Monday, August 5, 2013

Food for Men

Early man may have been a stranger to civilized concepts, but he ate the right stuff. Your guy can follow in their footsteps, feel better and live longer.

Early man may have been a stranger to civilized concepts like nonviolence or personal grooming, but he ate the right stuff: high-fiber, low-fat foods like fruit, veggies, nuts and a little bit of lean meat. As it turns out, this is exactly the kind of food men need to ward off obesity, heart problems and a host of other diseases. So it's no surprise that most are included in the following "made-for-him" foods that every man needs to feel better and live longer.

 1. Oatmeal
 This breakfast staple is actually one of the best foods men can eat to stay lean and lower their risk of heart disease. Why? "One cup of cooked oatmeal contains 3 grams of soluble fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer, stabilizes your blood sugar and reduces your blood cholesterol," says Katherine Brooking, R.D., a New York-based dietitian. Oatmeal is also rich in immune-boosting zinc, stress-fighting B vitamins and other antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals. It's a no-brainer way to start his day.

2. Bananas

Under the peel is a fruit packed with nourishment that no man can afford to miss. "Bananas are a great source of potassium, which prevents muscle cramps and assists in regulating blood pressure," says Jennifer Adler, M.S., certified nutritionist and associate professor at Bastyr University in Seattle. "They also have anti-inflammatory properties that help keep joints and muscles working pain-free throughout the day." Bananas are also a great source of fiber (which can lower his cholesterol and protect him against colon cancer) and magnesium (which reduces his risk of stroke).

3. Tomatoes

This powerhouse veggie offers powerful benefits for prostate health. "Tomatoes are ideal for men because they contain the antioxidant lycopene," says Adler. This powerful carotenoid, which gives tomatoes their rich red color, has also been shown to lower a man's risk of developing prostate cancer. For maximum impact, cook tomatoes before eating: Lycopene is absorbed more easily when it's heated up first.

4. Blueberries

These all-season snacks are fortified with more vitamins, minerals and fiber per ounce than any other fresh fruit he may reach for. And the same pigment that gives blueberries their color (anthocyanin) is a potent antioxidant that seeks out and destroys free radicals throughout his body -- the molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage.

5. Olive Oil

Just two tablespoons a day of this amazing oil can help him lose weight, feel great -- and even fight off disease. "Olive oil is a 'good fat,' rich in monounsaturated fat, as well as antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E," says Heidi Skolnik, a nutritionist at the Women's Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. "It can reduce blood pressure, suppress the growth of some cancers, and even lessen the severity of asthma and arthritis." Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain and swelling.

6. Walnuts

Just a handful of these super-nutritious snacks provides him with 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and generous amounts of selenium, magnesium and vitamin E that can protect his prostate. "Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant amount of ALA, the plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids," says Brookings. "A 1-ounce serving alone (around 12-14 walnut halves) contains 2.5 grams of ALA." Why is that a must for him? A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that healthy individuals who consumed walnuts reduced their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL (the bad type) by 9.3%, which translated into an 18.6% decrease in risk of developing coronary heart disease.

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