HEALTH CENTER

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Healthy Eating for Men by Eryn Shelton

Erin (640x427)Smart eating will not only keep a man physically and mentally healthy, but it will help him look and act younger too.  Some men have the misconception that healthy eating is high maintenance or unpalatable.  By contrast, eating right can be easy and also delicious.  Here are some simple and healthy food choices for men:

LEAN MEAT- If you are a steak and potatoes kind of guy, you’re in luck.  Lean red meat can be good for you, Pittsburgh Steelers dietician Leslie Bonci states, “Lean cuts of beef and pork are loaded with protein and have just a little bit more fat than a chicken breast.  Red meat also has a good amount of leucine, which is an acid that helps build muscles. “ Additionally, milk and yogurt are also great sources of leucine for muscle building.

CHERRIES- Cherries are known to ease pain and sooth sore muscles. NFL teams keep tart cherry juice in the training rooms at all times.  The pigment in the cherries and the cherry juice copies the effects of an anti-inflammatory medicine. Plus there are no side effects.  If you are a man who works out often and has some tenderness or soreness, throw a bottle of cherry juice into your workout bag to drink if you’re in pain. 

GINGER- Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory which can come in handy for a man who enjoys his workout at the gym. It has been said that eating ginger regularly may help reduce the pain of exercise-related muscle injuries.

TOMATOES- The antioxidant, lycopene, which is found in tomatoes or tomato products, is beneficial for prostate health when consumed at least once a week.

DARK CHOCOLATE- Dark chocolate has been said to improve blood flow in the body. The flavanols in dark chocolate may curb levels of bad cholesterol.  They also help improve circulation and keep blood pressure at a healthy level. Too much chocolate equals weight gain, so limit dark chocolate consumption to just one ounce (a couple of pieces) a day.

SHELLFISH- Shellfish and other kinds of seafood have a lot of zinc in them, which is important for a man’s muscles, heart, and reproductive system.  Additionally, lean beef, turkey, chicken, nuts, and seeds all have healthy amounts of zinc in them.  Active men need that extra boost of zinc if they are using their muscles.

BANANAS- Bananas are a great source of potassium. This is critical for a man’s muscle contractions as well as his bone health. It also helps his blood pressure levels. Getting enough potassium may be as important as eating less sodium to lower blood pressure.

AVOCADOS- Avocados are high in fat, but it’s the good kind.  Avocados have been known to knock down bad cholesterol.  The “mono” fats in avocados are healthy fats as opposed to saturated or trans-fat. You should try not to eat more than 25%-35% of all your calories from fat.  Olive oil and many different kinds of nuts also contain good fats.

SALMON- Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, halibut, and herring are another excellent source of healthy fats. They have omega-3 fatty acids which protect against heart disease, the top killer in the U.S. Just two servings of fatty fish a week can lower a man’s chances of dying from heart disease.  

EGGS- Eggs provide lutein which is protein and iron, but you have to eat the entire egg. One yolk contains about 185 mg of cholesterol which fits into the daily 300 mg limit for healthy people. If a man has high cholesterol, a doctor consultation is recommended to see how many eggs he should eat per week.

NUTS- Nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and zinc. They are a highly satisfying crunchy, salty snack. Pistachios are high in plant sterols (substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol) that can help improve cholesterol levels. It takes longer to eat pistachios from the shell which is a good trick to avoid consuming too many calories too quickly.

VEGETABLES- Vegetables are packed with nutrients that are known to boost cellular health and protect against cancer. There are many different types of nutrients and the best way to get a variety of them is by eating different colored veggies.

BERRIES- Berries can help a man bring his A-game mentally and physically. Berries are jam packed with antioxidants and they may help lower the risk of cancer. Animal studies have suggested that blueberries can also enhance memory and thinking abilities. When fresh berries are expensive or even hard to find, you can buy them frozen.

COFFEE- Surprisingly, coffee is healthier for you than a high sugar energy drink!  When a man needs to be more alert, an old fashioned cup of Joe is a better choice than a sugary energy drink.

Instead of a radical diet overhaul, it’s an easier transition to gradually rotate in good foods during meals.  Eventually fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains will replace a lot of the previous fast food and snacks.   Consistent effort and smart food choices will keep a man physically and mentally healthy and youthful.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.