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Updated 9/01/10 10:07 a.m.
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – How would you like to fight heart disease or lower your risk of cancer?
The key to doing so might be on your dinner plate.
But for women who lead hectic lives, there isn’t always much time for healthy eating. That’s why nutrition experts are advising that there are six incredible “superfoods” that every woman should know about.
Yes, it can be a challenge for women to eat healthy when they are always on the go. But even when there is time, doctors say you don’t need to do much to reap the health benefits if you choose superfoods.
“Superfoods are foods that, in addition to their rich vitamin and mineral content, they’re also important in fighting a number of diseases and preventing diseases as well,” said CBS 2’s Dr. Holly Phillips.
The first superfood on the list is low fat yogurt. It’s high in calcium and protein, and may decrease the risk of getting breast cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive track disorders. Just stick to low or non-fat unsweetened yogurts.
“It also has probiotics, the healthy bacteria which is important to keep a healthy gut,” said nutrionist Keri Glassman. “A healthy gut is important for many reasons, including boosting our immune system.”
Fatty fish is the second superfood. This nutritional powerhouse is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Look for fish like salmon or canned fish, like sardines, which have DHA and EPA fatty acids listed on the label.
Superfood #3: Beans. They may lower cholesterol and even stabilize female hormones.
“Beans are actually a great meat substitute,” said Phillips. “They’re rich in protein and rich in fiber. They also may fight a number of diseases, including breast cancer and heart disease.”
Bright red tomatoes and fruits like watermelon are also considered a superfood.
“Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has actually been shown in recent research to be important in fighting breast cancer.” said Phillips.
Colorful berries are superfood #5. They make the grade because they’re high in antioxidants. Blueberries are especially powerful for keeping our skin and brains young.
The last superfood on the list is food fortified with vitamin D, like low fat milk. And it’s not just for bone health.
“It’s also been shown to be protective against tumors, multiple sclerosis and diabetes,” said Glassman.
If you don’t like dairy, you can still get health benefits of vitamin D – just choose fortified orange juice.