Superfoods- How do you perceive your overall health? You might believe you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle if you’re a male (which is likely why you’re reading this article).
However, a recent nationwide survey by the Cleveland Clinic has revealed a stark contrast between men’s self-perceived health and their actual habits, raising some concerns.
According to the survey, 81% of men consider themselves relatively healthy. But when their health habits were examined, the results told a different story.
A staggering 83% of American men reported experiencing stress in the past six months, 44% admitted to skipping annual physical check-ups, 44% neglected their mental well-being, and merely 50% have undergone screenings for common cancers like prostate, colorectal, skin, testicular, and bladder cancers.
It is particularly alarming given that men are statistically at a significantly higher risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, prostate cancer, and stroke, with the latter being the leading cause of death among men compared to women.
To address these concerns, men can make numerous lifestyle changes to enhance their well-being, with one pivotal area of focus being their diet. The survey also indicated that 49% of men do not maintain a healthy diet, highlighting a substantial opportunity for improvement.
For instance, incorporating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while limiting the consumption of unhealthy fats and sodium can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Another noteworthy aspect recently is the emphasis on superfoods, nutrient-dense foods known for their high content of essential vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants.
“A superfood is a nutrient-rich food that is especially beneficial for health and well-being,” explains Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian.
“These foods can support men’s health by providing essential nutrients that contribute to their well-being.”
Superfoods are advantageous for everyone, irrespective of gender. Still, the following ten superfoods for men contain specific nutrients that may address common health concerns men face, such as an increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
This unassuming green vegetable is a standout superfood due to its rich supply of essential nutrients like vitamins C, K, and A, as well as fibre.
What sets broccoli apart is its high sulforaphane content, a compound under study for its potential cancer-fighting properties. It is particularly relevant as men face a higher overall cancer mortality rate than women.
Among fatty fish, salmon ranks high for its health benefits. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known for promoting a healthy heart by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and mitigating risk factors for diseases.
Since men tend to be more susceptible to heart disease, incorporating salmon into their diet is incredibly beneficial. Salmon provides protein and vitamin D, essential for muscle maintenance, bone health, and immune function.
Nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, cashews, and walnuts, contribute to heart health as they are packed with protein, fibre, and essential fats.
Walnuts, in particular, contain alpha-linolenic acid, a heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid. Conversely, Pistachios offer antioxidants and a complete plant protein, boasting all nine essential amino acids.
Avocado is a versatile superfood that provides natural fats, fibre, and potassium, helping individuals feel full for longer, maintain regularity, and replenish vital electrolytes.
It is particularly beneficial for men’s health due to its high monounsaturated fat content, which aids in reducing harmful cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Men are known to have a higher predisposition to heart disease, making avocado an invaluable addition to their diet.
Mushrooms are a valuable superfood for men as they contain essential nutrients like vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants, crucial for overall well-being. The antioxidants in mushrooms combat harmful free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Selenium supports the immune system and thyroid function, which is relevant as thyroid issues can affect both men and women.
Quinoa is a nutrient-rich whole grain with essential vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of protein and fibre, making it a valuable addition to men’s diets.
Whole grains like quinoa can help manage cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and heart disease risk, crucial considerations for men as they age.
Tomatoes contain potent antioxidants, including lycopene, which has been associated with protecting against chronic diseases like prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Since men are at a greater risk of heart disease and prostate cancer, incorporating tomatoes into their diet is advantageous. Tomatoes also provide vitamins A, K, and potassium, contributing to cardiovascular health.
Phytochemicals found in black beans and similar foods may help prevent cardiovascular disease, making them a valuable component of a heart-healthy diet.
Additionally, black beans can assist in blood glucose control, a critical factor in managing chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Blueberries are renowned for their potent antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which offer numerous health benefits for men.
Regular consumption of blueberries has been linked to weight management, reduced cardiovascular disease risk, and neuroprotection.
These advantages are associated with the high anthocyanin levels found in blueberries. Moreover, the polyphenols in blueberries have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, aiding in heart disease prevention.
Yogurt is a well-rounded superfood that combines fats, carbohydrates, and protein, providing sustained energy and satiety. Full-fat yoghurt, in particular, can help individuals feel fuller for longer and offer essential nutrients.
Consistent yoghurt consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart disease in the United States.
Incorporating these superfoods into their diets can empower men to enhance their overall health and mitigate the risks associated with common health concerns.