November Spotlight: Men’s health

November Spotlight: Men’s health

Author -  Good Health

You may notice more moustaches this month than earlier in the year, and for good reason. November (or Movember) is men’s health awareness month; it is the one time of the year where we shine a spotlight on the health issues that are often not talked about, but that many men are facing. You have probably heard you are what you eat, and it is the foods we eat every day that affect our health and wellbeing long term. Unfortunately, many men are suffering from nutritional deficiencies that can impact on their overall well-being.

The good news is, making dietary changes can have a huge influence on our wellness. Want to know what food men should be eating for optimal health? Here are the top nutrients you may be missing out on and where to find them.

You can listen to this article here:

1. Zinc

Zinc is essential for healthy male sex hormones, helping to metabolise androgens so that the body has the right levels needed for good health. Zinc deficiency is one of the main causes of male infertility as zinc helps to increase and support healthy sperm count. Zinc is also crucial for prostate function; supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer and reduce the size of the prostate in BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) where an enlarged, non-tender prostate causes urinary frequency, urgency and sleeplessness. Zinc is found in seafood such as oysters, as well as in red meat, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, oats and rye. It is common that soil deficiencies also may contribute to foods being lower in zinc and in these cases, supplementation can be of use to help support healthy levels of zinc in the body.

2. Selenium

A trace mineral which we only need to consume in small quantities, selenium is beneficial across many body systems. Selenium functions as an anti-oxidant, it helps to reduce inflammation and is needed for testosterone production, sperm maturation and motility. Low levels of selenium have been associated with cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, male infertility, depression and anxiety. Research has found that optimal selenium levels may be effective in reducing the incidence of bowel, lung, liver and prostate cancer, making it a hugely beneficial mineral. Soil levels of selenium are low in New Zealand, so it can be difficult to get enough selenium in the diet; however, eating brewer’s yeast, garlic and brazil nuts can help to boost levels.

3. Vitamin C

Because our body is unable to store vitamin C, it is important that this vitamin is consumed every day to support our health. Vitamin C is important for our immune system, optimal wound repair, and is a powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin C may protect the body against oxidative damage which can damage DNA and reduce sperm count, viability and motility. Citrus fruits do contain vitamin C; however it is found in higher levels in vegetables such as broccoli, pepper and brussel sprouts. In times of stress or when we are unwell our need for Vitamin C rises and often during these times, we find our requirement may be more then when we are well. Our adrenal glands are one of our organs affected by long-term stress, they require healthy levels of vitamin C to support optimal function of our stress response in the body.


November-Spotlight-Mens-health.jpg

4. Omega 3 and 6 

Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids are called “essential” because our bodies cannot produce them, we need to get them from a food or supplement source so that we do not become deficient. Both omega-6 and omega-3 are beneficial however the Western diet typically has too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 in it. Increasing omega-3 rich foods has been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, reduce chronic inflammation, regulate body weight and have a positive effect on mental health. Omega-3 rich foods are found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, krill and flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are very high in the omega-3 ALA; however, the body needs optimal levels of zinc in order to convert ALA to EPA, one of the omega-3s found in fish oil.

5. Fibre

Alcohol, coffee, stress and pollutants increase the stress on the liver and make it harder for men to clear out excess hormones, which is why it is important to have enough fibre in the diet. Fibre binds to excess hormones and helps to eliminate them from the body through the digestive tract which puts less load on the liver and helps to keep a clean and healthy digestive system. Fruit, vegetables, seeds and legumes are all great sources of fibre. Flaxseeds are the most abundant source of plant lignans, a fibre which binds to estrogen receptors and helps to eliminate excess testosterone from the body; this effect on the body may be why flaxseed appears to help prevent prostate cancer and reduce existing prostate conditions.

Our nutritional status can be easily over-looked when we are busy. It is all too easy to grab something on the run that will fill you up, however this is not always the best option for long lasting energy and nutrients and can have a big impact on your health. Eating well doesn’t need to be complicated, providing your body with a variety of different foods that contain the nutrients mentioned above will ensure you are getting a good range of nutrients. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. If we are eating well most of the time (80 percent of the week we are making good choices and sustaining ourselves with whole foods), then if 1 or 2 days are more relaxed it is not too much of a problem. Like most things, the balance of our lifestyle, food and choices, all impact on our health, emotions and physical wellness.

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November Spotlight: Men’s health

You may notice more moustaches this month than earlier in the year, and for good reason. November (or Movember) is men’s health awareness month; it is the one time of the year where we shine a spotlight on the health issues that are often not talked about, but that many men are facing. You have probably heard you are what you eat, and it is the foods we eat every day that affect our health and wellbeing long term. Unfortunately, many men are suffering from nutritional deficiencies that can impact on their overall well-being. The good news is, making dietary changes can have a huge influence on our wellness. Want to know what food men should be eating for optimal health? Here are the top nutrients you may be missing out on and where to find them.
You can listen to this article here:

1. Zinc

Zinc is essential for healthy male sex hormones, helping to metabolise androgens so that the body has the right levels needed for good health. Zinc deficiency is one of the main causes of male infertility as zinc helps to increase and support healthy sperm count. Zinc is also crucial for prostate function; supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer and reduce the size of the prostate in BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) where an enlarged, non-tender prostate causes urinary frequency, urgency and sleeplessness. Zinc is found in seafood such as oysters, as well as in red meat, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, oats and rye. It is common that soil deficiencies also may contribute to foods being lower in zinc and in these cases, supplementation can be of use to help support healthy levels of zinc in the body.

2. Selenium

A trace mineral which we only need to consume in small quantities, selenium is beneficial across many body systems. Selenium functions as an anti-oxidant, it helps to reduce inflammation and is needed for testosterone production, sperm maturation and motility. Low levels of selenium have been associated with cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, male infertility, depression and anxiety. Research has found that optimal selenium levels may be effective in reducing the incidence of bowel, lung, liver and prostate cancer, making it a hugely beneficial mineral. Soil levels of selenium are low in New Zealand, so it can be difficult to get enough selenium in the diet; however, eating brewer’s yeast, garlic and brazil nuts can help to boost levels.

3. Vitamin C

Because our body is unable to store vitamin C, it is important that this vitamin is consumed every day to support our health. Vitamin C is important for our immune system, optimal wound repair, and is a powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin C may protect the body against oxidative damage which can damage DNA and reduce sperm count, viability and motility. Citrus fruits do contain vitamin C; however it is found in higher levels in vegetables such as broccoli, pepper and brussel sprouts. In times of stress or when we are unwell our need for Vitamin C rises and often during these times, we find our requirement may be more then when we are well. Our adrenal glands are one of our organs affected by long-term stress, they require healthy levels of vitamin C to support optimal function of our stress response in the body.


November-Spotlight-Mens-health.jpg

4. Omega 3 and 6 

Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids are called “essential” because our bodies cannot produce them, we need to get them from a food or supplement source so that we do not become deficient. Both omega-6 and omega-3 are beneficial however the Western diet typically has too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 in it. Increasing omega-3 rich foods has been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, reduce chronic inflammation, regulate body weight and have a positive effect on mental health. Omega-3 rich foods are found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, krill and flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are very high in the omega-3 ALA; however, the body needs optimal levels of zinc in order to convert ALA to EPA, one of the omega-3s found in fish oil.

5. Fibre

Alcohol, coffee, stress and pollutants increase the stress on the liver and make it harder for men to clear out excess hormones, which is why it is important to have enough fibre in the diet. Fibre binds to excess hormones and helps to eliminate them from the body through the digestive tract which puts less load on the liver and helps to keep a clean and healthy digestive system. Fruit, vegetables, seeds and legumes are all great sources of fibre. Flaxseeds are the most abundant source of plant lignans, a fibre which binds to estrogen receptors and helps to eliminate excess testosterone from the body; this effect on the body may be why flaxseed appears to help prevent prostate cancer and reduce existing prostate conditions.

Our nutritional status can be easily over-looked when we are busy. It is all too easy to grab something on the run that will fill you up, however this is not always the best option for long lasting energy and nutrients and can have a big impact on your health. Eating well doesn’t need to be complicated, providing your body with a variety of different foods that contain the nutrients mentioned above will ensure you are getting a good range of nutrients. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. If we are eating well most of the time (80 percent of the week we are making good choices and sustaining ourselves with whole foods), then if 1 or 2 days are more relaxed it is not too much of a problem. Like most things, the balance of our lifestyle, food and choices, all impact on our health, emotions and physical wellness.

November Spotlight: Men’s health
 
 
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