Food for Men’s Health

Photo Credit: Matti Paavonen CC-BY-SA-3.0

Men’s nutritional needs differ in some ways from women. Just as women need more folic acid and iron during pregnancy or eating a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer, men have specific nutritional needs, too. Nutrients to build muscle mass, reduce the risk of prostate cancer or to increase stamina can be found in the foods men eat. A nutritious, balanced diet, exercise and avoiding alcohol and tobacco are the best ways to stay healthy. Some foods contain more of the nutrients that contribute to a healthy male body. 
Zinc is an essential antioxidant trace element that the body uses to repair cell damage. A diet that includes sufficient zinc may help reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers due to its role in cell repair. Oysters are rich in zinc. Other foods that are rich in zinc include lean beef, legumes, pork and shellfish like crabs and lobster.
Fatty fish provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids that benefit the circulation, the heart and the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids are also a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help reduce fat levels in the blood and improve muscle pain.  In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, fish also provides vitamin D which is essential to bone health. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, canola oil, and eggs also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
The foods we eat contribute to the cholesterol levels in our blood. High LDL (bad) cholesterol can lead to many health problems, including heart disease and some cancers. Stanols are a substance that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Stanols help to lower LDL cholesterol. Plant stanols are found in foods like granola, cheese, soy, orange juice, whole grain bread and even in dark chocolates. 
Vitamin C is an antioxidant nutrient that not only helps boost the immune system, but also helps keep the skin healthy. Vitamin C is essential to collagen tissue health and repair of skin cells. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are richest in vitamin C. Vegetables also contain beta-carotene and potassium, which may aid in reducing the risk of an enlarged prostate. 

Eat For Prostate Health

Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute

Men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer by living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a healthy diet. There is some evidence to support lycopene in the diet may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, but there is no conclusive evidence that it prevents cancer. The best way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer or any disease is to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest and exercise regularly. Some foods may help to reduce your risk of cancer and improve your overall health.
Men who want to reduce their risk of prostate cancer should choose a diet that is low in fat. Meat and dairy products are high in fat, which may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Choose low-fat dairy products, like skim milk, low-fat yogurt and reduced fat cheeses. Eat more fresh vegetables and limit the amount of red meat in the diet to reduce fat intake.
Folate is a B vitamin that is found in green vegetables. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is often found in vitamin fortified foods and dietary supplements. According to the National Cancer Institute, a 10 year study of men who took a dietary supplement of folic acid were at greater risk of developing prostate cancer than men who consumed natural folate in their diets. To get enough folate in your diet, eat plenty of green vegetables and fruits. 
Omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, including salmon tuna, sardines and trout. Green tea is also helpful to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Trade steak for fish and coffee for green tea a few times each week to get the benefits of the nutrients in these foods that can help lower your risk of cancer.