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You may be aware of the fact that women have higher life expectancy than men. But do you know that women tend to have higher rates of illness than men? Ladies, you're at higher risk of illnesses that are debilitating than men. Don't be upset, you can reduce the risk by improving your diet, especially eating more bright-colored fruits and vegetables, as suggested by a new study.
The authors from the University of Georgia recommended women to eat fruits and vegetables that are high in pigmented carotenoids like yams, kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges and carrots. These bright-colored fruits and vegetables are particularly helpful in preventing visual and cognitive loss, they said.
Billy R. Hammond, co-author of the study, noted that men are more likely to develop diseases that tend to kill them, but women get such diseases less often or later in life.
However, women experience illnesses that are debilitating, such as macular degeneration and dementia, at much higher rates than men. In fact, women account for two-thirds of the total macular degeneration and dementia cases in the world, he said.
Women also account for nearly 80 per cent of all the autoimmune diseases taken together. As this vulnerability is directly linked to biology, Hammond highlighted that woman need to take extra preventive care.
How women store vitamins and minerals in their bodies is partly responsible for this vulnerability, the researchers said.
Hammond explained that compared to men, women have more body fat, which serves as a reservoir for many dietary vitamins and minerals, which are useful during pregnancy. However, it leads to deficiency of these nutrients for the retina and the brain, making women susceptible to degenerative problems.
Diet high in pigmented carotenoids acts as antioxidants in the body, said the researchers. Specially two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in specific tissues of the eye and brain, are known to reduce central nervous system degeneration.
Hammond said that the requirements of these carotenoids are much higher for women.
You can also get carotenoids via supplements, but Hammond said getting them through food is better.
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