I get it. I’m not a kid anymore. It’s more important for me to take better care of myself now than when I was in college and assumed myself to be invincible – or at least that I had plenty of time to get food right. I’ve looked around at my gene pool and taken notice. It tells me pretty much all the same things other gene pools should be telling any male in his late 30s or older: Now is the time to get this right. Eat well. And if you’re smart enough to get that message then you’re smart enough to know that eating well doesn’t mean eating like a centenarian.
We need most of the same vitamins and nutrients, and need to keep our food as free of pesticides and processing as possible just like women, but the things we need to pay special attention to is the heart (we have a higher rate of heart disease) and of course, the boy parts. Here are five things we can be eating right now to make us healthier.
Zinc is necessary for prostate enzymes to function normally. One of the best sources for this is pumpkin seeds. About ¼ cup a day will do, which is only a few handfuls (depending on the size of your hands). Some people can be a little sensitive to them, so sunflower seeds are a good backup. Either is excellent over a salad, yogurt or sorbet.
The tomato is loaded with lycopene, which not only helps the prostate function well but also helps prevent prostate cancer. Fresh cut tomatoes are best, but if you’re one of those tomato-resistant types, lycopene can also be found in good amounts in kale, spinach, broccoli, mangoes and berries.
Eating things that give you good cholesterol is just as important as avoiding foods that give you bad cholesterol and salmon is one of the best ways to do that. Besides protein, vitamin B12, potassium, selenium, niacin and phosphorus, salmon has lots of HDL (or good) cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids, which lower bad cholesterol. Salmon has also been found to be effective in protecting against Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer. And though fish eaters must now consider the risks posed by mercury in various fish species, salmon – in particular wild Alaskan salmon – is about the cleanest fish you can eat.
Even people in ancient history knew the charm of garlic as it’s one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants. It’s been found to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, while also lowering blood pressure. Garlic’s ingredient allicin offers antibacterial properties known to be effective against stomach viruses as well as the common cold and flu. It’s a brave soul who would eat garlic all by itself, but it’s a great addition to all manner of foods, from meat to soup, vegetable dishes and pasta. Even a few pinches of garlic add a load of flavor and zip to mac and cheese. Just as few as two servings a week has been found to help lower the incidence of colon cancer.
OK, not technically a food, but if you want any of the above to be more effective and to generally feel and be healthier, then you should really be drinking water. We’re made partly of water and virtually every body function needs it to operate properly. It helps our metabolic processes, helps nutrients dissolve and become more easily absorbed by our digestive system, and is essential in removing not only food waste, but various chemicals and poisons from our bodies. It can also help you feel full, so you eat less.