10 Nutrients Men Need
Whether it’s meeting deadlines at work, studying for school, playing sports, socializing with friends, or even all of these pursuits in one day, men lead busy lives. If you rely on energy drinks or caffeine to stay strong and energized, look towards a more natural solution -- a balanced diet will ensure you stay strong and healthy while on the go. When the US government surveyed 21,000 people, they found that not a single one was getting all of the nutrients needed for a healthy diet! Here are the top ten nutrients that men need, and some ways you can incorporate them into your diet without a hassle.
Omega-3 fatty acids
This is one of the keys to good health, as omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart disease, the number one killer of men. Obesity and blood pressure are also regulated with these nutrients. The body doesn’t produce them, either, so fatty acids have to be obtained through a healthy diet. Nuts like almonds and walnuts, cold-water fish including salmon and tuna, and leafy green vegetables are good sources of omega-3s.
This nutrient is a major factor in preventing prostate cancer, and helps synthesize testosterone. It also is involved in a healthy immune system and quick recovery from injuries, as well as overall development. Over 100 functions in the body require zinc. Men naturally need more zinc than women. Quality meats including oysters and crab, chicken, and pork are good sources for zinc. It can also be found in beans, cashews, and almonds.
Muscle contractions, bone building, and heartbeat, and over 300 body reactions all rely on this nutrient, which also prevents diabetes and blood clots. It is most often found in the body’s bones and body tissues, with a little in the blood, but keeping enough magnesium in your diet so your body can regulate these levels properly is important. You can get more magnesium from brown rice and nuts including cashews, almonds, and peanuts. Other sources are halibut, baked potatoes, and apples -- “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” does hold some truth!
This vitamin works with other vitamins like vitamin A and C, and other substances. They help reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, strokes, and more. Antioxidants can be found naturally in fruits like peaches, citrus fruits, papaya, and guava. Fruits that are bright red, orange, or yellow are the best sources, but nuts and poultry meats are also good sources.
This vitamin is important because it’s involved in over 100 protein functions throughout your body, your red blood cells, and your nervous and immune systems. It also helps maintain your blood sugar. You can get more vitamin B6 through baked potatoes and bananas, meats like chicken breast, pork loin and roast beef, and fish like trout and salmon.
A crucial vitamin that contains the metal cobalt, vitamin B12 helps prevent anemia and make DNA, and is often lacking in a man’s diet. Foods that come from animals are good natural sources of this vitamin. The best sources are meats, including clams, beef liver, and fish like trout, haddock or salmon. It can also be found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and eggs.
This nutrient isn’t just for women. It helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries. It also helps slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive problems related to age. Most men don’t get enough of this nutrient, which can be found in leafy green vegetables and fruits. Some sources are blackeye peas, spinach, beans, asparagus, or broccoli.
Another nutrient that is primarily associated with women’s nutrients, men need this nutrient just as much. Worryingly, more than 55% of men don’t get enough calcium, which can have severe effects. Calcium supports healthy bones and teeth, as well as your muscles, blood vessels, and nervous system. It works to keep your bones strong, and brittle bones break more easily. Calcium is easily obtained through dairy products like a glass of milk, a dish of yogurt, or cheese. Vegetable sources include green vegetables like kale, broccoli, or spinach. Drinking orange juice is another good way to get a little extra calcium.
Vision, bone growth, and the immune system all rely on vitamin A. It helps white blood cells fight off infection, makes the linings of your respiratory and intestinal tracts more resistant to infection, and even helps your skin become a barrier to infection. This nutrient can be found in animals or plants. Animal sources include beef or chicken liver, or dairy like milk and cheese. Some plant sources are carrots and carrot juice, spinach, kale, and cantaloupe.
This nutrient is involved in prostate health and protection. Red foods like tomatoes, watermelons, pink guava, and pink grapefruit contain good levels of lycopene, but do note that strawberries and cherries don’t. In order to absorb this nutrient properly, heated and grease-cooked foods are best, so cooked tomatoes are a valuable food in your diet. You can also get lycopene from tomato byproducts like ketchup and sauce.
Some foods are great sources of more than one nutrient. Add the following foods to your list for maximum impact!
Instead of snacking on unhealthy food, try these foods:
--Bright-colored fruits like apples
--Almonds, walnuts and other nuts
--Dairy products including yogurt, milk, or cheese cubes
--Drink milk and orange juice, fortified or not
Some foods better incorporated into meals are:
--Tomatoes, or related foods like tomato sauce and ketchup
--Green vegetables like spinach and broccoli
--Trout, salmon, and other fish, along with clams
--Quality meats like chicken and beef liver
Overall, men need similar nutrients as women, but a greater amount of most of them. Vitamin supplements or fortified cereals are good choices for men who need extra nutrition. A healthy diet will ensure you don’t get sick, help you avoid common disorders, and keep you strong and energized each day.
© 2009 by Zabrina Way