In light of Men’s Health Awareness Month we’re highlighting men’s health. Nutrition for men seems to be less focussed on than nutrition for women. However, that’s absolutely not to suggest that it’s any less important. Male nutrition is just as key and as men face different nutritional challenges to women we’re particularly keen to open up this conversation.
Up until recently there has been a stigma around nutrition for men. It’s all too easy to feel as though you have to keep up with other men in the pub. In such cases this may lead to an increase intake in beer and foods such as burgers, fries and fried chicken. Consequently, opening up the conversation around nutrition in a male dominant environment can be really important for breaking these stigmas and improving men’s health around the country.
Another key challenge for men can be the slowing their metabolism throughout their life course. This is an issue which many men face as they age. It’s not uncommon for men to continue to eat the way they always have yet experience a different response in their bodies which in turn can lead to weight gain. What’s more is that eating for health as a male can sometimes be confusing due to conflicting information and misinformation. As a result, we’re sharing our top tips for improving your health below:
- Eat more plants
Plants are rich in plant compounds known as phytonutrients. A key phytonutrient is lycopene (this can be identified by the red colour found in foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, guava and strawberries). Lycopene has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men.
Additionally, plants are a great source of fibre which plays a vital role in supporting a healthy gut. Many men are under a lot of pressure and stress in today’s society which in turn can take a significant toll on gut health and gastrointestinal function. Consequently consuming ample amounts of fibre through a variety of plants is vital.
Limit coffee consumption
For some people coffee in moderation may contribute to some health benefits such as supporting a healthy heart and improved diversity in the gut. However, too much coffee can contribute to impaired menta wellbeing and overstimulation of gut motility.
- Ensure dietary sources of selenium
When it comes to male fertility, selenium is a vital nutrient which is required to help the sperm swim. Foods such as shellfish, Brazil nuts and meat are all great sources.
- Focus on Zinc intake
Zinc plays a number of roles in supporting men’s health including: supporting sperm quality, immune function and cell repair. Where possible try to incorporate dietary sources such as nuts, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and legumes.
- Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol metabolism contributes to the depletion of key nutrients such as B-vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Consequently this can lead to low nutrient status and impair optimal performance. Whilst it can be tempting to enjoy some beers with friends in the pub try opting for an alcohol-free alternative every so often.
There you have our top tips for supporting male health. You don’t have to adopt these all at once but rather focus on one and enable it to become a long lasting change.