In support of MOvember, I’d like to acknowledge Men’s Health.
Weight gain, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, prostate health, low energy levels, poor sleep and digestion are all concerns for men I am regularly asked about. By age 30, men have reached their physiological peak, the chief hormone testosterone begins to decline. Metabolism decreases so weight is gained more easily, it’s more challenging for the liver to detoxify alcohol and poor quality fats.
So as you can see, it’s pretty crucial men are aware as early as possible how important it is to look after themselves.
Statistics show cardiovascular diseases are the main causes of death for our men.
So what do men need? (or rather not need?) What we eat and drink impacts how much energy we have, how we feel, function, sleep and fight infection.
Is it high time you changed some old habits?
Reduce or cut alcohol out – give it a go for a month and see how you feel. Alcohol not only places a huge burden on the liver, cardiovascular system (raising BP, cholesterol, hardening arteries,) it increases estrogen. (Yes Estrogen is the female hormone but men produce it in smaller amounts.) When excess estrogen is present weight is gained - the number one substance for causing this is Alcohol!!!
Choose water every time and Love your Liver. Water helps flush toxic waste from the body. Avoid switching alcohol for fizzy drinks or low cal, these contain high amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners placing more burden on the body.
Resist reaching for fast foods, loaded with additives, poor quality fats and energy drinks loaded with sugar and sweeteners. How do you feel after you’ve consumed these? Each meal and snack needs to include an appropriate portion of healthy, lean protein, great quality carbohydrate, (and soluble fibre) AND top quality fat to maintain satiety and blood glucose. Increase oily fish, nuts and seeds, beans and pulses, fresh fruits and veg. Seek the advice of a qualified Nutritionist to assist determining what is right for you.
Zinc is a standout mineral for male health as it has a crucial role in the production of testosterone, healthy sperm and prostate. A few signs of deficiency are; loss of taste and smell, acne, eczema, poor hair growth, poor immunity and wound healing. Zinc is found in shellfish - oysters and mussels are especially high, also red meat, pumpkin seeds, beans and pulses.
Antioxidants A,C,E (found in fresh, coloured fruit and veg, raw nuts and seeds,) assist cardiovascular health, along with B Vitamins. B’s are best taken in a Complex as they work in unison.
Exercise, 30-40 minutes three to four times a week, (every day if you like,) a brisk beach walk, bike ride, choose something enjoyable for you. Exercise is vital for reducing stress and increasing circulation.
Reduce coffee. Limit to one cup a day and drink more water. Coffee is dehydrating, interrupts the production of healthy stomach acid required to break down food, it’s also hard on the liver and increases the production of cortisol, (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that can encourage weight gain, especially around the waistline.)
Take time out, pursue a hobby, time in the Man Cave, schedule a trip away with the lads. Social time is important, catch up for a water, (not beer) and a chat!! If you work in an especially physical job, book a regular massage or some form of relaxing physical treatment therapy. By the way; daily practiced Meditation is shown to be effective for reducing elevated blood pressure.