Women today have more opportunities than ever before, but arguably, those opportunities have come at a price. The overwhelming stress of juggling multiple roles-career woman, wife, mother, volunteer, church worker-leaves many women susceptible to depression, fatigue, and even diseases traditionally more common in men, including heart disease and ulcers. Stress isn't the only culprit. Having less time for healthy food preparation may also play a role in women's health problems today.
Let's take a brief look at a few of women's most common health challenges and issues.
- Eating on the Run
In their daily scramble, a majority of today,s women feel too busy or tired to cook from scratch, and rely heavily on frozen, canned, packaged and take-out foods for themselves and their families. Because these foods are often loaded with fat, sugar, and preservatives, when consumed frequently they can pose a threat to robust health.
But even if you know convenience foods aren't the best for you and your family, the problem of not having time to cook from scratch still exists.
What can you do?
First, taking a supplement is a simple way to ensure that you're getting the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis. Nature's Sunshine offers the largest selection of nutritional supplements available anywhere. Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals is an excellent, high-potency all-around general supplement.
The convenience food market has improved dramatically in the last few years. Stir-fry mixes in the frozen food section-relative newcomers on the block-are rich in vegetables and, as far as convenience foods go, they're one of the better alternatives. They take only minutes to prepare, and served over brown rice make a relatively healthy meal.
Grocery meat departments today offer many premade foods-such as kebabs, stir-fry and fajita mixes as good as homemade (maybe even better, depending on your cooking skills) that only take minutes to prepare. Many grocery store delis offer salad bars, baked chicken, soups made from scratch, and other relatively healthy option.
Stock your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables-nature's convenience foods. Take advantage of packaged salad mixes, baby carrots you can snack on right from the package, and fresh fruit salads in your grocer's produce section.
If you eat out a lot, be savvy about fat content, a factor in heart disease and many female health problems. Fast food is loaded with it, but most chains are making an effort to offer healthy alternatives. Check the facts before assuming these foods are lo-fat. Example: one popular chain recently offered a "lean" hamburger higher in fat than the regular cheeseburger. Another offers a "garden burger" (no meat) made from vegetables and mushrooms.
|SUPPLEMENT CHECKLIST FOR THE WOMAN ON THE GO:|
Calcium with Magnesium and Vitamin D
- The Dieting Frenzy
Most women are, have been, or will eventually go on a diet. Most diets are more concerned with calorie restriction than health, and leave a woman nutritionally shortchanged.
Diet shakes, a popular weigh-loss method, leave a lot to be desired in the area of nutrition. Some brands utilize artificial sweeteners of questionable safety. Thermo-Meal, NSP's alternative to diet shakes, has several advantages over other brands, including a healthy herbal base consisting of astragalus, ashwagandha, schizandra, and reishi mushroom, plus the powerful antioxidant proanthocyanidins and thermogenesis-supporting MCTs (fats that act like carbohydrates). Unlike most diet drinks that use soy as their only protein source, Thermo-Meal's protein comes from two sources: amaranth, a healthy grain used by the ancient Incas, and soy.
NSP also offers dairy-free SynerProTein, a balanced protein drink providing all nine essential amino acids in a cruciferous vegetable base. SynerProTein is 100% fat-free, sweetened with natural fructose and comes in vanilla and cocoa flavors.
|SUPPLEMENT CHECKLIST FOR THE WOMAN GETTING FIT:|
- Special Needs During Pregnancy
Possibly no other relationship is more delicate than that between an unborn child and its mother. The tiny, silent partner has no say about the environment in whcih it develops-yet its very life depends upon its mother's choices.
Nutrition for a healthy baby starts before conception, with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Calcium, iron and folic acid are especially important during this special time. Most doctors recommend a prenatal vitamin supplement.
As for herbal supplements during pregnancy, stick with the nutritive herbs-those known primarily for their vitamin and mineral content, such as kelp, alfalfa, and red raspberry. Mint tea can be a very soothing addition to the diet (use a drop or two of NSP Peppermint Oil in hot or cold water). Enjoy NSP's Red Raspberry Liquid Herb, with the comforting flavors of red raspberry and mint.
|CHECKLIST FOR THE WOMAN-TO-BE:|
Red Raspberry Liquid Herb
5-W (last five weeks of pregnancy)
Vitamin Calcium with Magnesium & Vitamin D
- Eating for One-Single Life
According to a Gallup survey, two out of 10 adults eat alone on any given weeknight. Because it's hard to get excited about cooking for one, many singles opt for quick foods, such as TV dinners and take-out foods.
As previously mentioned, healthy quick food options are on the increase. See the section in this article, "Eating on the Run," for tips on healthy food selection.
|CHECKLIST FOR THE SINGLE WOMAN:|
Super Supplemental V & M
- Life After Menopause
Menopause, between the ages of 40-55, is the time for the body to rest from the burden of preparing for the creation of new life, and should actually be a time to enjoy once the transition has been made. It will save the body energy and allay fears of a later life pregnancy.
The transition from here to there can be a major problem for women under stress and lacking proper nutrition and exercise. Hot flashes-a flush of intense heat that suddenly sweeps through the upper half of the body and may cause perspiration and the face to redden-are common. Other symptoms include dizziness or faintness, decreased or increased interest in sex, irritability, depression, insomnia, constipation, and an increase in weight.
The most common answer to menopause has been to take an estrogen-replacement drug. Estrogen supplementation increases the risk of cancer by encouraging cell growth, and the body may not tolerate the type or amount taken for its unique needs.
The adrenal glands produce natural forms of estrogen after the ovaries stop. The adrenals can use plenty of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and the B vitamins. In addition, certain herbs, while not containing human-type estrogen, do contain similar compounds that may be adapted by the body to make an adequate substitute.
To protect bones against loss, exercise and a good diet are vital. There is some evidence that sufficient production of the hormone progesterone is more important than estrogen. You may need to more carefully watch your diet during menopause. Limit your intake of foods known to make your symptoms worse: spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, sugar, dairy foods, and fatty meat.
|SUPPLEMENTS FOR THE MATURE WOMAN:|
Wild Yam & Chaste Tree
Calcium with Magnesium & Vitamin D
|WHEN MOTHERHOOD ELUDES YOU:|
So you want to have a baby, but the stork
seems to have crossed you out of his little
black book? You're not alone.trouble conceiving.
Although infertility is a complex problem
not always lined to nutrition, many
couples get in touch with the stork after
eating high-quality nutrient-rich foods,
eliminating harmful substances and
increasing intake of vitamins and minerals
(minerals are especially important to
fertility). Herbal supplements are also
quite popular. For women, the B-complex
family, zinc, vitamin C, calcium, dong quai,
false unicorn, kelp, and wild yam & chaste
tree combination are popular. Men might
try kelp, false unicorn, damiana, zinc,
and vitamin C.
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|Ref: Sunshine Horizons - Vol. 21 No. 4 - May 1996|