Men’s health: 18 Best superfoods that men should eat more of
09/05/2020 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Men’s health: 18 Best superfoods that men should eat more of

Eating a diet focused on meat and potatoes isn’t the best way for men to keep their bodies strong and in good shape.

Both foods can be part of a balanced diet, but most men tend to zero in on high-protein foods and neglect their fruits, greens and grains.

To fuel good health, men need more than just protein. Protein alone isn’t going to be enough to meet the 2,500 calories that men ought to consume daily.

Best foods for men’s health

Food is crucial for men’s health and all its aspects, including physical and sexual health. Certain men’s health issues like prostate cancer, penis disorders and other sexual problems can actually be due to poor nutrition.

Research indicates that some specific nutrients – from common micronutrients to less popular plant compounds – demonstrate beneficial effects on men’s health, in particular. Here are the most potent of the lot:

  1. Cherries – Gout, a common form of arthritis, is thought to be a man’s condition because it tends to affect more men. Past studies suggest that cherries are potent anti-gout foods because of their antioxidants. In particular, their plant pigments double as antioxidants to prevent uric acid from hardening in the joints and causing pain and inflammation.
  2. Dark chocolate – Consumed in moderate amounts, dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa could confer health benefits for the heart regardless of sex. But in 2018, researchers found that the protective effects of dark chocolate on the heart appeared to be more pronounced in men. In addition, dark chocolate is a great pre-exercise snack as it releases dopamine, the hormone responsible for pleasure, in the brain.
  3. Lean meat – Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps in building and maintaining hard muscles. Meat is most men’s first choice of protein, but it’s important to go for lean cuts, not red meat. Red meat has been linked to a greater risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. On the other hand, lean meat, like grass-fed beef or lean cuts of pork, is a great source of zinc, a mineral that curbs the production of a hormone called prolactin. In men, too much prolactin can cause sexual problems. Zinc is also an essential muscle-building mineral.
  4. Avocado – Despite being high in fat and calories, avocados make for a great post-exercise snack. Their fats and fibers help sustain feelings of fullness for longer periods, and their potassium can protect against painful muscle spasms. Plus, snacking on an avocado can help replace potassium lost during exercise.
  5. Salmon – Fish is another invaluable source of protein. But salmon, in particular, contains high amounts of omega-3 fats. In men, these fats help raise dopamine levels in the brain that trigger sexual arousal. Salmon also contains an amino acid called L-arginine that our bodies convert to nitric oxide, a compound that’s critical for erections.
  6. Oysters – Oysters are reputed to be the ultimate aphrodisiac thanks to their resemblance to the female genitalia. But there is some truth behind their reputation. Oysters hold more zinc than other foods. This mineral is thought to stimulate the production of testosterone, thus enhancing libido or sexual desire. In addition, zinc aids in sperm production and blood circulation.
  7. Ginger – This staple kitchen ingredient has long been used as a medicinal food for treating nausea and dizziness. But recent studies suggest that ginger extract can shrink tumors in the prostate and kill prostate cancer cells. Eating ginger can also ease muscle pain after exercise.
  8. Yogurt – Yogurt is an all-around post-meal or post-exercise snack. It contains protein needed for rebuilding muscle, potassium for reducing blood pressure and live microorganisms, called probiotics, for boosting testosterone production.
  9. Eggs – Calorie for calorie, eggs offer more usable protein than other protein sources, including beef. Therefore, snacking on an egg after training or exercising can help build stronger and leaner muscles. Recent studies also found that eggs can aid fat loss. This beneficial effect is all thanks to riboflavin or vitamin B2, an essential micronutrient that helps our bodies better convert food into fuel.
  10. Oats – Eat oatmeal for breakfast to boost testosterone in the bloodstream. This male hormone has a significant influence on sex drive and orgasm strength in men. Like salmon, oats contain L-arginine, an amino acid that has been used to treat erectile dysfunction. Oats also keep you feeling full for longer periods and provide excellent energy for morning exercise or activities in the bedroom.
  11. Blueberries – Considered the king of antioxidant foods, these bright berries are chock-full of plant pigments that confer protective effects against cancer, including those of the colon and prostate. In addition, blueberries contain vitamin K, a micronutrient that prevents erectile dysfunction.
  12. Brazil nuts – Brazil nuts are one of the best foods for penis health. Recent studies suggest that a trace mineral called selenium in Brazil nuts could reduce the risk of prostate cancer – a hormone-dependent cancer – because of its role in hormone health. Selenium is considered essential for men’s hormone production, so much so that selenium supplementation has been found to improve the chances of successful conception.
  13. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are bright red because of a plant pigment called lycopene. But recent studies found that this pigment also doubles as an antioxidant to protect the prostate. Eating tomatoes regularly can also improve both sperm shape and sperm count. Both of these factors affect the chances of conception.
  14. Coffee – Coffee in moderation can also reduce the risk of developing erectile dysfunction. A 2015 study found that drinking up to three cups of coffee a day leads to a 42 percent reduced risk of erectile dysfunction. This effect can be most beneficial for obese men since obesity can cause testosterone production to plummet and damage the vessels supplying blood to the penis.
  15. Legumes – To build strong muscles or maintain existing ones, it isn’t enough to eat meat for the main course. Plus, eating meat all the time can get tiring fast. To introduce more protein and add variation to meals, go for a side of legumes. On top of their high protein and micronutrient content, legumes like black beans, chickpeas and lentils are also filling because of their fiber.
  16. Pistachios – These bright green nuts are also a good plant-based source of L-arginine for more reliable and longer-lasting erections. Plant sterols in pistachios also help reduce total cholesterol for better protection against heart disease.
  17. Dark green vegetables – You can’t go wrong with spinach, broccoli, kale, lettuce and other dark green vegetables in maintaining optimal health. Men tend to overlook their greens in favor of more high-protein foods, which, in turn, can lead to nutrient deficiencies and poor health. For men, a balanced diet should include at least two and a half cups of vegetables for vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  18. Orange vegetables – If tomatoes contain lycopene, carrots contain beta-carotene. This plant pigment also doubles as an antioxidant to reduce the risk of an enlarged prostate, which can happen to most men in later life. This condition isn’t tied to prostate cancer, but it can worsen over time and lead to difficulties when urinating. Pumpkins, bell peppers and sweet potatoes are also great sources of beta-carotene.

Men need to consume a balanced diet full of nutrient-dense foods to meet their unique health needs and reduce their risk of certain diseases specific to them. Incorporate the foods on this list into a balanced diet to check off the important nutrients you should be getting on a daily basis.


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