Men’s Health – Diet
Men’s nutritional needs are different from women’s. They generally require more of some nutrients to fight stress, to increase energy levels in sports, and maintain muscle mass.
Active men also need more calories because in general they have more lean body mass than women. The male hormone, testosterone, is responsible for creating muscle mass in men.
While a man’s diet may allow him to eat more because of his physiology, there are some foods (that are essential for women’s health) that he should not consume in large doses.
The following will show you some of the basic differences between the diets of men and women:
Men and women need good sources of protein but men tend to need more because of their bigger muscle mass. To build and maintain muscle mass, men should consume daily protein in the form of lean meats and pulses. Consuming protein at dinner time is great as it will help their bodies to rebuild muscle tissue while they sleep.
Omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial to women but only the ones coming from fish oil are beneficial to men. Studies have linked a high consumption of Omega-3 from vegetable sources to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Men need zinc more than women for reproductive health. Zinc promotes and maintains prostate function, helps in sperm production and boosts the immune system. Zinc deficiencies in men have been associated with a high risk for prostate cancer
. Shellfish, beef and red meat are good sources of zinc.
Magnesium promotes muscle structure and maintains bone health, cardiovascular and nervous system functions. Adult men need a regular intake of magnesium daily to maintain bone health. Low magnesium levels also increases your risk for diabetes. Magnesium can be found in whole grains, nuts, fish, beans and apples.
Women need more calcium to prevent osteoporosis. While men may also need calcium for bone health, too much calcium may be unhealthy for men because studies show that men who consumed high levels of calcium have an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Men also need iron but not as much as women do because women are prone to anaemia
. Studies in the 1980’s have shown that men with high iron stores showed an increased risk of heart attack.
Cardiovascular disease affects more men than women. For protection against heart disease, men should consume more fibre which is known to lower cholesterol and improve vascular function.
Studies show that older men consume less of the B-complex vitamins than women. The B vitamins which include B3, B5, B6 and B12 promote prostate health, regulate cholesterol levels, hormone production and male glandular functioning. Rich sources of the B vitamins are eggs, meat, fish, bell pepper, beans, wheat germ, barley, spinach and brewer’s yeast.
As men age, metabolic rates and physical activity decrease and energy needs are also reduced. Older men require more nutrient dense diets to support immune function, prevent bone loss, poor eyesight and muscle loss. To prevent lean muscle from being replaced with fat, men should reduce their calorie intake while exercising more. Regular exercise helps maintain muscle mass and good metabolism.
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