Including these five superfoods in your diet can help to alleviate symptoms associated with menopause, maintain your memory power, and prevent osteoporosis. Selected by registered dietitians Lynn Grieger, RD, CDE, and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD, these superfoods are delicious to eat, easy to prepare, and super-good for you!
An alternative protein source to meat, tofu and other soy products can be beneficial for lowering your cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Soy products like tofu may also decrease the side effects associated with menopause, says Grieger.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup, 180 calories
Containing a whopping 19 grams of fiber per cup, navy beans top Grieger's list of superfoods. Studies show that fiber can help reduce your risk of colon and other forms of cancer, as well as diverticulosis. "Women need 30 grams of fiber per day, so these beans are an excellent source," says Grieger. Include them in chili, or cook them as a side dish instead of pasta or rice for a simple nutritious boost -- and an extra serving of vegetables!
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 125 calories
If you find yourself forgetting things lately, you may want to add some blueberries to your diet. New studies show that these fruits may actually help with short-term memory loss. More good news: "They are off the charts with antioxidants!" says Bissex. Top blueberries on plain yogurt for a quick superfoods breakfast or snack.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 40 calories
Packed with calcium, yogurt can help prevent osteoporosis. It has also been shown to boost your immunity and help with weight management. "There is research to support that people who consume dairy products have an easier time with weight control," says Bissex. Additionally, yogurt contains high amounts of good bacteria such as acidophilus, which helps to prevent yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup, 210 calories
Avocado contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which can help to protect your vision and skin. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados has also been shown to improve the condition of hair and skin. "Women shouldn't be afraid to eat avocados because they think they are fattening. They have tremendous health benefits!" says Bissex. Slice up a ripe avocado for your turkey sandwich, or the ever-satisfying guacamole and chips.
Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 80 calories
Originally published on BHG.com, March 2005.