Essential nutrients for men
For optimum health and fitness, it is essential to add variety to your meals and include a wide variety of nutrients in your diet. However, there are some nutrients that are particularly important for men to include in their daily diets. Here are 7 essential nutrients all men need.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant which can help to reduce or prevent hair loss in men. Furthermore, studies have suggested that selenium can improve fertility. Selenium is also great for lowering “bad” cholesterol, preventing blood clots and lifting your mood. To get your recommended intake of selenium, try snacking on Brazil nuts, which are one of the most concentrated sources of the mineral, or eating more sea food.
B vitamins are essential for general wellbeing and can help to alleviate depression, promote a healthy nervous system and boost energy levels. Studies have also shown that folate (vitamin B9) can improve fertility while biotin (vitamin B7) can help to treat hair loss. Good sources of B vitamins include whole grains, legumes, nutritional yeast and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc is essential for men’s fertility. The mineral helps to maintain healthy testosterone levels. One of the best sources of zinc is oysters, although pumpkin seeds, meat, oats and other shellfish are all good sources.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most multi-purpose nutrients around and can help to address many of men’s most common health complaints. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lowered levels of "bad" cholesterol and can also reduce risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and depression. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids is oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
As well as helping to promote good bone health and prevent risk of mental illness and heart disease, according to a study led by a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, high levels of vitamin D can lower a man’s risk of dying from prostate cancer. Studies have also suggested that vitamin D can boost testosterone levels, with research suggesting that an hour of sunshine can boost a man's testosterone levels by 69 per cent. Good food sources of vitamin D include oily fish and egg yolk.
Studies have found that lycopene – the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their colour – can help to reduce risk of colorectal cancer, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease; the leading cause of death in men. Research has also shown that men who frequently eat foods rich in lycopene may drastically reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer and that lycopene can slow the growth of, or even kill, prostate cancer cells.
Magnesium is important for healthy bones, energy levels and muscle function, as well as many other parts of the body and other essential functions. Furthermore, research has suggested that getting enough magnesium can help to reduce men’s risk of colon cancer. Good sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds.