5 foods that fuel women’s health

These five power foods are extra important for women. Try and add these to you meals to help you feel great

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Why to try: Vegetarians praise edamame as a high-protein snack, but each little pod is also a nutritional superstar for keeping our heart health in check.

Research suggests that edamame’s soy protein content and its antioxidant is oflavone compounds may reduce total and bad cholesterol levels. Edamame also contains heart-healthy omega-3s and 30 percent of your recommended daily dose of cholesterol-lowering fibre in one cup, helping you reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

How to try: Make a movie snack by swapping chickpeas for edamame in an Asian-style hummus. Purée 1 1/2 cups cooked and shelled edamame with 1/4 cup each tahini, water and olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Serve with raw veggies and baked wonton wrappers for dipping.

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Turnip Greens

Why to try: You may choose a bunch of turnip greens for a low-calorie, fibre-rich side, but young (or expectant) moms will appreciate the serious hit of folate, too. Folate – or folic acid in its supplement form – is a vital nutrient that can help prevent birth defects and anemia. Although potential moms-to-be should get a top-up of folic acid through their prenatal vitamins, a cup of greens delivers almost half of most adult women’s dietary folate needs.

How to try:
Switch up your classic Mother’s Day brunch frittata by sautéing 1 bunch of thinly sliced turnip green leaves (stems discarded) with 2 sliced leeks in olive oil until softened and wilted. Mix into a bowl with 8 beaten eggs, 2 tbsp minced sun-dried tomatoes and 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese and transfer to a pie dish. Bake the frittata at 375°F until set, about 10 minutes.

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Sustainable Lake Trout

Why to try: We’ve all been told to eat more fatty fish for their heart-healthy omega-3s, but options like lake trout also provide more than half of your recommended daily intake of vitamin D in just a 3-ounce portion. Research suggests that adequate vitamin D is key for maintaining bone and joint health as women age, which may reduce the risk or severity of osteoporosis, arthritis and fractures.

How to try:
Make trout en papillote. This healthy cooking method steams the fish in its own juices within a tightly sealed parcel in the oven. Here’s how: Cut a piece of parchment into the shape of a large heart, about 14 inches wide; then pile about 1/4 cup of thinly sliced fennel bulb in the middle and lay a 4- to 5-oz trout fillet on top. Add 3 orange segments, 2 sliced green olives and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Working at the top of the heart, tightly fold over 1/2 inch of the edge, pressing down to make a crisp crease. Continue down the heart to make over-lapping pleat folds, then twist the tip of the heart to seal it closed. Bake at 400°F for 15  to 20 minutes, cut into the paper to release the steam and enjoy.

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Plain Greek Yogurt

Why to try: Female foodies have gone gaga over Greek yogurt for its bone-building calcium, but it may also help prevent iodine-deficiency-related infertility, fetal intellectual disabilities and other birth defects. An essential mineral for healthy thyroid hormone levels and reproduction, there is enough iodine in a single cup of
plain Greek yogurt to fulfill half the iodine needs of most healthy women or one-third of those required to help prevent complications during pregnancy.

How to try:
Swap Greek yogurt for mayo in your caesar salad dressing. Just mix 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt with the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 or 2 minced anchovies, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 3 to 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese and toss with chopped romaine and baked croutons.

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Green Tea

Why to try: You may be in the know on green tea’s heart-disease-fighting properties, but those same antioxidants may also protect women against breast cancer. Early studies have suggested that green tea consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, better prognosis for breast cancer patients and lower recurrence and metastasis rates.

How to try:
Whip up a comforting bowl of Ochazuke, a traditional Japanese dish of rice covered in green tea and served in a similar fashion to the way we prepare cereal with milk. Cover 1/2 cup cooked brown rice and a handful of spinach with 1 cup steeped green tea. Garnish with a pinch of sesame seeds, sliced scallions, crumbled rice crackers and shredded nori.

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