9 Dietitian Tips for Women’s Health
Thanks to Mother’s Day, the month of May is all about remembering the women in your life, who brought you life, love, and security. That’s me (above) sharing Mother’s Day with my sons, who are now in college! One of the most important things women can do to live long, rich, vibrant lives is to eat healthfully and to include physical activity. So, I asked some of my favorite dietitians to share some of their best advice on how women can maintain optimal health through lifestyle. And you don’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to think about women’s health. Do it all year long to maintain good health and reduce your risk of disease. Let’s stay strong together!
Eat and Live Well,
9 Dietitian Tips for Women’s Health
1. Go Red! “Have a red food on your plate for a strong heartbeat. These foods have potassium, an electrolyte that helps prevent the damaging effects of too much sodium, such as high blood pressure. Think of adding tomato sauce or purée, tomato paste, or dark red kidney beans in your meals, “ says Tamar Rothenberg, RDN, Nutrition Nom Nom
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Enjoy Food. “It’s okay to be a woman with an appetite who enjoys food. Use that enjoyment to plan regular, satisfying meals instead of grazing to get what you truly like. You will feel better and get better nutrition when you’ve had adequate meals than when you’ve nibbled your way through the day,” says Adina Pearson, RD, Adina Pearson
3. Stay Active. “Find an activity you like to do and keep active daily; this can help with the weight gain through the aging process,” says Janet Brancato, MS, RD, My Nutopia
4. Power Up on Calcium. “Don’t throw in the towel on calcium after you hit 30 just because peak bone mass has been reached by then. You can still slow down bone loss by staying focused on calcium, vitamin D, and weight-bearing and strengthening exercises,” says Sarah Curry, MS, RD, CDE, Dishin It Out
5. Protein is Your Friend. “Get the protein you need at every meal every day to preserve muscle mass and maintain bone health to keep you as active and able to take care of yourself as possible. It doesn’t matter if the protein comes from animal or plant sources, but you should aim for at least 20 grams at each meal, and I highly recommend including protein-rich foods for snacks since they typically contain many more nutrients than protein alone,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, Better Is the New Perfect
6. Savor Each Bite. “Be a mindful eater. Eat nutritious foods that you love, slow down, and savor every bite. Cut back where you don’t notice, so that you don’t feel deprived,” says Sarah Remmer, RD.
7. Don’t Forget the Fat. “Make friends with fat, especially the fats found in foods like avocados, olive oil, fish, nuts, and seeds. Fat is a key nutrient your body needs to make hormones, absorb fat soluble vitamins, and keep you satiated. Most importantly, it makes food taste good!” says Kendra Tolbert MS, RDN, CDN, CLC, Live Fertile
8. Resistance Training is Key. “Get those resistance exercises in to help promote bone health! While we can’t stop bone loss after a certain age, we can certainly slow down the rate by incorporating weights, resistance bands, and body weight exercises into our regiment. Plus, think how great you’ll look and feel from building some lean muscle!” says Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, Nutrition Nuptials
9. Prioritize Yourself. ”Take the time to nourish yourself. Women notoriously prioritize everyone else before themselves. Yet, the secret to feeling better and living longer is to prioritize your own nutrition, so that you have the strength and energy to care for others. Take time to sit down and enjoy your meals, whether that means stepping away from your desk at lunchtime or sitting down to the table with your family at dinner,” says Denine Marie Stracker, MPH, RDN, Healthy Out of Habit
For more suggestions on women’s health, check out the following: