Nutrition Made Easy

Our nutrition experts and registered dietitians translate the latest nutrition research into tips you can use to eat healthier every day.

7 Healthy Foods That Deliver Just What Women Need

It's important for both sexes to eat an array of healthy foods. But if you're a woman, science shows these seven foods could offer that extra edge. By: Maureen Callahan, MS, RD

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Flaxseed
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Flaxseed

A "hot" ingredient in foods targeted to women, scientists are teasing out three potentially beneficial compounds in flax: plant based omega 3 fats, fiber, and disease-fighting compounds called lignans. A Mayo Clinic study finds 40 grams of crushed flaxseed can cut down on hot flashes, and several reports suggest flax can lower "bad" or LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. (Interestingly, in one Chinese study, the cholesterol-lowering impact was more pronounced in women.) The brown or gold seeds may even play a role in fighting breast cancer. One caution: if you're pregnant or nursing, some experts suggest avoiding flax until more studies are done.

The right dose: 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day since whole seeds aren't readily digested.

View Recipe: Zucchini-Pecan Flaxseed Bread

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