Food for Men: 4 Foods to Boost Male Health
Certified health and wellness expert (and MMi patient), Stan Jagow, specializes in customized weight loss and personal training consultation for individuals and families in the St. Louis area. Men’s Medical Institute asked Stan to offer a few tips on healthy eating to boost male health:
Men are different from women in all kinds of ways – including their nutritional needs. Just as women need particular nutrients during pregnancy or for protection from breast cancer, men need nutrients that can help them maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more.
Many foods that tend to be favorites among men are not the best choices for good health; yet, a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease and cancer, the No. 1 and No. 2 killers for men over 35. Adding nutrient-rich super foods to the diet, as well as taking a daily multivitamin designed exclusively for men, can give men’s nutrition a boost. So, which foods will help?
Could there be something to the legend that oysters are the food of love? Well, it’s true that just a few oysters each day will deliver a full day’s supply of the antioxidant mineral zinc. Zinc is involved in hundreds of body processes, from producing DNA to repairing cells. Research shows that adequate zinc may protect against cellular damage that leads to prostate cancer. Sexual functioning of the male reproductive system, including increased sperm counts, is also enhanced with zinc.
Take caution when considering eating uncooked oysters. An infection called Vibrio vulnificus is associated with the consumption of raw oysters. People with liver disease, heavy alcohol use, and chronic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic renal failure are at increased risk.
You can also get your daily recommended dose of 11 milligrams a day by eating other shellfish, lean beef, lean pork, or legumes.
2. Whole Grains (The “Good Carbs”)
Most men get enough carbs in their diets, but they tend to be the wrong kind. A diet rich in whole grains provides fiber, vitamins and minerals – all the co-factors for heart health, building muscles, and keeping waistlines small. Try switching to whole grain pasta or quinoa (pron. KEEN-WAH), a trendy, not-so-whole-grain-tasting grain that’s rich in lutein for prostate health.
Oatmeal and barley are rich in soluble fiber, full of B vitamins that can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and are also good for the prostate. I recommend getting 10-25 grams of soluble fiber a day from oatmeal or other sources of soluble fiber such as apples, pears, and beans.
When buying grain products, look for those whose labels say they have at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.
To avoid digestive problems, increase your fiber intake gradually, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
3. Plant Stanols
Stanols are naturally occurring substances in fruits and vegetables that have been shown to lower mildly elevated blood cholesterol levels. Manufacturers are now adding concentrated versions of them to products like margarine, yogurt, orange juice, and granola bars.
Men should regularly include a total of 2 grams of plant stanols, taken in two doses with meals, to help inhibit absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
Plant stanols are added to a variety of products including orange juice, margarine, dark chocolate, granola bars, cheese, bread, soy products, and more. Plant stanols can safely be used with cholesterol-lowering medication.
4. Red-Orange Veggies
Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants that help preserve healthy skin cells and prevent oxidation from the sun.
Vitamin C is involved in collagen production. Beta-carotene converts to the active form of vitamin A, which helps to repair skin cells.
You can get these nutrients from red bell peppers (just one has 300% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C), carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.
But for that matter, just about any vegetable should be on the list of top foods for men (and women). Dark, leafy greens and any nutrient-rich vegetable can help reduce the risk of enlarged prostates.
Men whose diets are high in nutrients found in vegetables — like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium – were found to be less likely to develop an enlarged prostate.
Feeling better already? Contact Stan today for a FREE 1-hour wellness consultation.
Father-Son Duo Share Their Health Stories
Denny Marschuetz, age 60, Owner & President of J.M. Marschuetz Construction Co., has been in the construction industry for 40 years. His son, Jason Marschuetz, age 38, has been working for his father’s company since he was 15 and is now the Vice President.
Denny reveals how getting treatment for Low-T has been a life-changing experience:
“Stress is a big part of working in construction and after 40 years in the industry, I was exhausted all the time. I remember taking naps at the office and having to fill up on coffee before any meetings that took place around 1 or 2 p.m. My internist discovered I had Low-T, my levels were around 230, which is the average for a 75-year old man. I began treatment through a pump, but after months of not feeling any changes, I almost gave up. I went to Men’s Medical Institute and began a customized treatment schedule in May. I opted for injection treatments, which would give me the opportunity to stabilize my testosterone. I play 27 holes of golf about twice a week and play 9 holes of golf every night. The other day, I had to go to a birthday party for a family member after running around all day. Usually, I would be dozing off on someone’s couch while the festivities were carrying on, but I came home around 10 p.m. and wasn’t ready for bed until 11 p.m. I have motivation to exercise more and really take care of myself. I just started a diet and within the first week, I lost 9 pounds. For other men who may be on the fence about TRT, the rewards truly outweigh the risks – if you seek treatment through MMi, your testosterone levels are managed by Board Certified doctors. My cardiologist has seen the benefits of TRT and I’ve been taking the right vitamins that my body needs, not what I thought I needed. TRT will get your energy levels up naturally. My three-month consultation isn’t until July, but I already have much more energy and sense of well-being.”
Jason opens up about his sobriety and how TRT has helped save his life:
“In my generation, I’d say there’s the stigma that men may think of themselves as inadequate or lesser of a man if they undergo hormone replacement therapy. For me, seeking treatment was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always take the best care of myself. Up until about three months ago, I smoked almost two-and-a-half packs of cigarettes a day. Before I got sober nearly two years ago, I abused alcohol and opiates to the tenth degree. I feel the drug use played a major part in lowering my testosterone and, at one point, my levels were as low as 135. The worst symptoms I felt then were I wanted to sleep all the time, but was never able to get good enough sleep. I would periodically nod off while driving home after a long day at work; I lost interest in all of my hobbies; I had this “take it or leave it” attitude when it came to my sex life. Overall, I was just a shell of body – existing, but barely functioning. When I went to MMi, my levels were in the low-200’s after trying AndroGel for a period of 2-3 months. I’m now getting treatment in the form of cream, as well as taking men’s health supplements, and I feel totally different. I have way more energy, the sex life is coming around, I have more patience and my focus on tasks at hand are noticeably better. I do feel like my relationship with my dad is better mainly due to the fact that I am not as edgy and tired as I used to be, which, in turn, would always make me more irritable. Looking back on my experience now, it’s a shame I didn’t seek treatment sooner because I look at all that time I wasted being tired, crabby, detached and just numb to the world. For any man who may be on the fence about seeking treatment for Low-T, you need to jump off that fence and start living!”
Men’s Health Month: Simple Rules for a Happier, Healthier Life
As we near the end of National Men’s Health Month, it is important for men to be aware of the unique health risks they face and to be proactive when it comes to preventative treatment. In general, men are 100% less likely than women to seek preventative health care and often wait until a problem becomes serious before seeking medical attention.
These factors, combined with the normal health risks faced by men, ultimately lead to men having shorter lifespans than women. Let’s use Men’s Health Month as a reminder that all men need to take their health seriously. Here are some simple rules to live by to lead a happier, healthier life:
- Exercise regularly. Exercise has a slew of health benefits besides just toning up those biceps. It has been proven to fight heart disease and high blood pressure as well as improve your mood and boost energy. Additional benefits include lower stress, better sleep, improved sex life, better memory, and the prevention of strokes, arthritis, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
- Watch your weight. More than one-third of US adults are obese, and the medical costs of people who are obese average $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. Conditions associated with obesity such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 Diabetes are among the leading causes of preventable death.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. While we all enjoy drinking a frosty brew on a hot summer day, men 40 and older should have no more than two drinks a day. The good news is that there are benefits from moderate drinking for heart health – stick to a 12-oz. beer, a 5-oz. glass of wine, or 1.5-oz. of hard liquor.
- Limit sun exposure. Playing golf or doing yard work this summer? When possible, avoid outdoor activities during midday, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma, the leading cause of death from skin cancer, are white men over age 50.
- Get tested often. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are both conditions that do not manifest any serious symptoms until they become serious problems. Also, colon and prostate cancer can be detected during curable stages with testing. Scheduling regular health screenings will help you stay on top of your health and be aware of any potential problems you may have.
- Eat healthy. Diet is a huge factor in overall health. Rather than cutting back on fats and carbs in general, increase healthy fats and carbs such as Omega-3 fatty acids and whole grains while decreasing bad fats and carbs like saturated fats and highly processed grains.
While these steps will not guarantee a man’s health for his entire life, they will go a long way to prevent or reverse the many negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. The key word is prevention, and many men, unfortunately, wait until it is too late to do something about a health concern. Men, take control of your health and start living better today!