Foods That Boost Men’s Health
By Larry Ferrell
Good health is often taken for granted. Besides the breath of life, good health is the most important asset a person has. In order for us to enjoy life to its fullest, good health is essential. When you are sick, you don't enjoy life as much. When you are sick, you are not able to do your best at work or in your personal life. Serious health problems can bring your life to a standstill. Good health is valuable to everyone regardless of economic status, sexual orientation, or gender.
The following article provides some information on how dietary choices can improve the quality of health for men.
There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene; and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, and help eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. “Cooked tomatoes and tomato paste work best,” says celebrity trainer Gunnar Petersen.
Rich in protein and fiber, these little seeds offer a payload of omega-3 fatty acids, which erase spots and iron out fine lines in the skin. The British Journal of Nutrition reported that participants in one study who downed about half a teaspoon of omega-3s daily in 6 weeks experienced significantly less irritation and redness, along with better-hydrated skin. A recent study of people with high cholesterol (greater than 240 mg/dL) compared statin treatment with eating 20 grams of flaxseed a day. After 60 days, those eating flaxseed did just as well as those on statins. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed on oatmeal, yogurt, and salads.
Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene than any other food, including watermelon and tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer. In addition, 1 cup of guava contains 688 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is more than twice what you'll find in a medium banana. And guava is an ultimate high-fiber food: There are more than 8 grams of fiber in 1 cup.
The entire fruit, from the rind to the seeds, is edible. The rind alone has more vitamin C than an orange. You can find guava in the produce section of many supermarkets and in Latin grocery stores.
Eating pumpkin seeds is the easiest way to consume more magnesium. That's important because it has been determined that men with the highest levels of magnesium in their blood have a 40 percent lower risk of early death than those with the lowest levels. And on average, men consume 353 mg of the mineral daily, well under the 420 mg minimum recommended by the USDA.
You can eat the whole seed, shells and all. Roasted pumpkin seeds contain 150 mg of magnesium per ounce; add them to your regular diet and you'll easily hit your daily target of 420 mg.
Broccoli has been shown to retard the growth of prostate cancer. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli sprouts, cabbage) contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a compound with strong anti-cancer properties.
Recent research has shown that tomatoes and broccoli work better when combined than they do alone.
"When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it's because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," said University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor John Erdman.
In a study published in the January 2007 issue of Cancer Research, Erdman and doctoral candidate Kirstie Canene-Adams fed a diet containing 10 percent tomato powder and 10 percent broccoli powder to laboratory rats that had been implanted with prostate cancer cells. The powders were made from whole foods so the effects of eating the entire vegetable could be compared with consuming individual parts of them as a nutritional supplement.
Other rats in the study received either tomato or broccoli powder alone; or a supplemental dose of lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes thought to be the effective cancer-preventive agent in them; or finasteride, a drug prescribed for men with enlarged prostates. Another group of rats was castrated.red peppers
The tomato/broccoli combo performed better than all other diets in shrinking prostate tumors. Biopsies of tumors were completed at Ohio State University. These confirmed that tumor cells in the tomato/broccoli-fed rats were not proliferating as rapidly.
The only treatment that comes close to the tomato/broccoli diet's level of effectiveness was castration, according to Erdman.
Just two to three oysters deliver a full day's supply of zinc. Zinc is critical for normal functioning of the male reproductive system. Some nutritional deficiencies do seem to be related to certain cases of low testosterone. Getting adequate zinc is sometimes the answer. The recommended amount is 11 mg per day for men; more than 40 mg can pose risks. In one trial, 22 men with low testosterone levels and sperm counts were given zinc every day for 45 to 50 days. Testosterone levels and sperm counts rose.
Omega 3-Rich Fish
It is true that the omega-3s you get in fish lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may possibly help with memory loss and Alzheimer's. There is some indication that it reduces depression as well.
Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: wild salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. You should get two to three servings a week. There are other sources of omega-3s, such as fortified eggs, flaxseed, and walnuts. These superfoods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can also lower cholesterol.