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Superfoods for Women: The Definitive List


By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

superfoods for women

If you're wondering which superfoods for women you and your family should eat, the answer might be simpler than you thought!

Add superfoods for women to daily menus to optimize your overall health, reduce disease risks, and look and feel your best!

Consume the following top 10 superfoods to drastically improve energy levels, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and aid in healthy weight management.

Add these superfoods for women to daily meal plans to look and feel healthy, and improve your quality of life!

1. Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are superfoods rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Broccoli is low in calories, containing just 30 calories in each 1-cup cooked portion, which is why eating broccoli regularly can aid in healthy weight management or weight loss and reduce chronic diseases and their risk factors.

Aim to fill about half of each plate of food with broccoli or other non-starchy vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, or leafy greens.

Serve broccoli with chicken, salmon, or steak stir fry, or cook it with olive oil and your favorite seasonings.

Add broccoli powder to protein smoothies or include broccoli in pasta dishes, casseroles, cold salads, or soups!

2. Whole Grains

Whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, bulgur, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain breads, whole-grain pasta, and oatmeal, are excellent sources of essential nutrients.

Examples insoluble and soluble fibers, minerals, B vitamins, and phytonutrients.

Whole grains contain many more disease-fighting nutrients than refined grains like white bread and white rice.

Studies show that whole grains help lower cholesterol and protect you against diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

A higher whole-grain intake is associated with lower body mass indexes (BMIs).

The fiber in whole grains helps fill you up, making it easier to eat fewer calories for weight loss or healthy weight maintenance.

Fill about one-fourth of each plate of food with whole grains or other starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, corn, peas, or legumes.

To include whole grains in daily meal plans, eat oatmeal (topped with bananas and walnuts) for breakfast or in protein-rich smoothies.

Eat wild rice or quinoa with vegetables and healthy protein foods like salmon, chicken, shrimp, or organic steak.

Consider adding brown rice to your favorite stir fry recipe.

3. Salmon

Salmon is rich in protein, vitamins, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which is why this superfood for women makes the top 10 list.

A 3-ounce portion of salmon contains just over 100 calories and about 17 grams of protein.

It's rich in B vitamins, potassium, selenium, and vitamin D.

Studies show that DHA and EPA present in salmon are crucial for proper fetal development during pregnancy and may help reduce peripheral artery disease, inflammation, and other heart problems.

Omega-3s also enhance cognitive function and can aid in healthy weight management.

Aim to fill about one-fourth of your plate with salmon or other protein-rich foods.

To add salmon to daily meal plans, grill or bake it and eat salmon with non-starchy vegetables and whole grains or other starches.

Top salads with salmon, grill salmon with veggies on kabobs, or add salmon to soups, whole-grain pasta dishes, or veggie stir fry.

4. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, Romain lettuce, and other leafy greens are very low in calories.

These superfoods for women contain under 10 calories in each 1-cup portion.

Despite this, leafy greens are still packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Many are good sources of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, folate, vitamin K, phosphorous, and vitamin A.

These micronutrients fight against inflammation, reducing your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Eating low-calorie foods also aids in healthy weight management.

If weight loss is your goal, eat leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables before other foods on your plate to help fill you up without the extra calories.

Fill one-half of your plate with leafy greens or other nutritious, non-starchy vegetables.

Try adding greens or greens powder to your favorite protein shake or smoothie recipe.

Eat greens in a salad or add leafy greens to omelets, soups, and vegetable or turkey burgers to boost your veggie intake and energy levels!

5. Avocados

Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats that reduce your risk of heart disease when you eat them in place of saturated or trans fats.

Nutritious fats can also lower your risk of diabetes, obesity, and other diseases if you choose them in place of added sugar, white bread, and other refined grains.

Getting enough fat in your diet boosts satiety, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and ensures your hair, skin, and nails stay healthy.

In addition to being rich in healthy fats, avocados are loaded with fiber, B vitamins, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, and even vitamin C.

Aim to eat avocados or other foods rich in nutritious fats, such as olive oil, olives, nuts, and seeds, at each meal or snack to optimize satiety.

Add avocado slices to any healthy meal.

Top salads, soups, omelets, chicken or fish tacos, and veggie or turkey burgers with avocados.

Consider eating avocado slices between meals to keep you satisfied for hours without the urge to overeat.

6. Greek Yogurt and Plain Kefir

Greek yogurt and plain kefir are often lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than regular yogurt.

These superfoods for women are packed with protein, calcium, iodine, vitamin B-12, and probiotics, which offer a wide array of health benefits for you and your entire family.

Studies show that probiotics are linked with the following health perks:

  • Bowel disease reduction
  • A stronger immune system
  • Reduced lactose intolerance symptoms
  • Better intestinal microbial balance
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Postmenopausal disorder symptom relief
  • Reduced diarrhea
  • Improvements in oral and skin diseases
  • Reductions in depression and anxiety

A 5-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt contains about 80 calories, 14 grams of protein, and about 15% of your daily value for calcium.

One cup of plain, low-fat kefir provides about 110 calories, 11 grams of protein, and 30% of your calcium daily value.

Greek yogurt, plain kefir, and other calcium-rich foods are beneficial for bone health in women, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.

Because these foods are rich in protein, Greek yogurt and kefir help fill you up without the extra calories, optimizing healthy weight management.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 recommend women consume 2-3 cups of dairy foods or calcium-rich, plant-based alternatives daily (depending on their calorie needs) to achieve optimal health.

7. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds make the perfect superfoods for women because they're rich in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals.

Nuts and seeds are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, phosphorous, manganese, copper, and selenium.

Nutritious nuts and seeds to consider adding to daily meal plans include:

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts

Snack on nuts or seeds between meals or add them to oatmeal, whole-grain cereal, protein waffles or pancakes, salads, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.

Blend nuts, seeds, or nut butter with protein powder, almond milk, berries, and ice to create your own nutrient-dense protein smoothie.

Top celery, bananas, apple slices, or pears with peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or any other favorite nut butter to boost satiety and ensure you get plenty of healthy fats, fiber, and other essential nutrients in your diet!

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is an important superfood for women you can add to just about any favorite recipe!

It's a heart-healthy fat that contains powerful antioxidants.

Olive oil helps boost satiety and reduce your risk of numerous chronic diseases when used in place of butter and other animal fats.

Studies show that some of the many health benefits associated with olive oil consumption include:

  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Less oxidative stress

Researchers found that adding olive oil to daily meal plans may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.

One reason for olive oil's heart-healthy benefits is due to its antioxidant properties and ability to keep you full for longer time periods.

Olive oil and other heart-healthy fats make the perfect addition to ketogenic diets and help keep your nails, hair, and skin healthy.

Studies show olive oil appears to improve cognitive function, which may help prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

Use olive oil while cooking your favorite dinner dishes, or top salads with olive oil-based dressings!

9. Berries and Cherries

Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, and cherries are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars to give you a quick boost of energy without the extra calories.

Berries and cherries contain about 50-100 calories in each 1-cup portion.

These superfoods for women are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate, other essential micronutrients, and antioxidants.

Berries and cherries help keep your immune system strong.

They aid in healthy weight management and can reduce your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 recommend women consume 1-2 cups of fruit daily, depending on their total daily calorie needs.

Add berries or cherries to whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, salads, Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or eat these fruits between meals as an energy-boosting snack.

Blend berries with almond milk, protein powder, and ice to create a nutrient-dense meal replacement smoothie or post-workout nourishment.

10. Legumes

Legumes are loaded with protein fiber, vitamins, and minerals including iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, folate, other B vitamins, and vitamin K.

Examples of legumes to add to nutritious meal plans for you and your family include:

  • Green peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lima beans
  • Other dried peas or beans

Fill one-fourth of each plate with legumes or other fiber-rich starches, such as sweet potatoes, corn, or whole grains.

Add legumes to daily menus by using them in salads, soups, casseroles, chicken taco salads, homemade veggie burgers, ground turkey chili, or omelets.

Cook legumes in olive oil topped with your favorite seasonings.

Consider a roasted chickpea recipe or snack on fresh veggies dipped in chickpea-based hummus!

How to Plan Menus With Superfoods for Women

After getting familiar with the list of top 10 superfoods for women above, plan nutritious menus that can improve your family's overall health.

Use the “perfect plate” rule when creating meal plans by trying the following:

  • Fill your plate half full of non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, cumbers, bell peppers, and leafy greens
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with salmon, shrimp, chicken, eggs, tofu, or other nutritious protein foods
  • Fill one-fourth of your plate with whole grains, legumes, sweet potatoes, corn, or other starchy veggies
  • Consume 2-3 cups of Greek yogurt, plain kefir, protein-fortified milk, low-fat cottage cheese, or calcium-rich plant-based alternatives daily
  • Eat 1-2 cups of fruit every day
  • Add heart-healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, nuts, or seeds) to each meal

Use the perfect plate method as a guideline to add several superfoods for women to daily meal plans.

Carefully plan grocery shopping trips to ensure superfoods are readily available in your home.

Offer superfoods as snacks for the kids!

Write down what you eat, track exercise, and record your body weight daily to stay on track with meeting health and fitness goals.

Don't forget to drink at least 12 cups of water every day to keep energy levels high, reduce your risk of dehydration, and avoid overeating at mealtime.

Next Steps

In addition to eating the top 10 superfoods for women, consider joining Fit Mother Project healthy eating and exercise programs specifically designed with women's needs in mind.

Doing so can help you achieve the body weight and figure of your dreams!

Upon becoming a Fit Mother Project Member, you receive individualized meal and menu plans, fat-burning workout programs for women, fit mom social media support, health coaching from medical experts, weight loss recipes, and much more!

To learn more about eating superfoods for women and achieving optimal health and wellness, sign up for the free Fit Mom 3-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart to get started on the journey toward better health today!

Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

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