Also, most vitamins’ and minerals’ Recommended Daily Allowances are the same for men and women with body size being the only differentiating factor. Really the only two minerals that differ much are calcium and iron — both of which women need more of, and men should take in moderation.
However, there are some foods that have been shown to boost male health — particularly when it comes to libido. Essentially, anything that is shown to be good for the heart, is also good for the libido. In addition to these foods, there are also foods that boost men’s health in general.
- Spinach – Spinach is a great source of magnesium, which helps to dilate the blood vessels. Better blood vessel dilation means better blood flow throughout the entire body. Spinach also contains a lot of the nutrient folate, which is shown to possibly lower the levels of homocysteine, a harmful amino acid in the blood that encourages plaque to adhere to arteries.
- Fatty Fish – Another heart-healthy food, fish such as salmon, mackerel, or sardines have several health benefits for men. The fats and omega-3s found in these fish have anti-inflammatory properties, help brain function, as well as reduce the risk for prostate cancer. What’s more, omega-3 fatty acids help to raise dopamine levels in the brain, triggering arousal.
- Seeds and Nuts – Sees and nuts, although calorie-dense, are packed with protein, fiber, and necessary fats. For example, pistachios can help reduce triglycerides as well as LDL (bad) cholesterol. Walnuts and almonds also help to reduce LDL cholesterol, along with reducing a blood clotting compound that can lead to strokes. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which may help prevent cancers of the prostate and colon, as well as help prevent heart disease.
- Oysters – Oysters have more zinc than most any other food, which may protect against prostate cancer, is crucial to healthy sperm production, and also helps with blood circulation. What’s more, zinc is believed to help with testosterone production, in turn enhancing the libido.
- Whole Grains – A balanced diet rich in whole grains can help reduce LDL cholesterol. Whole grains are also great for prostate health as well as muscle health. In addition, eating oatmeal is one of the few natural ways to increase testosterone and reduce blood vessel stiffness. Oats also contain L-arginine, which has been used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Keeping these specific foods in rotation in a man’s diet can help reduce certain diseases, and help stave off male-specific health issues. Of course men should always follow common sense nutrition tips such as reducing salt, eating more fruits and vegetables, and limiting processed foods for ultimate health.
This article first appeared in the December 2017 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.