Men’s health and fitness is complex at best. It entails the contrary juxtaposition of trying to lose weight (fat) and actually trying to put on weight (muscle) at the same time. Unlike women, men do not dream of losing weight so that they can strut down the catwalk wearing size-6 clothes. Sure, they’d like to walk the ramp, but they’d rather look their beefiest best and show off their rippling muscles.
What this means is that weight loss for men is selective weight loss. It’s walking the fine line between losing weight around the waist and hips and bulking up the arm and chest muscles. The only way to do this is through a clever combination of smart diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking and cutting back on excess alcohol. Weight loss for men is made easier by the fact that they have a higher metabolic rate and lower propensity to store fat.
A man’s diet is not about eating one single food or even a handful of select foods. What is of greater consequence is the pattern of consistently consuming a healthy diet that includes a combination of essential nutrients. Quality nutrients are vital for maintaining good heart health and immune function as well as preventing bone and muscle loss, oxidative damage from the environment and prostate cancer.
Here’s a list of 10 power-packed, nutrient-dense foods that can help meet the nutrient requirements of men’s diet and yet are an indispensable component of weight loss for men.
This little fruit is packed with nutrients and is particularly rich in potassium, which is essential for regulating nerves, blood pressure and heartbeats. The potassium and magnesium in bananas also helps lower the risk of stroke. Vitamin B-6, which is abundantly available in bananas boost protein metabolism, help produce red blood cells and enhance the immune system as well as the nervous system.
2. Fatty Fish:
This super food is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory foods. They help lower the risk of prostate cancer, reduce aches and pains in athletes as well as people who have arthritis and are good for your heart, immune system and circulation. Fatty fish are also rich in vitamin D, which helps prevent high blood pressure, cancer, bone disease and type 2 diabetes.
Here is a list of the fish with the highest omega-3 content (in order of omega-3 units per 3.5 oz):
- Mackerel, 2.6
- Trout, lake 2.0
- Herring 1.7
- Tuna, bluefin 1.6
- Salmon, 1.5
- Sardines, 1.5
- Tuna, albacore 1.5
- Anchovies, 1.4
- Bluefish, 1.2
- Bass, striped, 0.8
- Trout, rainbow, 0.6
- Halibut, 0.5
3. Whole Grains:
Mens diets should include a variety of whole grains that provide the body with essential vitamins, mineral and fiber, which are responsible for keeping the heart healthy, building muscles and filling you up without filling you out. Whole-grain pasta, barley and oatmeal are rich in vitamin B and soluble fiber that help lower LDL cholesterol levels (“bad” cholesterol) and decrease the risk of prostate cancer. The recommended daily intake is 10-25 grams of soluble fiber; however, fiber intake should be increased gradually to prevent digestive problems.
Eating about 25 grams to 1 ounce of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Rich in isoflavones, soybeans boost prostrate health and lower the risk of prostrate cancer.
5. Red-Orange Vegetables:
Red-orange vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which boost collagen production and beta-carotene, which helps repair skin cells. An anti-oxidant rich diet that include red bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins helps prevent oxidation from the sun, preserve healthy skin cells and lower the risk of enlarged prostrate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Zinc, which is present in abundance in oysters, is involved in numerous body processes from repairing cells to producing DNA. A recommended daily dose of 11 milligrams of zinc can also help increase sperm count and lower the incidence of prostate cancer.
Loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin-C, sulphoraphane and potassium, broccoli helps prevent prostrate, bladder and colon cancer. Broccoli also helps reduce levels of the amino acid homocycteine, which is associated with greater risk of stroke and heart disease.
8. Berries and Cherries:
Antioxidant-rich berries offer a whole gamut of benefits, most significant of all is the slowing down of age-related decline in brain function.
9. Brazil Nuts:
Packed with selenium and magnesium, Brazil nuts offer powerful antioxidant benefits including the prevention of prostate cancer, blood clots and heart disease. Recommended daily dose of selenium is 55 micrograms.
10. Plant Stanols:
Stanols, which occur naturally in vegetables and fruits are associated with lowering blood cholesterol levels. A daily dose of 2 gms of plant stanols, can help inhibit cholesterol absorption in the intestine.