Seven foods to boost men's health
June is Men’s Health Month, an international campaign to raise awareness of preventable health problems in men. In fact, one in four Kiwi males dies from preventable causes. These health issues are not all unique to men, but as men are statistically much less likely to see a doctor when they feel unwell, it makes sense to draw a bit of healthy attention their way. We asked Men’s Health Trust NZ spokesperson and healthy practitioner Ben Edusei to share his knowledge on foods that men should be including in their diet, to maintain good health.
Oats are an incredibly nutritious food, packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are high in protein and fibre, especially when compared with other grains.
The benefits of oats include lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation, and reduced constipation. They are extremely filling, useful for weight reduction, extremely cheap, and simply put, one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
All vegetables have been proven to be good for men’s health. However, some vegetables stand out from the rest and leafy greens are that vegetable.
From having the ability to fight inflammation and reduce the risk of disease, to providing essential vitamins and minerals, it's clear to see that including greens in your lifestyle is the best thing you can do to optimise your wellbeing.
They may be tiny, but chia seeds pack a massive health punch. Loaded full of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and fibre, healthy omega 3s help reduce inflammation and support brain health. Protein helps strengthen and grow muscles and fibre supports bowel health, supplies long burning energy, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Adding them to oats, smoothies and salad dressings is the perfect way to reap the rewards.
All berries are good for men’s health. They are jam-packed full of antioxidants, which help get rid of harmful radicals in the body. These nutrient-dense powerhouses are full of fibre, help fight against inflammation/cancer, help control sugar/cholesterol levels, are anti-aging, help keep our arteries healthy, and can be easily added into meals.
Selenium is a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts that plays an important role in immune and hormone health. A small deficiency can be catastrophic for men’s reproductive health. Unfortunately, in New Zealand there is not enough selenium in our soils, so eating a Brazil nut daily will help boost the immune system. Brazil nuts are also full of amazing fats and a great way to help boost testosterone levels.
Nuts and seeds come with some remarkable benefits, and pistachios are one of the star players. Not only are they a great source of healthy fats, they also include fibre, protein, and antioxidants with various nutrients including zinc, B6, and thiamine. They are also high in plant sterols, making them a good choice for lowering cholesterol.
Health benefits include weight loss, lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, eye, gut, and blood vessel health.
Beans/legumes are some of the most underrated foods on the planet. They are well-known for their healthy heart effects, reducing blood sugars, improving cholesterol, and helping to maintain a healthy gut. Not only that, they are excellent sources of fibre, protein, B vitamins, and other important vitamins and minerals.
Whether you prefer black beans or lentils, aim for a at least half a cup of beans or legumes each day. Add them to soups, stews, salads or just eat them on their own for a nutritional dense food that really benefits the body.