Thanks to our ever-evolving knowledge of nutrition, one thing is clear: men and women require different nutrients! Sure, we all need fat, protein and micronutrients, and should be focusing primarily on nutrient-dense whole foods. But there are plenty of nutrients men should particularly focus on for peak health since studies show that most men are actually quite deficient! Getting these nutrients not only boosts energy and promotes disease prevention, but it’s easy to achieve with the help of superfoods. Here are a few micronutrient suggestions that are especially important for men and some foods that are the best sources.
Studies show that 77% of men don’t get enough magnesium, which is crucial to over 300 different bodily processes, and deficiencies have been noted as a potential precursor to heart disease. Many superfoods are exceptionally high in magnesium, making this nutrient easy to obtain, including chia seeds, dark leafy greens and figs. The highest source of magnesium of any food is cacao, which offers 9% RDA in just one tablespoon of powder.
Superfoods Packed with Potassium
Most men fall short on potassium, too, which is key for heart health and essential for converting glucose into energy (which is why it’s constantly sought-after by athletes). Bananas are the most famous sources of potassium, but there are many other foods which are great sources, such as avocadoes (which actually contain more than bananas, ounce per ounce) and coconut water. Better still, make a smoothie filled potassium-rich foods, like this Chocolate Banana Smoothie!
Good Sources of Lycopene
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, but a prostate-healthy diet can go a long way in the world of prevention. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has shown particular promise in preventing prostate cancer and reducing tumor growth among men with prostate cancer. Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene as are goji berries.
Superfoods Brimming with Zinc
Another mineral that is important for prostate health, as well as fertility, is zinc. Since the human body doesn’t store zinc, it’s important to continually consume this nutrient through the foods we eat, which translates to about 11mg of zinc a day for men. Most seeds like flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are great sources, as are leafy greens like spinach, sea vegetables, and goji berries.
Okay, so an “adaptogen” isn’t a nutrient as much as it is a quality of a select group of foods that have the ability to support the adrenal glands and regulate hormone production. One of the most powerful adaptogens is maca, a superfood root that has been shown to not only combat stress, but also improve sexual health, drive, stamina, and fertility in both men and women. For a simple recipe that takes just minutes to make, try these Maca Almond Energy Bites for a good dose of maca in every sweet bite!