If you’re a guy, you have different health and nutritional requirements than women. For instance, although you need more protein than a woman, you needs less iron and calcium. Calcium increases a man’s risk for prostate cancer and iron increases a man’s risk for heart attack. In addition, you need omega-3s, but they only benefit you if they’re from the kind found in marine life, and you need to avoid flax-seed oil, as it contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has been linked to prostate cancer.
USDA’s Food Pyramid Recommendations as of September 2008
|Group||19-30 years old||31-50 years old||51+ years old|
|Whole Grain||8 ounces*||7 ounces*||6 ounces*|
|Vegetables||3 cups||3 cups||2 1/2 cups|
|Fruits||2 cups||2 cups||2 cups|
|Dairy||3 cups**||3 cups**||3 cups**|
|Meats||6 1/2 ounces||6 ounces||5 1/2 ounces|
*1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cold cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal equals 1 ounce.
**Cheese is based on 1 1/2 ounces.
Men require more fiber than women for good health, and whole grains are packed with fiber. Fiber protects the colon, and as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men, high-fiber foods are one of the best ways to prevent the disease. Men fifty and younger need 38 grams of fiber a day, and men fifty-one and older needs 30 grams a day. The following foods are some of the best foods to help you meet your fiber requirements. You can also learn more about fiber by reading Fiber is More Than a Hill of Beans.
- Brown Rice. Besides providing insoluble fiber, which maintains good intestinal health, brown rice is rich in thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and manganese. However, if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) you need to be careful when consuming insoluble fiber sources.
- Navy Beans. These cholesterol-lowering beans are a good source of soluble fiber and helpful with weight loss because they fill you up and help you stay full. They are also a good source of protein, thiamine, and folates.
- Whole Wheat. Whole wheat products are low in calories, but high in fiber. Whole wheat protects against a host of things from diabetes to varicose veins to bowel cancer, and one slice of whole wheat bread is a good source of manganese and selenium, as well as an excellent source of dietary fiber.
Vegetables are good for you because they’ve got antioxidant properties that fight against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, vegetables offer other nutrients that help antioxidants be more effective, and vegetables are key in helping you reduce high blood pressure, prevent colon cancer, and prevent heart disease.
- Broccoli. My husband hates broccoli, but it’s one of the best vegetables and gives you the biggest bang for your buck, because it’s an excellent source of antioxidants. It’s also loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, folates, potassium, and vitamin K, all of which help make antioxidants operate more effectively. In addition, it has anticancer properties because of a phytochemical known as sulphoraphane.
- Onions. These pungent vegetables are high in vitamin B6, potassium, folate, and manganese, and a great source of vitamin C. Moreover, they have a good anti-inflammatory factor, which you can learn more about by reading Inflammation and Your Health. Onions are also rich in flavonoids, and give many foods an added punch.
- Tomatoes. This luscious red fruit (determined to be a vegetable by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1893) is high in lycopene, particularly when you cook it under intense heat. It is also high in vitamin C, and 1 cup will provide 91 percent of your daily requirements. It also has a low inflammation factor and prevents prostate cancer.
You can’t have good health if you’re not eating fruits. Fruits are one of the most important aids in good eye health because they prevent age-related macular degeneration. In addition, fruits have flavonoids that give plants their vibrant colors and trigger natural enzyme production, which fights off disease. Fruits are also low in sodium, high in antioxidants, and loaded with folate and potassium.
- Bananas. Bananas boost energy. They are also rich in potassium and magnesium, and men who consume bananas are less likely to experience prostate problems or strokes. Bananas are also an anti-inflammatory food.
- Black Currants. A UK study in 2007 showed this fruit is better than blueberries, pomegranates, or raspberries in the antioxidant flavonoids, known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins pack a punch because they reduce inflammation and protect the body. Additionally, 1 cup of black currants offer you loads of vitamin C, 338 percent of your daily requirements.
- Cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which helps maintain healthy skin and eyes and prevents damage from free radicals. This melon provides 103 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements and 112 percent of your daily C requirements.
Dairy provides protein, which helps build muscle and helps muscles recover. Dairy products are also required to avoid osteoporosis, but men who consume high calcium diets increase their risk for prostate cancer. The recommended dosage for men is no more than about three servings.
- Cottage Cheese. Cottage cheese is rich in protein, and it also has tryptophan which encourages the production of serotonin and helps you sleep.
- Swiss Cheese. Swiss cheese is a good anti-inflammatory, and if you are trying to reduce your overall systemic inflammation, it’s a great choice. It’s also high in vitamin B12, and one cup of diced Swiss cheese provides more than your daily requirements of calcium.
- Yogurt. Buy flavored low-fat yogurt and freeze it. When you’re ready to eat it, pop off the lid and place it in the microwave for thirty seconds. It’s as good as ice cream, only low fat and without all the sugar.
Men need more protein than women, and if you’re athletic, you require even higher amounts than the USDA recommendation.
- Almonds. Almonds are another great anti-inflammatory food and full of protein. There also a great source of vitamin E, promote good cardiovascular health, and produce the same effects as statin drugs. You only need ten almonds a day to enjoy the cardiovascular benefits. In addition, almonds fight diabetes and reduce your risk of obesity.
- Oysters. Oysters are one of the best foods to fight systemic inflammation. In addition, 3 ounces offers 496 precent of your daily vitamin B12 requirements. They are also rich in iron, zinc, selenium, and copper.
- Salmon. Farmed coho salmon is even better than oysters in the anti-inflammatory department, and a half of a fillet will provide 57 percent of your daily niacin requirements, 76 percent of your daily vitamin B12 requirements, and 47 percent of your daily phosphorous requirements. The only drawback to this food is it high in cholesterol,