Hello, all of you lovely ladies out there wondering how to get your husbands to take ownership of their own health. Well, did you know that statistically, men lead in 14 of the 15 leading causes of death, BUT…men are more likely to avoid preventative care, pay less attention to health information, delay treatment and not follow recommendations suggested by health-care providers. So, now do you know why I’m writing this to the ladies and not to the men, you men will ignore this and your wives will be the ones to tell you to read it!
There are a few main areas that men should be focusing on when it comes to their health, cardiovascular disease, prostate health and hormones. To start, here are a few tips for general wellness.
- Diet – find a diet based on your individualized needs, BMI, and food sensitivities
- Exercise – weights and cardio minimum 3X/week
- Get a baseline blood test for hormone levels, liver, cholesterol, blood sugar
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Take action! – make small changes every day;
- Take the stairs
- Eat salad instead of fries
- Drink more water
- Be conscious of salt intake
Heart disease and stroke are the first and second leading causes of death worldwide, in both men and women. In cardiovascular disease, cholesterol plaques gradually build up and block the arteries in the heart and brain. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot forms, blocking the artery and causing a heart attack or stroke. Men’s arteries develop atherosclerosis earlier than women’s; experts believe women have naturally higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol). For every 1% drop in LDL cholesterol, the risk for heart attack drops by 2%. Conversely, for every 1% increase in HDL levels the risk for heart attack drops 3 to 4%.
Some tips for lowering your LDL cholesterol levels:
- Eat a diet low in saturated and trans fats – avoiding full fat dairy products (or dairy completely), avoid fatty meats such as sausages and lunch meats; limit red meat to once per week; avoid processed foods such as cakes, cookies, chips, fried foods
- Avoid refined sugar – use natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup, or stevia instead
- Exercise daily for 30-45 minutes
- Increase plant sterols – daily intake of at least 1.5 grams; avocados (95mg), almonds (40mg), pistachios (70mg), fava beans (40mg), hazelnuts (30mg) *focus on Beta-sitosterol* in plant oils such as flaxseed oil and vegetable oils
- High Fiber diet including oat bran, psyllium, beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes
Supplements to lower LDL levels and Increase HDL levels:
- Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Red Yeast Rice
Other supplements for cardiovascular health:
- Vitamin C
Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, and that 1 in 8 Canadian men will develop prostate cancer! Some signs of changes in prostate health include, intense need to urinate, burning during urination, a weak urine stream, and often feeling like you need to urinate.
Some foods to help promote a healthy prostate include:
- Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (zinc)
- Fish, flax seeds, walnuts (omega 3’s)
- Bell peppers, broccoli, kale (Vitamin C)
- Tomatoes, watermelon, papaya (lycopene)
- Avocadoes, soybeans (Beta-sitosterol)
Some supplements for prostate health are:
- Saw Palmetto
Lastly, we need to discuss hormones. Many people associate hormone issues with women, but men can have imbalances in their hormones also including testosterone, cortisol and thyroid.
The hormone testosterone is known for stimulating sperm production and is responsible for sex drive, but did you know that it also helps build muscle and bone mass and decreases slowly as men age, also known as ‘andropause’. Some signs of low testosterone include fatigue, low sex drive, hair loss, increase in body fat and mood changes.
Some foods to increase testosterone levels include:
- Garlic, ginger, onion
- Red grapes
- High Protein Diet
- Zinc Rich foods – beans, yogurt, pumpkin seeds
- Healthy Fats – avocados, nuts, coconut oil, Omega-3’s
Some herbs to help promote testosterone production are:
If while you’re reading this blog, anything seems to resonate with you as a man (or sounds like your husband) don’t wait, be proactive and get out there, get your blood levels checked and start making some healthy choices that can impact your health now and in the future. Don’t be part of the statistic that shows you won’t take action for months to years when you could have done something NOW!
Yours in Health!