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.