5 Foods That Men Should Be Eating to Improve Their Health

Man sitting at table eating healthy foods.

While you know that healthy eating habits are important for good health, do you know how many foods can be used to provide nutrients that protect against common health problems faced by men? Check out these foods that can help you protect yourself from common men’s health problems, such as erectile dysfunction, depression, impaired cognitive function, infertility, muscle loss
and others.

1. Oysters

Oysters have more zinc per serving than any other foods. According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), an oyster serving of 3 ounces contains 74 mgs of zinc.

Low levels of zinc, an essential micronutrient for prostate wellness, is associated with fertility problems and the development of diseases of the prostate. Oysters are a high source of zinc and one of the best foods for male reproductive health.

The human body does not store zinc naturally so it is important to ensure adequate intake through supplementation and daily diet. It is generally recommended that men should consume 11 mg daily.

2. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and possess phytonutrients, which can help support heart health, prevent fatigue, and make you feel great. These foods are more important for men than they are for women. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that men consume 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables each day.

At each meal, fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits. The other half of your plate should be reserved for high-quality proteins, such as nuts or legumes, whole grains, reasonable amounts fish or poultry, as well as an occasional grass-fed red meats and dairy.

3. Wild-Caught Salmon

A deficiency in Vitamin D may be a contributor to ED (erectile dysfunction). According to research published in 2012 in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology, ensuring that you get adequate amounts of vitamin D could help reduce the risk for ED by decreasing vascular damage due to inflammation, 

Men suffering from erectile dysfunction typically have higher levels of inflammation of endothelial tissues than the average male does. It’s possible to reduce this inflammation, which may lead to an improvement in blood flow. One 3 oz. helping of wild-caught salmon has 112% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytochemicals that may provide benefits to brain function. These supernutrients have been shown to be effective in preventing depression and maintaining cognitive health. According to a 2014 study in The Journal of Nutrition, walnuts can also help diminish the effects of inflammation and oxidative stress that naturally occur with age. 2 ounces of walnuts has 2.7 grams of omega-3’s. This is just above the daily recommended amount.

5.Chocolate Milk

To ensure muscle recovery and repair, gym-goers require the right nutrition after exercise. According to research by Central Washington University in 2012, chocolate milk may be an economical and effective recovery drink for endurance athletes.

Low-fat chocolate milk has a carb-to-protein ratio of 4-to-1, a ratio that is comparable to many specialized sports drinks. Additionally, it provides fluids and sodium that helps with post-workout recovery. According to the study, chocolate milk should be consumed immediately following exercise and then again approximately two hours later.

How to Get Started and Stick to Your Healthy Diet

Keep it simple. Don’t get too obsessed with measuring portions or counting calories. Rather, be focused on color, freshness and variety. Eventually, you’ll notice your diet becoming more healthy and flavorful. Start slowly, as well. Trying to change your diet overnight is unrealistic. You can start small, such as adding a salad or fruit to your daily diet. You can add more healthy options to your diet by making small changes that become habits.

Remember, you don’t need to be perfect or swear off the foods that you love in order to have a healthy lifestyle. The long-term objective is to feel better, have more energy and decrease your risk of developing chronic health issues.

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Wuhan Researchers to Look Long-Term at the Effects of Coronavirus on Men’s Sex Hormones

Woman wearing surgical mask

Researchers in the city of Wuhan, located in central China, are gearing up to conduct a long-term study examining how the coronavirus may impact the male reproductive system, which will supplement the current findings from small-scale research which indicates that the pathogen could adversely impact the levels of sex hormones in men.

Although the study is currently in the preliminary stages and has not yet been peer-reviewed, it would be the first clinical research into the possible negative effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on male reproductive health, with a special focus on younger age groups.

Doctors overseeing the research (from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University and the Hubei Clinical Research Centre for Prenatal Diagnosis and Birth Health) have analyzed blood samples taken from more than 80 men who tested positive for Covid-19 between the ages of 20-54, and who were hospitalized in January.

The median age of the subjects who participated in the study was 38, and about 90% of whom presented only minor symptoms. The participants’ blood samples were taken during the last few days before leaving the hospital.

With these samples in hand, researchers examined the percentage of testosterone relative to luteinizing hormone. A low testosterone to luteinizing hormone ratio can be an indicator of hypogonadism, which is a condition of the testicles causing low testosterone production.

As it turns out, the average ratio of the participants in the study had a ratio of just 0.74, which is only half of what’s considered to be normal levels.

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men and is responsible for most male characteristics, such as formation of the testes, body hair, and building bone and muscle mass. Both men and women produce luteinizing hormone, and in women it’s responsible for stimulating ovulation.

For men who suffer from hypogonadism, symptoms can include sexual dysfunction, weight gain, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, and gynecomastia, or large breasts.

Hypogonadism is treatable, however. According to a 1997 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, low T leading to erectile dysfunction can be treated by testosterone replacement therapy or supplements that boost testosterone levels.

According to the researchers in Wuhan, more attention should be given to the effects of the coronavirus on the reproductive system, since over half of the people who contracted the virus were of reproductive age.

They added, however, that the results of the study weren’t conclusive and that the blood sample alone did not constitute direct evidence of reproductive issues with coronavirus patients. They acknowledge that other factors could come into play, such as medications or immune system response.

Also, a more in-depth long-term study is being planned by the research team, which could include sperm sample analysis and patient interviews.

Earlier research indicated that the novel coronavirus with a receptor protein cell known as ACE2, which are found in large quantities in the testicles.

At Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, a professor of reproductive medicine named Li Yufeng actually predicted in one study that the testicles might be a primary target for the coronavirus.

Other research has likewise suggested that SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which is related to the new COVID-19 virus, might also lead to inflammation of the testes.

One researcher at the State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine at Nanjing Medical University, under the condition of anonymity, remarked that the new data was very valuable, but a larger sample would be necessary to fully understand the results.

He stated that there are many viruses that can impact fertility, but not all of those can potentially cause a pandemic. If the effects are long-term, he added, it could be a big deal.

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Watch For the Hidden Calories in Your Coffee!

It is becoming a trend where iced coffees are selling like hot cupcakes in many coffee shops and franchises. Most people think it’s OK to drink the iced coffees, especially in this sizzling hot summer!

However,  cancer researchers have given warning to the public that some iced coffees may contain as many calories as a McDonald big value meal!

The World Cancer Research Fund mentioned that they discovered the largest version of Starbuck’s Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino contains 561 calories. This amount is more than a quarter of a normal woman’s daily caloric intake!

And even though you can ask to hold the whipped cream on the Frappuccino, it still has a whopping 457 calories. Since most of the iced coffees are the combination of sugar, full-fat milk and cream, it’s definitely not a healthy beverage, especially for those who want to keep their body in fit shape.

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Personal Journal – Lifestyle Change

I always considered myself a health conscious guy. The thing is I ate junk food, started getting over-weight, didn’t exercise much, and lived pretty much an unhealthy lifestyle. I never saw real results when I did quit eating junk. I ate the right foods and continued to yo-yo with my weight. I exercised, yet the results were minimal.

It wasn’t until I started focusing on specifics that I began to see results. And the results were drastic. I also acquired knowledge through such experts as Dr. Oz. You should bookmark his site and check it daily. It has needed information, tools and resources you need to change your lifestyle and become healthier.

My first demon was soda. I was a soda fanatic and drank only soda. I thought ginger ale was the healthiest, but all sodas are unhealthy. I defeated this by turning to club sodas, seltzers and sparkling waters. It worked, I eventually gave up soda.

My next demon was Italian bread, which I consumed at least a loaf a day. It was a struggle but eventually I switched to ‘whole’ wheat bread. I even found a local supermarket that makes a whole wheat version of the Italian bread. A loaf of wheat lasts me at least 3 days and is more filling and contains more fiber. Between you and me, I believe fiber is the key ingredient to losing weight naturally!

The pizza demon was a challenge, but it is manageable. I found a substitute. Make my own with a whole wheat crust and veggie ingredients. Works for me!

Through discipline, substitution, experimentation, knowledge, my lifestyle is changing. I am eating healthier which gives me the energy I need to exercise, move, and just live!

I learned to eat every 2 hours, and limit my portions. Combined with the right foods, this keeps you feeling full and cravings are at a minimum.

I cut my main demon and that would be sugar. Instead of 2-3 tsp. of sugar in each cup of coffee, I adjusted to 1 or half or none. I actually enjoy coffee with no sugar, but when I crave it I limit it to one at the most.

Chocolate is a demon we all have. Switch to a 75% Cacao and limit it to a small portion each day and you’ll be set. Cacao is a healthier chocolate with antioxidants!

I still have a portion control problem. But it is in the process of correction.

After reaching a weight plateau of 220 lbs., I am finally moving towards 2

The one thing I will never trust are the quick fixes that are out there.

From the article:

A popular type of weight-loss product, heavily promoted on the Internet, is fraudulent and illegal, Food and Drug Administration officials say.

HCG weight-loss products that promise dramatic results and claim to be homeopathic are sold as drops, pellets and sprays on the Web, in drugstores and at General Nutrition Centers. They are supposed to be used in combination with a very low-calorie diet of 500 calories a day.”

500 calories a day!!! The weight loss, if any, is due to starvation. You should maintain at least a 2000 calorie a day diet if you don’t want to gain everything back and more!

Make your food count by using food that will give the right nutrients to your body. Real Simple magazine has a list of 30 healthy foods to start eating. A major player that I would like to add is BEETS!

I gotta do this again sometime!

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Fitness Quickies

I subscribe to a few health periodicals. Although there might be a slew of information that I already knew, the information that is new to me is a gem under a boulder. I learned, for instance, that you should be careful of your use of vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta-carotene supplements because these antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals, may also protect cancer cells. This means that sometimes my information may not have a link.

When losing weight, many of us reach a plateau where we seem we can’t lose any more weight. Denise Austin gives a few tips on how to move past this stage. I’m trying to go past this stage at this time. I am watching my portions and pushing myself a bit longer in my activities. I am also trying to change my routine, to a point.

Speaking of portion control and reading the nutrition label, I found that I am getting too much sodium in my diet. Even in healthy foods. I’m on a mission to watch my sodium at all costs. I use very little salt when I make my meals from scratch. I’ve devised a trick that I am using and I’ll use my cottage cheese and salsa mix that I heard about on Dr. Oz.

A serving size of cottage cheese is 1/2 cup. A 16 oz. Container has 4 servings. Sodium per serving is 470 mg. or 20% of your daily value. The salsa has 240 mg. or 10% of your dv. That’s 30% sodium in one meal. I have decided to reduce the servings. If I can get 5-7 servings from the cottage cheese, instead of 4, and I get over 20 servings of salsa, instead of the 15 per container, I’ve cut the sodium. It’s a start. Another thing I do is wash can foods, or run water, to reduce the sodium!

I thought I was going to move to an apartment complex with a gym, but that fell through. Since I still want to quit my gym, I am going to purchase what I consider essentials for me. Since I do alot of walking at work, I’ll get an indoor bike for my cardio. I have weights, a heart monitor, a kettlebell, and a metal cable chest extender. I am planning on acquiring a couple more kettlebells, a medicine ball, a stability ball, a bench, and get some sort of exercise bands or cables.

According to a UCLA study these are the top ten foods to help you live a longer healthier life:

1) Almonds
2) Apples
3) Blueberries
4) Broccoli
5) Beans
6) Beets
7) Spinach
8) Bananas
9) Sweet Potatoes
10) Wheat Germ

Get these foods incorporated into your diet more and you’ll feel the difference!

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My Daily Health Routine

Yoga and Men's Health

First, I’d like to say that we regret that several errors occurred in my local newsletter last month. There were several letter substitutions in Opening Up for Easier Breathing by Dr. Beth Scherer, Acupuncture, Infertility and Hormone Balancing by Dr. Angelique Murphy, and Chronic Illness by Dr.James McMinn. These were not the mistakes of the authors or on my part, but were a printer problem that I hope will not happen in the future.

I have started a new ad this month for “Masters of Yoga and Fitness.” It is presently a half page, but can expand to a full page. If you wish to advertise there, give me a call and we can discuss how to list your business in that space.

This new ad goes along with this month’s theme of Men’s Health. I have a daily practice that involves several of my favorite yoga poses, stretching, push ups, and a short meditation. I usually spend about 15 minutes most mornings waking up with this part of my morning ritual. This helps to start my day loose and with a fresh mind. Afterwards, I enjoy a couple of cups of ‘Jasmine Jazz’ green tea. I also read for a few minutes. I read only a few pages from one of several books to give me something to ponder through the day when I need a break.

Currently I am reading, As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, You by Frances Wilshire, The Gospel According to Luke, Staying Healthy with the Season by Elso n M. Haas, M.D., and Reincarnation – The Missing Link in Christianity by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. This short morning ritual starts off my day addressing my body, mind, and spirit. The entire ritual takes about 30 minutes, but it is the best 30 minutes of my day. I hope other men will join me in finding ways to take care of ourselves.

Serve, Prosper and Have Fun!

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