17 Foods Doctors are Urging Men to Eat
One of the easiest ways for men to take control of their health is to eat a nutrient-dense diet. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a 'healthy' diet for men includes at least 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables, whole grains, at least 38 grams of fiber per day, two to three servings of fish per week, unsaturated fats, and 3,400 milligrams a day of potassium from fruits, vegetables, fish and dairy.
If that all sounds like too much to make sense of, not a problem. There are a few foods you can make sure to eat regularly that help you meet all of these recommendations. So we asked doctors for their picks for the best foods they think men should be sure to eat more on a daily basis. Here are 17 of them. Read on, and for more on how to lose weight, you won't want to miss The Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat for Good, Say Doctors.
"Avocados are a good source of healthy fats. Given that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, any heart-healthy foods are important to incorporate into the diet," says Natasha Bhuyan, MD, practicing family physician in Phoenix, Arizona.
"Eating pomegranates can help to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. They are also a good source of antioxidants which can help keep arteries from hardening and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease," says Sophia Tolliver, MD, MPH, FAAFP, clinical assistant professor of Family Medicine at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.
"Almonds are a natural superfood. They are densely packed with nutrients that can help with brainpower and muscle mass. Regular consumption of almonds can have positive effects on a man's overall well-being. Make sure to eat the recommended amount per day (20 almonds)," says Amy Shah, MD, a double board-certified medical doctor specializing in immunology, nutrition, and wellness at Verv.
"Beef liver has essential vitamins such as vitamins A, B, and folate and minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron. Beef liver nutrient density helps with oxygen utilization of red blood cells that can increase stamina," says Gabrielle Lyon, DO, functional medicine physician in New York City.
"Blueberries are high in antioxidants as well as other nutritional benefits, like fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamin C. They can also help reduce inflammation," says Dr. Bhuyan.
"This superfood can speed up gastric emptying and reduce indigestion. Additionally ginger contains a substance that may help to decrease risk of colon cancer," says Dr. Tolliver.
"This fish can be cooked and served in many different ways. Salmon is extremely high in omega-3 fats which can help with heart health, reducing chest pain, and provide anti-inflammatory properties. Incorporate this heart-healthy fish into your diet with sushi, grilled salmon and more," says Dr. Shah.
Adds Dr. Lyon, "EPA and DHA, the two-primary omega-3's found in salmon, can help raise the neurotransmitter dopamine. While dopamine plays many roles in your health, one important function is helping increase desire and sex drive."
"Beef is an excellent source of complete protein to help build lean muscle. Steak provides a natural source of carnosine, which has been shown to increase physical performance," says Dr. Lyon. "Steak is also a rich source of creatine for performance and recovery from exercise. It is a great source for L-carnitine, which can help cardiovascular health and increase nitric oxide production, which plays an essential role in erectile function."
"Flaxseeds are packed plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and raise dopamine levels in the brain that trigger the male sexual response," says Dr. Bhuyan.
"Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which has been shown to decrease risk of stroke. This special oil also contains a special substance pain reducing properties that are similar to that of ibuprofen," says Dr. Tolliver. (Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Olive Oil)
"Tomatoes are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene. Having rich lycopene foods in your diet have shown to put men less at risk for prostate cancer. Incorporate tomatoes daily in your diet with salads, sandwiches, and soup," says Dr. Shah.
"Beans can help to stabilize blood sugars and decrease your risk of diabetes. If blood sugars are stabilized this can lead to fewer cravings and weight loss on the scale," says Dr. Tolliver.
"Spinach has nutrient-rich properties for men. It is extremely high in iron, anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, and can support your eyesight. Add spinach to your diet with protein smoothies, salads, or stir-fries," says Dr. Shah.
Adds Dr. Bhuyan, "Spinach is the original superfood and is packed with nutrients which are beneficial to men and women."
"Eggs provide an excellent source of Vitamin D and cholesterol; hormones are made from cholesterol. Since stress and anxiety are two common causes of ED, it's important to help reduce them any way we can," says Dr. Lyon. "Eggs contain vitamins B5 and B6, two important vitamins in helping your body regulate stress and cortisol."
"Tuna contains vitamin D which can help strengthen your bones. Vitamin D can help to boost testosterone levels as well," says Dr. Tolliver.
"The pro in probiotics rings true with Greek yogurt. Probiotics can help with bowel movements, stronger immune systems, and higher vitamin absorption. Start breakfast off with a Greek yogurt—either in a smoothie or eaten plain," says Dr. Shah.
"Oysters are one of the best natural sources of zinc. Zinc deficiency has been linked as a contributing factor for impotence. Zinc not only plays a role in helping with immune function as well as boosting testosterone but also sperm production and cellular repair," says Dr. Lyon.