10 essential foods for male health
A varied, balanced diet is the cornerstone of healthy living for everyone, yet healthy eating can sometimes mean different things depending on your gender. While there are some foods we should all be eating more of, men and women also have their own set of dietary requirements as well as their own unique health concerns. Here are ten foods all men should eat.
Tomatoes are possibly one of the best “superfoods” around, and the popular fruit has particular benefits for men. Studies have suggested that the lycopene found in tomatoes may reduce risk of colorectal cancer, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease; the leading cause of death in men. Research has also shown that men who frequently eat foods rich in lycopene may drastically reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer.
Blueberries are another fruit that have been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer, thanks to their high levels of proanthocyanidins. However, blueberries’ positive benefits for men don’t stop there, as studies have also suggested that blueberries may be effective in reducing risk of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and age-related memory loss; a condition more prevalent in men than women.
Snacking on nuts is great for heart health and good skin. However, Brazil nuts are particularly beneficial for men as they are packed with selenium; a powerful antioxidant which studies have suggested can boost sperm health and motility. Furthermore, selenium is also great for lowering “bad” cholesterol levels, preventing blood clots and lifting your mood.
Broccoli – along with other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and sprouts – contains a strong cancer-fighting chemical, sulphoraphane, which research has suggested may reduce men’s risk of developing bladder cancer (a cancer more commonly affecting women than men), prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.
Oysters are the highest natural source of zinc; an essential requirement for men’s fertility and sexual health. Zinc not only helps to maintain healthy testosterone levels in men, but it is essential for healthy sperm production. On top of this, zinc deficiency may be responsible for hair loss in men, so an increased intake may benefit men’s appearance as well as health.
Whole grains are great for our health thanks to their high levels of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Most whole grains, including brown rice and oats, are particularly rich in B vitamins, which are good for general wellbeing and can also help alleviate depression. Individual B vitamins can also benefit male health in various ways. Studies have suggested that folate (vitamin B9) can keep sperm healthy, while biotin (B7) may help hair loss. Silica, also present in whole grains, could also help with healthy hair growth.
For men suffering from hair loss, eggs may also provide the perfect solution. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for hair growth, as well as being rich in biotin (vitamin B7). Egg yolks are also a good source of iron, which some studies have suggested can alleviate hair loss, which can be caused by anaemia.
Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and research has suggested that drinking the juice of this “superfood” can help lower cholesterol – which can be high in many men as young as their 20s – and prevent hypertension. A study has also found that drinking just one 8oz glass of pomegranate juice a day could dramatically slow down the progress of prostate cancer.
Garlic is well known for boosting heart health, and a study on the effects of garlic consumption on males has shown that regularly eating garlic could help lower men’s cholesterol levels. Furthermore, research findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute have suggested that regularly eating garlic and onions could help lower men’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
Salmon is not only a great source of protein, but it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help address many of men’s most common health complaints. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lowered levels of “bad” cholesterol and can also reduce risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and depression.