Men's Health Series - Nutritional Needs for Men
A healthy nutrition plan is important for one and all. General dietary recommendations apply to everyone such as eating a variety of vegetables and fruits, including whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, avoiding trans fat, excessive sodium, and added sugar. However, nutritional needs vary depending on sex, size, age and activity levels.
Men have more muscle and typically are bigger than women. Therefore, they require more calories throughout the day. Moderately active men need approximately 2,500 to 2,800 calories per day. Various factors need to be considered such as the man's height, weight, activity level and family history of health issues if any. Since men need a higher calorie intake their total intake of macronutrients is also higher.
Quality nutrients are important to maintain men's immune function and overall health, as well as preventing bone loss, eyesight loss, and muscle loss. Ensuring a healthy body fat percentage through a proper diet helps maintain good testosterone levels in men. Including the right nutrients in daily diet, a regular exercise regime and proper sleep can help men maintain good energy levels, good testosterone levels and improve overall body composition.
Some nutrition guidelines that can be followed are:
Consume more fruits and vegetables. Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale are rich in folate. Folate is beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and also prevents memory loss.
Grapefruit, oranges and peaches are rich sources of Vitamin C. Some studies suggest that when taken post-workout they contribute to the muscle recovery process.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They have anti-aging properties. They improve brain health, immunity and metabolism.
Bananas are rich in potassium which helps in muscle contraction, kidney and bone health.
Tomatoes, red peppers, pomegranates and watermelons are good for prostate health.
Avocados and nuts help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and improve HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
If prone to exercise-related injuries including as much ginger as you can in the diet helps as natural pain relief. Ginger is also good for digestive health.
Yogurt can be a good probiotic option to keep the gut healthy.
Choose whole grains like oats, brown rice, whole wheat flour, quinoa, etc. They are rich in fiber, keep you feeling full for a longer time and benefit overall health of the body
Include lean proteins in diet for muscle growth and recovery. For example plant-based proteins, such as beans, sprouts, legumes, etc. Non-vegetarian options can be lean meat, poultry, eggs and fish.
Eating large amounts of meat each day can be unhealthy, especially if you eat red meat, which contains saturated fat. Animal products contain cholesterol and should be eaten in moderation.
Eat a variety of protein sources in moderation to ensure that you get balanced nutrition and all of the essential amino acids. Reduce red meat consumption.
Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium and folate. It can be used over salads or mixtures.
Snack on a handful of almonds, peanuts or a couple of walnuts for healthy fats and help maintain a healthy weight.
Butter, oils and ghee should be consumed in low to moderate quantities.
Physical activity is a must for 40-50 minutes of low to moderate intensity. This will help keep the weight in check as well as increase immunity, gut health and overall wellbeing.
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to nutrition planning. A person's current health status, lifestyle and goals to achieve, need to be considered when planning their nutritional requirements. The aim is to be able to follow a suitable plan that suits one's lifestyle, addresses health concerns if any, and optimizes health.
About the Author: Preetha Sanjeev has teaching experience of over 15 years and has completed her Kindergarten & Montessori Teachers Training. She also holds the Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers. Preetha has a passion for fitness and nutrition and holds multiple certifications in both. She is a qualified pre & postnatal yoga instructor, with advanced certification as a yoga instructor for children. Her understanding of the subject matter and easy writing skills make her an invaluable part of the Juvenate Team. For more information about us, please visit us at www.juvenatewellbeing.org.