17 Foods Every Man Should Eat at Least Once a Week Gallery
17 Foods Every Man Should Eat at Least Once a Week
Trying to figure out what’s best for your diet can be confusing, especially when the fads and trends dictating what’s “healthy” and what’s not keep changing. Should you be eating meat? Should you be counting carbs? What about the keto diet?
The nutrients that all men need, however, rarely change all that much. While the nitty gritty of what works and doesn’t work for weight loss are as complicated as ever, your diet doesn’t have to be. Making sure you have all the basic nutrition that you need is as simple as eating a varied, vitamin-rich diet.
There are risks that come with failing to get the nutrients you need from your diet. Heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and liver disease are some of the leading causes of death for men in America. Rather than reacting to diseases with a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions, men can take steps to prevent these diseases from ever happening in the first place. A consistent combination of the right foods could help. If you want to stay healthy and live longer, here are the 17 foods every man should eat at least once a week.
Low levels of vitamin B12 and folate are common in patients suffering from depression, and studies show that a lack of these essential nutrients can also inhibit the effectiveness of antidepressants. Getting the proper amount of folic acid and vitamin B12 is crucial for proper neurological function, and one cup of cooked asparagus (around 10 spears) offers 50 percent of your daily requirement. Get some asparagus into your diet by making this velvety asparagus-pea soup.
Whether you like them spread on toast or blended into a creamy guacamole, you can benefit from incorporating avocados into your diet. The fruit (yes, avocado is technically a fruit) is a plentiful source of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which might be why so many men are looking to avocado toast for its health benefits. One study found that when participants’ diets were enriched with avocados, their LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped by 17 and 20 percent respectively, and their healthy HDL cholesterol levels increased. Recent research also shows that avocados may be useful in the treatment of hypertension.
An enlarged prostate currently hinders the livelihood of more than 30 million men in the United States, but the risk of developing this condition may be reduced by eating foods rich in beta-carotene, a pigment found in carrots and sweet potatoes that gives them their orange hue. A study published in the journal Cancer found that men who consumed high levels of beta carotene-rich foods had the lowest risk of prostate cancer.
Skin cancer is a real danger, and the risk of exposure to the sun is higher during the summer months. Buying high-quality dark chocolate makes a big difference; the heavily processed stuff found in your local grocery store tends to have fewer of the nutrients that make dark chocolate such a healthy choice. Real dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which one study found to protect skin from harmful UV effects. But the benefits don’t stop there: The antioxidants in dark chocolate may also improve blood flow and lower blood pressure by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the arteries. It’s pretty incredible what might happen if you ate dark chocolate every day!
Fennel is a versatile ingredient that may add some excitement to the dinner table. When consumed raw, fennel has an intense licorice flavor; when roasted, it takes on a caramel-like sweetness. A bulb of fennel is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and a host of other minerals. Experiments on mice concluded that the extract from fennel seeds could have anti-tumor properties and could also protect cells from oxidative stress.
Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans are common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. A 3.5-ounce serving supplies the body with 68 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, as well as 38 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein. The fiber quantity also helps to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, essential requirements for men battling heart disease and stroke. If you don’t enjoy eating the beans plain, try tossing them in a salad or roasting them with spices. If you’re not one for cooking, there are many products made of chickpeas that make them tastier — there’s chickpea butter, chickpea pasta, and even chickpea cheese puffs.
Asian holistic healers identified the health properties of goji berries nearly 6,000 years ago, and now modern science has found evidence supporting the ancient remedy. A recent study showed that Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs), a compound found in goji berries, has been linked to tumor reduction in the prostates of mice.
Green tea is abundant in phenolic acids and flavonoids, two antioxidants that protect the body from damaging free radicals and oxidative stress. These antioxidants can also reduce instances of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers. Three clinical trials have been performed in prostate cancer patients, with results suggesting that green tea may help delay or prevent the cancer’s progression. If you’re drinking it solely for its health benefits, you may want to avoid adding milk to your green tea or opting for sugary matcha lattes — dairy has been found to reduce its antioxidant levels.
Lean Red Meat
Red meat has fallen in and out of favor with the medical community after numerous reports and studies linking processed red meats to higher instances of cancer and high cholesterol levels. But red meat does have its benefits, too. Grass-fed beef, lamb, and goat are important sources of high quality protein, iron, and zinc. Iron derived from red meat is more easily absorbed by the body than from plant-based sources; many Americans are deficient in iron and could use more red meat to help avoid a mineral deficiency.
As adults age, their bones weaken, leading to more fractures and breaks. Lentils and other vegetable proteins reinforce bone integrity and also help in calcium absorption. Though they may not sound tasty to you, there are many ways to incorporate more lentils into your diet. Eat like the British royal family and try making a creamy lentil soup or a refreshing summer salad.
Oysters are known for being a classic aphrodisiac, though they won’t actually boost your libido. What they will do, however, is help with male fertility by increasing the production of sperm and testosterone from their zinc content. Try them raw on the half shell, or as the star of one of these seven outstanding oyster recipes. Just make sure you eat them safely — if you don’t know what you’re doing, they could make you really sick.
Peanuts have a very low glycemic index and have been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics. Peanuts can even curb sugar spikes from foods with a high glycemic index when consumed together with them. Just make sure to avoid peanut butters with added sugars — here are some of the healthiest brands.
Enough can’t be said for the health benefits of salmon; it’s high in protein, has lots of healthy fats, and is a rich source of B vitamins. Incorporating more salmon into your diet can actually help reduce your risk of heart disease. Salmon’s abundant supplies of omega-3 fatty acids help reduce blood clotting, and research shows that it lowers triglyceride levels and risk of coronary artery disease. If fresh or canned fish is not accessible, fish oil supplements are another way to fortify a diet with omega-3 fatty acids. But cooking salmon doesn’t have to be complicated — you just need the right recipe.
Selenium is a rarely discussed trace mineral found in Brazil nuts, grass-fed beef, and sardines, but this micronutrient plays an important role in preserving liver health. Selenium helps the liver form two essential enzymes, which indirectly prevent oxidization and liver damage. Crack open a can of sardines and layer on a piece of whole-wheat toast for a quick and simple lunch. If you can’t stand sardines, try getting the rare nutrient from another delicious source, like bacon.
Even the name of this mood-boosting food sounds cheery. Within sunflower seeds are two important mood regulating nutrients: magnesium and folate. A deficiency in magnesium can result in feelings of fatigue and nervousness, while a dearth of folate leads to irritability, depression, and insomnia. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides the body with 28 percent of the daily recommended intake of magnesium and 20 percent of the recommended amount of folate. Use sunflower seeds in trail mix, in salads, or in a tasty sunflower seed brittle.
Tofu is a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids, and some prefer it to animal products because it doesn’t include high amounts of saturated fat or cholesterol. The Food and Drug Administration used to say that eating 25 grams of soy protein per day may improve heart health — while they revoked this claim, they still maintain that it has its health benefits.
Tomatoes taste great in the summer. But munching through a raw, watery, out-of-season tomato can be gross and may even turn you off from tomatoes forever. Tomato juice can be a great and worthy alternative. Tomatoes are important health foods; their high levels of lycopene have been shown to lower risks of prostate, colon, and pancreatic cancers. Instead of layering extra slices on your roasted turkey sandwich, try gulping down a cup of tomato juice. Just make sure to check the nutrition facts on the bottle. Some vegetable juice brands are notorious for adding sugars, artificial flavors, and sodium. Too much of it, or of any of these sodium-filled foods, could send your blood pressure through the roof.
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