Closing the Men's Health Gap with these Recommended Nutrients
Written By Toni Baker, Balanced Living Naturopath
To our Men,
Happy Men's Health Week!
There’s nothing unmanly about wanting to be fit and healthy....
To really understand men’s health we need to look back on how society has viewed men’s health for centuries. It’s as if women have always been protected as the givers of new life whereas men must be brave and show no signs of illness. Perhaps this is why men’s health issues receive so little attention on a global scale.
Men in general have a lower life expectancy than women, which is often attributed to more risky choices, suicide, accidents, sexual behaviour and alcohol dependence.
But many of the so-called male-specific illnesses are actually not specific to men and share the preventable common risk factors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, sedentary lifestyles, obesity and hypertension. It’s just that women are more comfortable about speaking up about their health issues and seeking help earlier on.
In truth, closing the men’s health gap will actually benefit men, women and children. With many studies highlighting the decline in male sperm quality, a lot of couples nowadays are having to turn to fertility treatments to reproduce. In short, we are all exposed to many more environmental toxins that are creating havoc with our health, most crucially oestrogen and testosterone.
So what are the best nutrients to support men’s general wellbeing?
Selenium and Zinc
Both of these important minerals are crucial in the hormonal health of men. Decreased levels of both of these minerals lead to poor sperm quality and play a key role in the development of prostate cancer.
Food sources include shellfish, brazil nuts, eggs and poultry.
Recommended dosages are around 30 – 50mg for zinc and 1mcg of selenium.
Vitamin D is a key factor in boosting testosterone levels in men. Men suffering from low testosterone can suffer from a variety of health issues such as sleep apnoea, low libido and fatigue. Vitamin D is also needed to support the immune system with exciting developments in its protective role against Covid.
Natural food sources include oily fish; salmon, sardines and mackerel as well as eggs and good quality red meat.
If levels are consider supplement with ranges from 2000iu -5000iu a day until optimal levels are reached.
We recommend Quantum D3 drops.
Magnesium is involved in a multitude of biochemical actions within the body such as muscle and bone health, cardiovascular and mental health. In men it can also support healthy blood levels of testosterone.
Magnesium is also great for muscle cramps, constipation, anxiety or heart palpitations.
Food sources include bananas, spinach and almonds but it’s also great to top up with a supplement in one of the best bioavailable forms such as Magnesium Glycinate or citrate.
We recommend Premier Research Labs Premier Magnesium powder and men should aim for around 350 – 450mg a day for maintenance.
Studies have shown that whilst men do usually consume the daily amount of B12 they need, they often have problems with absorption due to lifestyle choices. This can be a problem as Vitamin B12 is needed for energy levels, to lower fatigue and in general, cognitive support.
B12 can be obtained from eating most animal proteins, especially lamb, beef and salmon but if this isn’t possible it’s good to get blood levels tested and to consider taking a supplement.
Omega 3’s can be really important in men’s health to support cardiovascular, joint and brain health. Many men consume far more of the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and the aim is balance out the ratio with omega-3’s.
Food sources include salmon, sardines, flaxseeds and walnuts.
We high recommend taking a good quality supplement as not all fish oils are created equal. We recommend Premier Research Labs EPA/DHA Marine. Aim for a dose of 1000 – 2000mg per day.
B Vitamin Complex
Taking a complex of the eight essential B vitamins will help support the body to keep it like a well-oiled machine. They will keep testosterone levels high, neurotransmitters supported and energy levels high.
Food sources include eggs, leafy green vegetables, fish and shellfish.
We recommend a daily vitamin B supplement such as Premier Research Labs Premier Complete B.
Whilst a much lesser known supplement, Boron is a trace mineral that has been shown to support bone health, immune function, brain support and prostate support in men.
Food sources include chickpeas, almonds and prunes. For supplementation we recommend Mother Earth Liquid Boron.
The berries of the Saw Palmetto tree have been used for prostate health for many years. It’s said to help with hormone balancing and preventing enlargement of the prostrate.
It’s best to speak to your health practitioner to find the right quality product and dosage.
In the last few years it’s been good to see an increase in men visiting the clinic (even if forced by their wives). We advise that men who want to look after their health should eat a diet rich in nutrient dense foods, lower their stresses and build some daily exercise into their lives.
We also advise taking an active role in your own healthcare, getting check-ups and seeing a healthcare practitioner for any niggling health issues that arise.
The roles of men in society may be changing but men are still essential to the survival of our species and we need to keep evolving in a healthy way!
- Balanced Living Asia