You would be shocked at what women put themselves through in the name of beauty. The multi-billion dollar industry speaks for itself. But what about health? Are women paying as much attention to their fiber intake as they are face creams? It would seem they are multitasking with potent ingredients that yield major results. Here are five superfoods that put in the work, inside and out.
The connotation to beans isn’t exactly sexy, but the anti-aging qualities may be worth a little gastric pressure. Black beans and lentils have proven to have high levels of resveratrol, an ingredient also found in wine, that may prevent DNA damage that leads to signs of aging.
One Australian study found that people in Australia, Sweden, and Greece, who ate a combination of beans, vegetables, and olive oil, had the fewest wrinkles. For the ultimate mash-up up whole beans, quinoa, and gooey vegan cheese, try Veestro’s Three Layer Scramble.
Menstrual pain can feel like the onset of a slow death. One study found that 250 mg of ginger powder, four times a day, could be just as effective in pain relief as ibuprofen. Creating homemade ginger tea may be the natural remedy for fighting cramps every month.
Women who are trying to get pregnant, may benefit from a diet high in dark greens, like spinach, broccoli, and romaine lettuce—all of which are high in folate, a natural B vitamin that aids in the production of red blood cells, and can prevent birth defects in a baby’s brain and spinal cord. Some studies have shown that folate, or its man-made form “folic acid,” can also improve ovulation.
Fluctuating levels of estrogen may be the culprit for abrupt mood swings, but testosterone (yes, women have testosterone!) can play a part in hormonal imbalance as well, starting with visible signs on the skin. Experts say the male hormone can make skin look darker and thinner, as well as cause acne. Almonds have shown to decrease testosterone levels, as well as increase levels of adiponectin, which regulates blood sugar levels.
Pears make their most frequent appearance in baby food, but they may be the secret to a flatter belly. Just one pear fulfills 15% of the daily recommended amount of fiber, mostly from its green skin. Fibers helps curb the appetite and stimulate bowel movement. One study found that women who ate three pears a day lost more weight than those who didn’t.
Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1. Mejia Eg, Prisecaru V. Lectins as bioactive plant proteins: a potential in cancer treatment. Crit 2005;45(6):425-45.