Brazil nuts, kale and watermelon are wonder foods. Chocolate, too. Make it at least 85 per cent cocoa for cardiovascular health.
Naturopath Emma Sutherland and home economist Michelle Thrift have it covered in 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life - A Women's Guide to Health and Vitality. A table of colour- coded ingredients outlines their benefits and recipes make the most of their wholesome properties.
"It was incredibly challenging to narrow it down, so we looked at women's health conditions and worked backwards, choosing foods that were the most effective at supporting those health conditions," Suthlerland said.
"With diabetes, always make sure your plate is full with vegetables or salad, a quarter lean protein - whether plant of animal - and a quarter low-glycaemic carbohydrates.
Eating every three hours is super important to make that blood sugar remain stable."
She said hero foods for diabetes contained omega 3 fats, which had been shown to reduce insulin resistance, so she recommended salmon, sardines, walnuts and flaxseeds. Other must-have foods were beetroot, chickpeas, olive oil, soybeans and quinoa.
Chickpeas were a winner all round because their high fibre prevented blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly and beetroot contained choline, which could help reduce inflammation that had been linked to diabetes, Alzheimer's and osteoporosis.
Recipes cover mains, snacks, cakes and drinks and there's a handy pantry list at the back to help you stock up.
50 Foods That Will Change Your Life - A Women's Guide to Health and Vitality by Emma Sutherland and Michelle Thrift, published by Viking (softcover, $35).