This Is the Best Diet for Women, According to Doctors
When it comes to health, it often feels like women are at a disadvantage.
When our hormones fall off-balance, everything else seems to follow. Compared to men, we’re more likely to get breast cancer, develop osteoporosis, and face mental health issues such as depression. Also, we basically have to go through puberty twice in our lifetimes — even if we never have any kids of our own.
But over time, doctors have come up with plenty of preventative strategies to keep us healthy. We’re told when we need to start breast cancer screenings and how often we need them. There are also countless resources out there for women going through menopause, pregnancy, and more.
There also may be certain foods we can eat to keep us healthy as we age — and those we should probably avoid.
What are the healthiest foods women can eat? Plus, learn why doctors say the best diet for women is also the easiest possible diet to follow.
Calcium foods for healthy bones
The majority of Americans diagnosed with osteoporosis every year are women. The condition develops due to low bone density, and your peak bone density at the age of 30 can determine how likely you are to develop it later in life.
There are a number of factors that influence your risk of poor bone health. How much calcium you consume through the foods you eat is just one of many.
Foods rich in calcium include:
- Cheese and yogurt
- Tofu and edamame
- Spinach and kale.
There are plenty of foods high in calcium that aren’t dairy-based. So if you prefer not to eat dairy or your body can’t tolerate it, there’s no need to settle for a supplement. Maintaining normal levels of physical activity also keeps your bones strong.
Foods high in iron
Iron-rich foods are essential for long-term health — especially for women prior to their monthly menstrual cycles. An iron deficiency can result in anemia, a condition that develops due to lower-than-normal oxygen levels in the blood.
Iron deficiencies are the most common nutritional deficiencies in the United States. About 10% of women are affected — and many don’t even know it.
It’s not too difficult to incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet — even if you don’t eat meat. Some of the best sources of iron in the diet include:
- Meat and poultry (though red meat consumption should be limited)
- Spinach and kale
- Beans, chickpeas, and soybeans
There’s more than just one reason to add these foods to your diet, however. Beans and other legumes, for example, are high in fiber, which is a good nutrient for both your heart and your digestive system. Lean protein keeps you healthy and may even play a role in triggering feelings of fullness while eating.
Why the Mediterranean diet is the best diet for women
This diet has many health benefits for those who stick with it. It doesn’t have strict guidelines like many other diets out there, but instead encourages both men and women to adopt a healthier lifestyle by choosing foods proven to benefit both the body and mind.
It’s also one of the easiest diets to follow, because it doesn’t require you to follow a strict set of rules or force you to eliminate mass quantities of food from your diet.
A Mediterranean-style diet incorporates a variety of foods essential for women’s health at every age.
- High in healthy fats and fiber for heart health
- Encourages the consumption of lean protein from both plant and animal sources
- Emphasizes exercise, good for your heart, bones, and more
- Incorporates iron- and calcium-rich foods into every meal plan.
The Mediterranean diet encourages regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein — all essential food groups for maintaining a long, healthy life. It also doesn’t force you to eliminate sweets and processed foods completely — it simply advises that you consume them less frequently.
Of course, women aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the Mediterranean diet. Consuming healthy fats, plenty of fiber, and lean sources of protein can and will pay off in the long-term for anyone who even loosely follows the diet’s principles.