Food To Boost Men’s Health

Lean Red Meat

If you’re a steak-and-potatoes guy, you’re in luck. Red meat can be good for you, says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, a dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lean cuts of beef and pork are packed with protein and have only a little more fat than chicken breast. Red meat is also a good source of leucine, an amino acid that helps build muscle.

Tart Cherries

How do the Pittsburgh Steelers soothe sore muscles? Cherry juice. Bonci says she keeps some in their training room at all times. “The pigment in cherries and cherry juice mimics the effects of some anti-inflammatory medicines,” says Bonci. “And there are no side effects.”

Chocolate

Chocolate may improve blood flow if you eat the right kind. The flavanols in dark chocolate may curb levels of bad cholesterol, improve circulation, and keep blood pressure in check. Men with poor blood flow are more likely to have erection problems, so heart-wise foods may protect your sex life, too. But too much chocolate can lead to weight gain. Enjoy 1 ounce a day instead of other sweets.

Shellfish

Shellfish and other types of seafood are rich in zinc, which is critically important for the heart, muscles, and reproductive system. Zinc levels below normal are linked to poor sperm quality and male infertility. Not fond of seafood? Beef, turkey, chicken, nuts, and seeds offer a healthy dose of zinc, too.

Avocado

Sure, this creamy fruit is high in fat, but it’s the good kind. The monounsaturated fat in avocados packs a one-two punch against cholesterol. It can knock down total cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol (LDL), too. The trick is to use a “mono” fat instead of saturated or trans fats. And eat no more than 25%-35% of all your calories from fat. Olive oil and nuts also contain good fats.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and halibut are another excellent source of healthy fat. They have a special type known as omega-3 fatty acids. These protect against heart disease, the top killer of men in the U. S. Two servings of fatty fish a week can lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

Ginger

Slices of this spicy root are often served with sushi or grated into an Asian stir-fry. Health-wise, ginger may help calm inflammation in the body — which can come in handy when you push yourself too hard. Eating ginger regularly may help reduce the pain of exercise-related muscle injuries.

Milk and Yogurt

The whey in milk and yogurt is another source of leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. Bonci recommends Greek yogurt, with a thick, creamy taste that men may like better. It’s also packed with protein, potassium, and friendly bacteria that keep the gut healthy. “Plus, it requires no preparation whatsoever.”

Bananas

The banana is celebrated for its bounty of potassium — and with good reason. Potassium is critical for muscle contractions and bone health. It also helps blood pressure. Getting enough potassium may be as important as eating less sodium when it comes to lowering blood pressure.

Pistachios

Nuts provide protein, fiber, and zinc while satisfying the urge for a crunchy, salty snack. Pistachios are a stand out — higher in plant sterols that can improve cholesterol levels. Eat them from the shell, so you work harder for each one. It’s a fun way to snack and keeps you from gobbling up too many calories too quickly.

Culled from webmd.com Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD 

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