As we step into adulthood, we preconceive a notion in our minds that now our body does not need the energy and resources to support the growth of childhood and adolescence. What we do not realise is the fact that good nutrition is essential not only for regeneration and repair, but optimal metabolic functioning, and to prevent the development of chronic degenerative disease.
Most men around the world do not exercise and follow a sedentary lifestyle which puts them at risk for diseases like heart problems, obesity, diabetes and cancer. It is important to prevent such risky health conditions and a diet centred on organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (particularly soy products), nuts, seeds, and fish can help one to do the same.
Men, in particular, go through a gradual loss of muscle mass and subsequent slowing of metabolism, which are resulted from ageing. It can be prevented through optimized nutrition and regular weight-bearing exercises. Lack of physical activity along with slower metabolism leads to weight gain.
Appropriate nutrition works as the foundation for maintaining overall wellness, healthy muscle mass and a slim weight. Following are the basic nutritional needs for an adult male:
It is well known and a widely ignored fact that excessive fat can put you at the risk of various heart diseases and cancer. But how much fat is enough? Any adult should not consume more than 30% of total calories from fat which means 60 grams in a 2000 calorie diet. Also, one must consume only 10% of total calories as saturated fat, which equals to about 20 grams.
Guard yourself against advertisement strategies when product labels scream “low-fat” or “fat-free” because such products may not always be your best choice nutritionally. These products often contain high amounts of sodium and refined sugars which are equally detrimental to one’s health as fat.
Men must follow their nutrition experts when they recommend consumption of 4 grams og omega-3 fats every day. Flax seeds are one such omega-3 rich foods that are believed to protect against prostate cancer.
A man’s current body weight and level of physical activity determines the amount of calories he needs to intake. This means that every man has different calorific needs. The point to remember is that if you consume more calories than the amount you need to perform normal physiological functions and exercise, the excess will be stored as fat in your body. And let us revise, fat is bad for our heart.
Please do your health a favour- increase your fibre intake. A high dietary intake of fibre can lower your cholesterol levels, normalize your blood sugar levels, help you lose weight, and help prevent colon cancer. It is recommended to take a minimum of 25 grams of fibre per day.
Dark green leafy vegetables, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, raspberries, black beans, lentils and brown rice are foods that contain good amounts of fibre.
One very important aspect of a man’s well being is his sexual health. After all he must keep his lady happy. To maintain one’s sexual health, adequate intake of zinc is essential. A man can derive zinc from foods like calf’s liver, sea vegetables and pumpkin seeds.
Dietary intake of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 is known to lower blood levels of homocysteine, a by-product of metabolism that can directly damage artery walls, setting the stage for the development of atherosclerosis.
Spinach, parsley, broccoli, beets, turnips, asparagus, calf’s liver and lentils are rich sources of folic acid. One can derive vitamin B6 from bell peppers, turnips, cauliflower, garlic, tuna and mustard greens.
Men, please note that eliminating unhealthy foods (such as highly processed snack foods and desserts that contain hydrogenated fat, sodium, refined sugar and saturated fat) and breaking unhealthy lifestyle habits (such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption) can make a huge positive impact on how you feel.
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