7 Nutritious Foods All Men Should Be Eating
From the office to the gym and back home again, it’s tough to find the time to eat right. And, with all of the health-conscious choices available at the supermarket, grocery shopping for the most nutritious foods can prove to be quite a task. According to Dr. Oz, men should be eating foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals and also high in fiber. Foods rich in folate are very important, as folate helps decrease blood pressure and arterial age, and fight cancer and heart disease.
The following seven foods are perfect for rebuilding muscle, reducing inflammation, and increasing energy after a hard workout while also getting in those important vitamins and minerals that are vital for a healthy life. Buy these the next time you’re at the grocery store — your body will thank you.
1. Citrus fruits
Oranges aren’t just for placing on the lip of a beer on a hot summer day — grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, and limes are all rich in antioxidants that aid in having a healthy heart. According to Men’s Fitness, citrus fruits are packed with essential nutrients that fight cancer and reduce the risk of some chronic diseases.
The dose of vitamin C that these fruits provide isn’t bad either — Men’s Fitness also talks about its ability to aid in tissue repair and bone growth, which makes citrus the perfect post-workout snack. It also helps the body absorb iron and folate from plant-based foods, and it works to stave off infections. Vitamin C is also great for eye health and can reduce the risk of cataracts, and its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the severity of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.
Grapefruits are especially great for men trying to lose weight, as they are rich in fiber and can help keep your appetite under control.
Typically eaten because of their high protein content, eggs have multiple benefits aside from the protein factor. The yolk of the egg is where a lot of the health benefits are — it carries 13 different vitamins and over half of the protein. Men’s Fitness states egg yolks are also great for eyesight, as they carry carotenoids to protect the eyes against age-related deterioration.
Eggs are also great for weight loss — 75% of the fat in eggs is unsaturated, and eating two eggs in the morning is shown to help control hunger throughout the rest of the day.
Prepared Foods talks about the egg’s high vitamin B content, which can help enhance the immune system, maintain a proper metabolic rate, and keep blood sugars level. If you’re concerned about the high-cholesterol content of an egg yolk, don’t worry too much; those who ate an average of an egg a day were not at a higher risk for heart disease. If you do have high cholesterol, you can also receive health benefits by just eating the egg whites.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant known to reduce cancer risks. According to Manscape, a study performed at Harvard University showed that men who ate at least 10 tomato-based products weekly had a reduced risk of prostate cancer. This reduced risk was up to 34%, and the risk of getting other types of cancers, such as lung and stomach, is also reduced with a diet high in lycopene. Netdoctor also comments how 85% of the western world gets its lycopene from tomatoes. If you don’t eat tomatoes currently, then now may be the time to start.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamins A, C, and E, and they contain natural anti-inflammatory properties as well as potassium. Vitamin A aids in cancer prevention, and it helps the eyes and intestinal tract stay healthy.
4. Fatty fish
A high protein content coupled with the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids make fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna a must-eat for men. EDF Seafood Selector states that omega-3s are great for cardiovascular health, as they work to regulate blood clotting within the body. They’re also great for reducing inflammation, which can help to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, asthma, and other inflammatory diseases.
Omega-3s help the mind as well as the heart, as they are shown to assist in reducing depression. Though you may look at the fat content in fish and worry about how it affects your waistline, have no fear — these fatty fish are very low in harmful omega-6 fatty acids that are found in red meat, and the omega-3s assist in proper cell function and may even give your metabolism a boost.
While mushrooms may be a surprising addition to this list, health-care practitioners have been using them for many years to treat ailments of all kinds. According to Men’s Fitness, one portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana, a vital mineral in maintaining muscle and nerve functions. A diet high in potassium and low in sodium can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Mushrooms contain cancer-fighting antioxidants — they’re jam-packed with selenium and vitamin E. When together, the selenium and vitamin E create antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body, ultimately reducing the risk of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. According to Medical News Today, mushrooms hold the same high levels of antioxidants as tomatoes, carrots, green and red peppers, pumpkins, green beans, and zucchini. Mushrooms are also great for curbing the appetite; they contain two types of dietary fiber that reduce hunger and help you feel fuller longer, making them a great addition to any weight-loss program.
Ginger has always been warmly welcomed by nutritionists and even seen as a superfood because of its ability to treat nausea and other stomach ailments, and men can reap even more benefits from this root. Livestrong.com discusses how ginger can be excellent for heart health, as it’s an excellent source of vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. Vitamin B6 is great for the heart, hair, skin, and eyes, and magnesium and potassium are very helpful in lowering blood pressure.
Ginger is also a good source of manganese, a mineral that assists in healthy sperm production and an increased sex drive. Having an insufficient amount of manganese in your diet can lead to infertility and erectile disorders, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, though the chances of having a deficiency are slim. Still, the manganese and magnesium content of ginger can help regulate blood sugar in both diabetic and non-diabetic men, and a lower concentration of these minerals is typically found in men with diabetes.
7. Leafy greens
Chard, collard greens, kale — it may all look the same in the produce aisle, but these dark, leafy vegetables are some of the best items to have in the fridge. With a high volume of vitamins A, B, and K, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, these greens are the whole package. Men’s Journal discusses the benefits of eating a diet rich in leafy greens; they contain phytochemicals that can lower inflammation within the body and keep the arteries healthy. Because greens contain such a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, they help detox the cells, rid the body of damaging free radicals, and ultimately prevent cancer. These high concentrations also improve mental health, and greens can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Though you may not like the taste of one of these greens, WebMD lists many healthful leafy options that you can try in order to get these benefits. Swiss chard, arugula, collard greens, bok choy, kale, and watercress all fall under this category, and it’s easy to swap out one for the other to find which greens you like best. Some of these greens even offer their own health benefits — collard greens are great for reducing cholesterol levels, and watercress is an excellent source of vitamin K.