How to Find the Best Diet for Women

A healthy diet can improve energy and mood, boost fertility, aid a woman’s pregnancy, help ease symptoms of PMS or menopause and support overall health. Women have different dietary needs, such as higher requirements for calcium and vitamin D, so a diet tailored to these can be beneficial.

A healthful diet should include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It should also be low in fat, saturated and trans fats, and sugary foods.

Weight Loss

Regardless of their age, Best Diets for Women should aim for weight loss that supports overall health and wellness. Eating a healthful diet that is low in calories and rich in nutritious foods is one way to achieve this goal. Depending on their age, it may also be important for women to consume enough vitamin C, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to a healthy eating plan, working with a weight loss professional or finding an exercise partner can help women stick to their goals and achieve long-term success.1

Valerie Agyeman is a registered dietitian who produces science-driven content on overlooked nutrition, wellness and women’s health topics. She is the host of the Flourish Heights podcast and has over 10 years of nutrition communications, corporate wellness and clinical nutrition experience.

Healthy Eating

A healthy diet is important for women at all stages of life, as it can help manage gynecologic issues like polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility, as well as ease symptoms of menopause. Proper nutrition can also help boost fertility, and support a healthy pregnancy or breastfeeding.

A healthful eating plan should emphasize whole grains, vegetables, quality protein, and fruits, while limiting processed and sugary foods, and drinks. It should also aim to reduce salt and saturated fat intake, while increasing fiber, and upping intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Generally, the DASH and Mediterranean diets are both good choices for women. The latter is particularly helpful, as it has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Folate, or vitamin B9, is another key nutrient for all women, as it can greatly reduce the chance of neural tube defects in unborn babies.

Folate may be found in leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, fortified cereals, and whole grain breads. A diet high in folate is especially important for women who are trying to get pregnant, or who are currently breastfeeding. Calcium is another nutrient that is crucial for women, especially as they age, as it can help prevent osteoporosis. This mineral can be obtained through dark leafy greens, canned salmon with bones, milk, and fortified products. In addition, consuming isoflavones in soy products can help relieve menopausal hot flashes.

Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and heart disease can be caused by many factors. While some risk factors, such as family history, are uncontrollable, eating a healthful diet can help lower a person’s overall heart disease risk.

A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, quality proteins and healthy fats. It also limits processed, fried and sugary foods. A person’s age, menopause stage and exercise level may also impact heart-healthy choices.

Eating a heart-healthy diet can help reduce a person’s cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index. To achieve this, a person should limit saturated and trans fats, and consume more heart-healthy unsaturated fats. This includes avocados, olive oil and nuts. A person should also limit sodium and drink plenty of water, non-caffeinated herbal teas and low-sugar fruit beverages.

It is important to have a flexible plan that allows for treats every once in a while, as this will help balance calories and nutrition. It is also important to be sure that a person’s diet contains enough protein, calcium, vitamin D and zinc to ensure he or she gets the nutrients needed. If a person is not getting the proper amounts of nutrients from food, it can be beneficial to take supplements. When selecting supplements, look for those that have the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) symbol on the label.

Mental Health

There are many foods, nutrients and habits that improve mental health. Some of the most popular include complex carbohydrates — found in vegetables, whole grains and quinoa — as well as lean proteins, which provide energy for thinking quickly and reacting quickly. These foods are also rich in vitamins, minerals, pre- and probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids.


In addition to incorporating mood-boosting foods into your diet, try eating vegetarian meals three or more times a week for a boost in vitamin C, which is often lacking in the average person’s diet. Incorporate leafy greens and legumes into those vegetarian meals. Both are great sources of gut-healthy fiber and mood-boosting protein. And, if you don’t eat fish, try adding in flaxseed, chia seeds or walnuts to get your fill of mood-boosting omega-3 fats. All of these can be purchased in ready-to-eat forms that are quick and easy to eat. For instance, a salad made with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber and feta would be ideal.



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