Due largely to menstruation, women tend to be anemic more than men. And low iron levels in blood can cause severe fatigue. To get a good dose of iron, try bison. Bison, or buffalo, meat is lean and has what diet-conscious women want—lots of iron and less fat than most cuts of beef. “The iron content is about 3 milligrams in a 3 1/2-ounce uncooked portion,” says Marty Marchello, PhD, at North Dakota State University. “That portion contains less than 3 grams of fat.” Buffalo meat can help boost energy and lower weight. And you don’t have to have a home on the range to get some bison anymore. You can pick it up at many supermarkets across the United States, or through mail order or on the Internet. Then make yourself a buffalo steak salad.
Fighting cancer is just one of the many health benefits of beans. In an 8-year Harvard study of more than 90,000 cancer-free women, those who ate beans and lentils two or more times a week decreased their chances of breast cancer by 34 percent compared to women who had them one or fewer times a month. This is likely because of their plant-based chemicals (like phytosterols) and high amounts of fiber. These are the best diets for women over 40 (and yes, fiber is important).
Strong bone health makes a crucial impact on everyone’s health, but ladies, it’s especially important for you. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men because they tend to have smaller, thinner bones. Once women reach menopause, there’s a sharp decrease in estrogen, a hormone than helps protect bones. Regular servings of low-fat or Greek yogurt ensure that you get enough calcium. Plus, yogurt’s probiotics keep everything in your GI tract running smoothly.