June is Men’s Health Month and June 11-17 is celebrated as Men’s Health Week. This observance is dedicated to increasing awareness about preventable health problems that affect men, and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease along with a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and medical check-ups.
According to a YouGov survey, women are more intent on bettering themselves than men. Men tend to ignore their health issues mainly because of fear or insecurity. A prnewswire.com report on Men’s Health Month notes that, “men continue to suffer from chronic illness and lower insurance rates than women. They are also less likely to seek out mental health services than women. With the help of awareness periods like Men’s Health Month, it can help to fight these systemic issues and save lives by educating the public on health issues and health disparities impacting men.”
But this has to change, and men’s of all ages have to take care of themselves by staying active, following a healthy diet, and getting timely preventative check-ups. Nutritional needs vary depending on size, age, and activity levels. Here are a few nutritional tips to focus on during Men’s Health Week:
- Make sure you don’t skip breakfast as this important meal boosts your metabolism and provides energy for the whole day.
- According to an article published by www.marshallindependent.com, nearly 94 percent of Americans report snacking at least once a day, with about half snacking two to three times daily. Plan nutrient-rich snacks. Eat small, frequent meals to sustain your energy levels. Snacking can reduce your hunger and prevent overeating.
- Eat a variety of foods This will ensure you get several nutrients from different foods. Maintain a balanced diet that will keep you full around the clock.
- Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Aim for at least 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables every day. You can also have sliced fruit for snack.
- Avoid saturated fats and excess calories as it can cause heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in men. Stick to good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered “heart-healthy”. These good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish.
- Vitamins and minerals plays a major role in a man’s overall health providing benefits such as better muscle strength, faster metabolism and fat loss, more energy, better sleep and protection against health problems like a heart attack, colon or prostate cancer. The most important and best vitamins for men include Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Anti-oxidants vitamins (Vit A, C, E), Vit K, Magnesium, Iron, Omega-3 Fish Oils and Potassium.
- Calcium strengthens bone and teeth, and plays a role in normal muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and regulating heartbeat. A young man need 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day for bone and tooth health. Aim for three servings of low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt or cheese every day.
- Consume leafy greens, iron fortified cereal or a handful of raisins a day to incorporate adequate iron in your diet.
- Reduce red meat consumption and add more lean meat like chicken, turkey and pork to get enough protein for your body. Other protein-rich options include egg whites, low-fat dairy foods, such as cottage cheese, legumes, nuts and seeds. Proteins help in developing muscle development. According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), for men is 56 grams of protein per day.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with added sugar and salty beverages, and opt for fresh fruit juice. As alcohol is a major source of hidden calories, reduce alcohol consumption.
- Regular exercise goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating. To build muscle, get at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity most days of the week.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Regular health checkups and screenings are also important for effective prevention and early intervention.