Q: My energy is low, my waist measurement is getting high and my doctor is concerned about some of my numbers. It all seems to point to my diet. I’d like to start eating healthier, but what are the best choices for men’s health?
Diet plays a pivotal role in health. The right foods in the right combinations for our unique needs can energize our days, reduce our risk of disease and keep our bodies in top form. In general, a healthy diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like seafood and chicken, and whole grains. MyPlate has a wealth of resources to build a more healthful meal. Recipes like these can also help get you started. Improving your diet in big or even small ways is a great first step towards your goals!
With that said, June is Men’s Health Month and a great opportunity to dig a little deeper and highlight some of the foods that specifically benefit men’s health. Include these choices in your meals throughout the week to kick up your energy, support a healthy weight and even help improve any concerning lab values.
- Oysters – These little shellfish are loaded with zinc, which may not only help with raising testosterone levels for a healthy reproductive system and sex life but may also prevent prostate cancer.
- Beans – If oysters aren’t your thing (they are an acquired taste), opt for fiber-full and budget-friendly beans to get the boost of zinc. Add them to chicken and veggie burritos, mix them into salads or blend them up with herbs and spices for a healthier dip.
- Tomato Sauce – Could it be the pizza sauce that you’ve been eating all these years has been helping you ward off prostate cancer? It’s true. According to research, cooked tomato sauce is rich in the cancer-fighting antioxidant, lycopene. However the tomato sauce is prepared, make sure you pair it with a little fat, like the cheese on your pizza or a touch of olive oil, to help increase your absorption of the lycopene.
- Tofu and Other Soy Products – Foods made from soy have been shown to help prevent prostate cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease. Add some edamame to your salad, pour some soy milk on your whole grain cereal, or stir fry marinated tofu with a variety of veggies to add soy to your diet.
- Broccoli – This cruciferous vegetable can do wonders for your waistline, heart health and immune system, thanks to loads of fiber, vitamin C and folate. Studies have linked broccoli and its cruciferous cousins, including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, to significant cancer-fighting abilities.
- Fish. Especially Fatty Fish that Contain both Lean Protein and Healthy Fats. The added omega 3 fatty acids can improve your heart health and so much more! These fats have been shown to help with everything from reducing inflammation and blood cholesterol levels to boosting circulation and helping prevent cancer.
Everyone’s nutrition needs are a little different. To get the most personalized recommendations for your needs and lifestyle, work with a dietitian in your area.