omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting to stop bleeding, but be cautious with kale if you take a blood thinner. High in fiber and a rich source of calcium for bone health, it also provides lutein, which is important for eye health. Kale may help slow cognitive decline, protect your arteries and lower cholesterol.

12) Milk: The protein and calcium in milk help counteract bone and muscle loss.

13) Oatmeal:  Oatmeal is low-fat, high in protein, and loaded with iron and other minerals.  It also helps scrub the arteries and may protect against colon cancer.

14) Olive Oil:  The monounsaturated fat in olive oil helps lower cholesterol levels, thus decreasing the risk of heart disease. It may also help prevent diabetes by regulating insulin levels and improving blood sugar control. Olive oil also contains vitamin K, which aids blood clotting, and vitamin E, an antioxidant important in the creation of red blood cells.
It appears to reduce arthritis inflammation as well.

15) Pomegranates:  The nutrient punicalagin in pomegranates might help fight against the breakdown of collagen, helping to preserve joint health. A half cup of pomegranate seeds contains 15% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may fend off skin damage and premature aging.

16) Quinoa:  The South American grain, quinoa, is a complete protein, filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as B2, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. It is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods to eat.

17) Salmon:  High in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can reduce the risk of heart attack and irregular heartbeats. Salmon can also help lower blood pressure and build brain cell membranes.

18) Strawberries:  The flavonoids — healthy chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vivid color — contain antioxidants that could keep your heart young.

19) Tomatoes:  Lycopene, the pigment that gives tomatoes their rich red color, may ward off UV-induced damage like wrinkles. In fact, studies show that our bodies absorb lycopene more easily from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes.

20) Turmeric:  A main spice in curry, turmeric contains curcumin. Early research shows that curcumin may bind with the plaque that can build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients to prevent the disease from developing. 

(Data per HarrogateLifecare.org)

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