Eat Healthy!

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Is this really true?

What we eat and drink and what we don’t can definitely make a difference to our health. Eating well is one of the best ways we can take care of ourselves- and those who depend on us.

As women we all have special dietary needs during the different stages of our lives, during adolescence, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. Regardless of the stage of life we are in, committing to a healthy diet decreases our chances of developing a lot of those dreadful diseases we hear about, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Eating healthy also increases our energy levels, which makes it easier to juggle our commitments every day.

So what is a healthy diet? Healthy eating is not about restricting diet or depriving ourselves of the foods we love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping ourselves as healthy as possible. We should all learn a little more about nutrition basics and how to incorporate them in a way that works for us. We need to start reading labels and make healthier choices.

Some quick nutrition ABCs:

A. Choose the right fats for our diet:

  • Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for us. These are found in Olive oil and canola oil.
  • Saturated fats ( hydrogenated and trans fat) found in red meat, palm oil, vegetable shortenings, fried foods and other processed foods are unhealthy.
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fats can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve mood, and help prevent dementia.

B. Calcium and Vitamin D:

  • Calcium has been shown to help alleviate PMS symptoms, support a healthy pregnancy, and prevent osteoporosis and bone loss after menopause.
  • Calcium from naturally occurring sources is absorbed much better than calcium supplements.
  • Our body needs Vitamin D and magnesium to properly utilize the calcium.

C. Antioxidants:

  • These prevent against certain cancers and slow the aging process. The brighter, deep-colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Blueberries are known to be “youth” berries.

D. Fiber:

  • Dietary fiber found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps us feel fuller faster and longer. It keeps blood sugar levels even and maintains a healthy colon.

Next on the list is “Be active.” Until next time “Eat healthy!”

Leina Wahba

Leina Wahba lives in Northern Virginia with her three children and husband.  She’s a full-time pediatrician, home-schooling mommy and MAS Cub Scouts leader.

About Mahaez
  • kariman

    youth berries you say…i’m heading to the grocery store tomorrow!

  • Sumayah

    AA Lena,

    JAK for the eating healthy reminder. I didn’t get on that band wagon until my kids were much, much older. I shudder when I think of all the “junk” food I fed them. “Captain Crunch, and White bread and Sugar..Oh MY!!!!”

  • Maha

    It’s so true that making good eating choices can make a big difference in our energy levels and how well we can handle our responsibilities.

    I think women in particular tend to neglect this because a lot of us don’t feel good about ourselves or our bodies, or are so overwhelmed by our kids, and eating well is just “an extra”.

    I find myself on a roller coaster–sometimes I eat so well–organic, green smoothies, homemade granola, lots of veggies–and other times I am completely negligent. Now that my kids are getting older and I can’t hide a bag of sour gummy worms anymore, I realize that they are going to follow my lead in eating habits.

  • kelly

    i’ll try, insha Allah!!

  • Fatima

    i’ve always loved fruits and veggies, but i’ve just started making sure that my house is stock full of fruits, and heading to the grocery store when my fruit/veggie reserves are low (not just bread/milk/eggs).

    i had a friend tell me once that she and her kids have a policy of making sure they eat their 4-6 servings of fruits and veggies a day before they could even think of eating any ‘junk’ food. i sometimes try that, and find that i eventually don’t have room in my stomach for the junk food if i try to have my fruits/veggies/calcium needs met first.

  • Um Lubayah

    Oh Allah, help me and my family and everyone who visits this website eat healthy like Fatima’s friend. And bless Leina for reminding us. :)


  • Hagar

    There’s so much to know..the outline really simplified it. Thank you!

    Ameen to Um Lubayah’s duaa.