Top 5 Foods for Men’s Health, and Disease Prevention!
We often ask women to pay attention and include certain nutrients. Iron rich foods like spinach due to monthly cycles - and rightly so, as women have more apparent changes throughout their life stages. In addition to monthly cycles, pregnancies, and menopause are big players, and can be well supported with specific attention certain nutrients.
Men have more steady life stages in comparison, but they also have specific nutritional needs for conditions commonly experienced only by men!
This article recaps some of the essential nutrients that can help prevent conditions that are prevalent specifically or commonly in males. With no intention to scare, we hope you find the following information educational, and as a helpful guide to support your healthiest self!
Please consult with a healthcare practitioner to learn more about your personal risks, and best prevention plans as even within the category of male, many other factors will influence susceptibility!
Testicular cancer – a surprising fact often unappreciated is that young men are at highest risk for this! Good news, unlike typical cancers, the risk of this goes way down with age! … but risks for bladder cancers increase. See below - talk about an emotional rollercoaster within these few lines.
Bladder cancer - which affects men three times more than women. It is considered the 4th most common cancer in American men and is in the top 10 cancers with the highest mortality.
Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancers – are especially prevalent in Western societies, which has warranted many investigations on benefits of Eastern nutrition - forecasting a nod to the noble soybean staple in Asia.
Heart disease – according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) men typically develop heart disease 10-15 years earlier than women, increasing risk for mortality from cardiovascular conditions. Health conditions that lead to heart disease are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) – let’s be real, although it may seem less serious as the conditions mentioned above, this can have a huge impact on a man’s quality of life. The mind and body are connected lest we forget, so a physical symptom like ED can impact psychology, which can further impaire the body in many other ways!
Your Fabulous FIVE!
Oysters (foods high in zinc also include pumpkin and flaxseed) - with so many benefits for men, it is no wonder zinc it is at the top of our list! Found in high concentrations in the prostate gland, hippocampus (area in the brain responsible for memory and learning), and a promoter for natural testosterone levels. It improves cognitive ability, sexual health and libido (if due to low testosterone), protects from prostate conditions, heart disease, and it also improves endurance, and physical performance! This nutrient is not stored in the body so daily intake is necessary, but no more than 11 mg is needed for men.
Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts) – are a great way to reduce risk for heart disease, as consumptions is correlated with lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. There is also evidence for its positive impact on inflammation and cancer – so go ahead and grab life by the nuts! (No more than 2 brazil nuts daily are necessary)
**A study published in JAMA included over 35,000 men and evaluated the risk on prostate cancer with selenium and or vitamin E supplementation against placebo. The group that received vitamin E alone had the highest incidence of prostate cancer, while the selenium group had less significant increase in prostate cancer incidence.**
Broccoli – or cruciferous vegetables in general have been shown to be a superfood when it comes down to preventing heart disease and cancer, specifically bladder cancer! In the study, just five servings of cruciferous vegetables a week were half as likely to develop bladder cancer.
Fatty Fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids: salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring) - another superstar with its wide range of benefits for heart disease, reducing prostate cancer, and an added bonus its potent anti-inflammatory effects lowers blood triglycerides while helping to ease pain due to inflammation. Vegetarian sources include flaxseed and walnuts).
Soy (rich in phytoestrogens) - have been studied extensively in the prevention of cancer risk showing protective effects, or having no effect (meaning not finding increased risk of cancer).
Honorable Mention: Water - although not a food and among its multiple benefits (internally and externally - check out hydrotherapy), water is especially important for preventing carcinogenic toxins from building up in the bladder. Frequent voiding is therefore protective of bladder cancers! A study found that drinking 2 liters of water daily reduced the risk of developing bladder cancer by 49%! Treat yourself to another round, of water ;)
While this article is set in the context of men’s health, many of these foods are healthy additions for women too. All of these nutritional suggestions in addition to regular exercise, being smoke and alcohol free (or alcohol in moderation), will reduce your risk factors and promote you to your healthiest self!