Eating right is essential for optimal health. And since men have different health concerns than women, there are certain foods they’ll want to consider making a part of their diet to maintain their optimal personal health. Foods that will help prevent erectile dysfunction, slow muscle recovery after exercise, depression, cognitive impairment, and infertility -just to name a few. So here are five foods that contain nutrients to help maintain optimal male health.
Five Foods for Optimal Health in Men
1. Oysters – There is more zinc in oysters than any other food. Zinc is important to male health because it promotes a healthy prostate. Low levels of zinc can lead to fertility issues and prostate disease. The human body doesn’t store zinc naturally, so it’s important to get enough of it per day. The recommended daily allowance of zinc in men is 11 mg. A 3-ounce serving of oysters contains 74 mg of zinc.
2. Salmon – A contributing factor of erectile dysfunction is believed to be the lack of vitamin D. A 3-ounce serving of salmon can contain 112 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin D.
3. Walnuts – Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. This is thought to be beneficial for brain health and will help ward off depression. Just ¼ cup of walnuts provides 2.7 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which is just over the daily recommended intake.
4. Chocolate Milk – Drink this as a post-workout recovery. It’s a cheaper version than sports drinks. It provides the fluids and sodium needed to aid in post-workout recovery. Drink a glass of low-fat chocolate milk immediately after working out, but then another glass two hours later.
5. Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are good for the heart, but they also help fight off fatigue. Men require more fruits and vegetables than women do, probably much to their chagrin. The meat and potato man better get used to adding more salads to his diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that men eat two cups of fruit and two-and-a-half to three cups of vegetables a day. So half of the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables while the other half is filled with healthy proteins like beans and nuts, moderate amounts of poultry and fish, and the occasional red meat, as well as whole grains.
Don’t overthink what you eat. You don’t need to count calories and measure portion sizes; just have balanced meals. Make sure your plate is filled with fresh, colorful ingredients. Avoid processed foods as much as you can.
You don’t have to eliminate things from your diet. Just make small changes and add a salad a day to a meal as a starting point to getting on the track to eating healthier and optimizing your health. The ultimate goal is to feel better, have more energy, and reduce your chances of chronic illnesses. But you have to be realistic with yourself about how to achieve this goal, and often eliminating all of the things you love is just not the way you’ll achieve this.