10 Super Foods to Boost Male Health

WebMD published an article listing the top ten foods men should include in their diets to improve health and prevent disease.  The original article can be found on the web at: www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/food-men-10-foods-boost-male-ealth?ecd=wnl_day_112907.

Man Food #1 – Oysters                                     

Could there be something to the legend that oysters are the food of love?  Well, it is true that just a few oysters each day will provide a full day’s supply of zinc, an antioxidant mineral.  Zinc is involved in hundreds of body processes, from producing DNA to repairing cells.

Man Food #2 – Bananas

Bananas are a great source of quick energy and are rich in potassium, which is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat, and blood pressure.  Diets rich in potassium and magnesium (also found in bananas) can reduce the risk of stroke.  Bananas can also aid the immune system, help form red blood cells, ensure a well-functioning nervous system, and assist protein metabolism thanks to vitamin B6.

Man Food #3 – Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats – healthy fats – that are preferred fats for your diet.  They can benefit the heart, circulation, immune system, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.  Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring) are the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  The American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish twice weekly.

Man Food #4 – Broccoli

All vegetables should be on this super foods list, but cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are helpful in the prevention of heart disease and cancer.  It is also loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and a phytochemical called sulphoraphane, which has strong anticancer (prostate and colon) properties.  Other cruciferous vegetable options include cabbage, bok choy, shredded broccoli slaw, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Man Food #5 – Brazil Nuts

These nuts from Brazil are packed with magnesium and selenium, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease and cancer and protect prostate health.  Selenium also helps lower LDL – the bad cholesterol – and reduces the incidence of blood clots and heart disease.  How packed are they?  Eating just one nut provides your daily dose of selenium, but you should probably limit yourself to just two a day so you don’t overdose on selenium.

Man Food #6 – Whole Grains

Most men get plenty of carbs in their daily diet; unfortunately, these carbs tend to be the wrong kind.  A diet rich in whole grains provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals – the co-factors for heart health, building muscles, and keeping waistlines small.  When buying grain products, look for those whose labels say they have at least 3 to 5 grams of fiber per serving.  To avoid digestion problems, increase your fiber intake gradually and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Man Food #7 – 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.  It is recommended that men regularly include a total of 2 grams of plant stanols, taken in 2 doses with meals, to help inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.  Try 2-3 teaspoons of pant stanol spreads such as Benecol, or 16 ounces of stanol-fortified orange juice per day.  Incidentally, they can be safely used with cholesterol lowering medications.

Man Food #8 – Soybeans

Soy is rich in isoflavones, which protect prostate health and have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk.  Additionally, a recent study suggests that eating25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol.  The FDA has approved a health claim for food labels that says that having 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Man Food # 9 – Berries and Cherries

The violet, blue, and red colors in all kinds of berries and cherries are responsible for the healthy properties of these fruits.  They are full of the health-protecting flavonoid, anthocyanin.  Adding berries to the diet may even help slow down the decline in brain function that can occur with aging – Large studies show the more produce you eat the better, but specifically berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and cherries) can enhance brain function and keep your brain healthy.

Man Food #10 – Red-Orange Vegetables

Red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes contain the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene that help preserve healthy skin cells and prevent oxidation from the sun.  But the matter of fact is that 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 according to a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  Men whose diets are high in nutrients found in vegetables were found to be less likely to develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.