5 Important Health Concerns For Men

My mother is an excellent cook, don’t get me wrong. Sweet potatoes have never been so good. She nevertheless has a tendency towards using a cup of sugar and a bar o’butter in those recipes. When I was growing up she relied heavily on cooking traditional American casserole recipes, the best ones passed down from her mother, made for easily cooking larger than normal portions (six boys in your house will put you in that position). Chicken Tetrazzini was popular and the meatball spaghetti was to die for. I did learn from her that cooking isn’t about putting together this perfectly regimented set of ingredients or following within the lines. Rather, it’s about learning and perfecting your tastes, intuition, and sensitivities. It’s about exploring what makes you excited to eat better quality, wholesome ingredients your body loves. This experience rooted me in a satisfying relationship with food that I still enjoy daily. Nutrition for men doesn’t have to be complicated, or something so tasteless and boring that you experience actual pain to discipline yourself Monday through Friday, only to find relief in your weekend “break” from the regiment. Here are a few items you can easily find everyday to help keep your body happy and healthy.   1. Calcium Men most often don’t spend much time pondering their calcium levels. We grew up always being told, drink your milk every morning and you’ll be great. Yes you get calcium from milk. But dairy is a source of calcium you want to use sparingly. Livestock today are injected with growth hormones to both lengthen lactation and increase the volume of milk produced beginning only hours after being separated from their mother. These hormones leach into the milk we drink. But we need calcium for bone health right? Right, and it also aids in muscle function, and cardiovascular health. In one study, men who consumed 2,000mg of calcium per day were 25% less likely to die over the next two decades over their peers who got the least amount. So how do you get enough?  Calcium is found all over nature.
  • Oranges are long famous for being loaded with vitamin C, but this citrus favorite has lots of calcium too!
  • Steel cut organic oatmeal wins its way to the heart healthy breakfast list again! This power breakfast favorite for many Americans has a significant amount of calcium as well. You can put in one-quarter teaspoon cinnamon to add in some flavor and extra cardiovascular bonus points.
  • You can also help your calcium levels by cutting back on red meats. Red meat is acidic, and your bones excrete calcium to help balance the pH in the blood. After a perfectly grilled burger, your body loses calcium to make up for this elevation in acid levels. Reducing your consumption of red meat helps you not lose so much calcium.
  • Broccoli. Mom was right. Turns out it’s really good for you.
  • Arugula is a tart lettuce with lots of flavor. Goes great with a simple 50/50 mix with spinach and a light vinaigrette dressing. Loaded with about 125mg of calcium per cup.
  2. Multivitamins There has been a lot of debate over these little pills as to their effectiveness and if they really work. David Schardt is a senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest who has researched multivitamins and says they are not to be taken as a magic solution—to help make up for your otherwise unhealthy lifestyle choices. Schardt sites that their role is simply “a very inexpensive insurance policy.” Translated, this means it’s good practice take a multivitamin daily coupled with a consistent exercise routine to maintain optimal health and wellness long-term. Healthy You Herbs is proud to carry our multivitamin combination 4-PG. It provides just the right proportions to your body of the best vitamins and minerals known to man. With vitamins A, B, C, D, E, zinc, iron, potassium and beyond, this little blend will keep you running like a champ.   3. Fish Oil The newest research out is conflicting with past evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil is directly helpful in preventing heart-related conditions. An April publication in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that fish oil did not do much towards preventing heart attack or stroke in patients that already have heart disease. Those taking fish oil supplements as a preventative measure experienced about the same rates of heart disease as those on placebo pills. However, these findings don’t absolutely mean fish oil is useless in patients concerned with the risk of heart disease. If you also take cholesterol-lowering medications or high blood pressure medicines, these chemicals could trump the benefits from fish oil, and have skewed the results of this study slightly. If you are taking blood pressure or cholesterol medication, you should seriously consider adopting a healthy diet, comprised of more plant-based ingredients to relieve your body of inflammation and saturated fats. This will do much more to help your heart than adding fish oil on top of other medications you already take.   4. Korean Red Ginseng I’m sure you have seen this name before advertised on some variation of energy product, or otherwise. But what is it exactly? This herb comes from a root native to the Northern Hemisphere, mainly North America and Eastern Asia. Ginseng is a natural mild stimulant to the central nervous system, which is where it gets the reputation as a rejuvenator.  Ginseng helps relieve inflammation in your body and aids in digestion. Prized by many cultures all over the world as one of the greatest herbs on the planet, Ginseng is a wonderful solution to try as a daily supplement for better energy, endurance, and even prostate health. Before you spend money on your next caffeine dump, check out our premium Ginseng root here, no artificial color, flavoring, or preservatives—taken strait from nature to you.   5. Antioxidants The full story behind these nutrient packed substances still remains to be told. Antioxidants, substances like selenium, vitamins A, C, E, are believed to go after free radicals in the body. Free radicals floating around in our bodies oxidize, causing damage long term. Free radicals can be thought of as “wear-and-tear” molecules bumming around with no nutrients left to give. “There’s a lot of data supporting the idea that oxidation, over time, has a role in chronic illness,” says J. Michael Gaziano, a chronic disease epidemiologist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Researchers are still studying whether or not supplemental antioxidants might slow the progression of age related, degenerative disease. Many observational studies suggest that people who take in tons of antioxidant-laden fruits, veggies, and supplements have reduced risk of some forms of heart disease and cancer. But it appears at this time, no doctor would come out recommending them for the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or dementia.   What about you? Every body is slightly different, and we each have our own needs. The right supplements for you can help maintain a perfectly balanced lifestyle that you can enjoy long into the future. Just be mindful that it is extremely unhealthy to use any supplement as a complete replacement for a healthy diet and exercise program. It is not okay to continue practicing unhealthy eating habits so long as you pop a vitamin supplement every day. A balanced diet is still one of the best building blocks for optimum nutrient intake by your body. Your body deserves the best—feed it only the best nutrients.