5 Necessary Nutrition for Men
It’s time for men to take charge!
Men need a wide range of nutrients to ensure performance of various functions in the body such as to provide energy for day-to-day activities, promote replacement and regeneration of worn-out tissues, for maintaining metabolism and so on.
It is essential to know your specific nutrition needs according to your age, gender, activity and to design an eating pattern that suits you.
Balanced nutrition promotes a healthy weight, prevents diseases and contributes to the overall well-being of the individual.
Why exclusively men nutrition?
As men are more prone to carry extra weight in the abdominal area, it is vital to know about their daily energy intake and essential nutrients.
Understand your nutritional needs:
- The energy requirements for males are slightly higher than females. The average energy intake is about 2800 kcal/d for men, although these estimates vary with body size and activity level.
- There are a few key nutrients that men tend to miss out on more than women. Why? Because men are less likely to incorporate enough fruits and vegetables in their diets.
- It is recommended that men eat up to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day recommended as part of an active lifestyle.
- Younger men need to consume more calories than older men, but still need to eat a varied, balanced diet.
- Men over 50 years need foods rich in nutrients than calories in order to maintain weight and prevent nutritional deficiencies.
- After the age of 70, vitamins & minerals such as Vit D, C, calcium and phosphorous intake has to be increased as the requirements increase at this age.
- Based on research, men are more likely to eat meat and starches, and lack in micronutrients and other necessary nourishment.
Here’s the 5 nutrients which men usually miss out in their daily intake.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids, also called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), are essential fats which cannot be synthesized by the body, and therefore needs to be obtained from food.
It is necessary for brain functions, reduces the risk of heart disease and has anti-inflammatory properties that lowers the risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, asthma and cancer.
Sources include - fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna, flax seeds, walnuts and leafy green vegetables.
2. Potassium & Magnesium:
Magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis. Potassium is an essential mineral for muscle contraction and regulating blood pressure because it can counteract sodium in the body, with the following benefits.
Recommended intake for men 3,500 mg/day of potassium from fruits, vegetables, fish and dairy. The intake of magnesium for males440mg/day.
- Reduces hypertension
- Manages blood pressure
- Reduce risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer
- Promotes healthy digestion
Sources include - bananas, avocados, nuts, citrus fruits, leafy greens, whole grain cereals, soybeans, milk and potatoes.
3. Nutrients for Prostrate health:
Lycopene, selenium, and vitamin E are extremely important for the health of the prostate gland. Lycopene is a carotenoid, abundant in red fruits such as watermelon, red grapefruit and tomatoes.
People who have high intakes of the above nutrients appear to have lower risk of developing prostate cancer which is of particular relevance to men’s health.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane and other anticancer compounds that selectively target and kill cancer cells.
Sources include - Sea food, almonds, tomatoes, broccoli, legumes and soybeans.
Antioxidants protect the body from harmful molecules called free radicals and may prevent cancer and arthritis-related conditions.
Recommended a minimum of 500 g/day of fruits and vegetables to obtain sufficient amounts of antioxidant nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and certain non-nutrients like polyphenols and flavonoids which may protect against chronic diseases.
This should be complemented with sufficient amount of vegetable oil so as to obtain vitamin E.
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), an average man should consume 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.
Diet high in red meat and poultry meets the protein requirements for men. But these foods should be paired with daily fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts to ensure a balanced, healthy meal with all the nutrients necessary for good health.
Dietary fibre is essential for digestive health, maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Most people think fibre for relieving or preventing constipation, but it has more benefits.
Recommended intake of fibre is 30-50 g/day depending on their activity levels.
- Regulates bowel movements and improves bowel health
- Lowers cholesterol
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Helps maintain or achieve a healthy weight
Sources include - fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, legumes and whole grains.
A healthy diet for men generally includes:
- Include minimum 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables each day for vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals.
- Replace refined grains with whole-graincereals, millets (ragi, bajra, jowar, sorghum) brown rice or oats.
- Include at least two to three servings of fish per week.
- Unsaturated fats such as nuts and oil-based salad dressings in place of saturated fats such as full-fat dairy foods, butter and high-fat sweets.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Indu Vaishnavi R, Dietician