The nutritional needs of men differ from that of women. Just as women need particular nutrients during pregnancy or for protection from breast cancer, men need nutrients that can help them maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more.
A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease and cancer, the No. 1 and No. 2 killers for men over 35. They can also enhance performance, from the board room to the bedroom.
Some Doctors would say that any food that is good for the cardiovascular system is also good for erectile function in men.
Nutrients that are good for the heart improve circulation to all parts of the body, and these same nutrients provide a layer of protection against cancer and other chronic diseases.
Quality nutrients are also critical for maintaining immune function and preventing bone loss, muscle loss, and oxidative damage from the environment. An overall healthy lifestyle, which also includes not smoking and getting regular physical activity, is what’s really important for health.
I’ve listed of 8 disease-fighting foods that can be a good start to improving health:
1. Fatty Fish
Contains healthy fat, omega-3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats are the preferred form of fats in your diet cos they can benefit the heart, circulation, and immune system and reduce the risk for prostate cancer, among other things.
Omega-3 fatty acids are potent anti-inflammatory foods that can help lower triglyceride [blood fat] levels, reduce aches and pains in athletes, and offer relief with certain kinds of arthritis.
Fatty fish are also a good source of vitamin D, a nutrient which in adequate supply can help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and bone disease.
Sources include salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring.
In fact the American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish twice weekly.
You can also get omega-3s in plant-based foods, like walnuts, soy, canola oil, and fortified products such as eggs.
A few oysters each day will deliver a full day’s supply of the antioxidant mineral zinc. Zinc is involved in repairing body cells.
Research shows that adequate zinc may protect against cellular damage that leads to prostate cancer, Sexual functioning of the male reproductive system, including increased sperm counts, is also enhanced with zinc.
You can also get your daily recommended dose of 11 milligrams a day by eating other shellfish, lean beef, lean pork, or legumes.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are helpful in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. It’s loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and a phytochemical called sulphoraphane, which has strong anticancer (prostate and colon) properties.
A recent Harvard study found that participants who had five servings a week of cruciferious vegetables were half as likely as others to develop bladder cancer, a cancer that affects two to three times as many men as women. This super-nutritious green vegetable may also help lower levels of homocycteine, an amino acid associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Don’t care for cabbage? Go for other cruciferous choices like broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure. Diets rich in potassium and magnesium (which is also found in bananas) can reduce the risk of stroke.
Bananas are also a source of vitamin B-6, which can aid your immune system, help form red blood cells, ensure a well-functioning nervous system, and assist protein metabolism. So enjoy a banana each day, at breakfast on your whole grain-cereal or before your workout at the gym.
You can substitute banana with orange juice, milk, tomato products, and beans as they are other good sources of potassium.
5. Brazil Nuts
These nuts from Brazil are packed with magnesium and selenium, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease and cancer and protect prostate health.
Selenium also helps lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and reduces the incidence of blood clots and heart disease.
Other sources of dry-roasted nuts, turkey, tuna, or shellfish. Indeed, you can get your daily dose of 55 micrograms of selenium in just one Brazil nut. In fact, It has been cautioned that you should limit yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day because they are so loaded and concentrated with selenium that you don’t want to overdose.
Soy is rich in isoflavones, which protect prostate health and have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk.
And according to studies eating 25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol.
Try to eat a few servings a day of soy products, such as soy nuts, soy milk, soy cheese, veggie burgers, tofu, or edamame.
7. Berries or Cherries
The violet, blue, and red colors in all kinds of berries and cherries are responsible for the healthy properties of these fruits. These little fruits are full of the health-protecting flavonoid, anthocyanin.
Berries contain over 4,000 different compounds that have antioxidant properties beyond vitamin C, so make sure you include these delicious and low-calorie fruits to help meet your 5+ servings of fruits each day.
Adding berries to the diet may even help slow the decline in brain function that can occur with aging.
8. Whole Grains
A diet rich in whole grains provides fiber, vitamins, minerals – all factors for heart health, building muscles, and keeping waistlines small.
Oatmeal are rich in soluble fiber, full of B vitamins that can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and are also good for the prostate. Other sources of soluble fiber include apples, pears, and beans.
To avoid digestive problems, increase your fiber intake gradually, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.