The most important health tips for men are to eat a healthful diet and live an active lifestyle. Beyond that, however, men should consider certain key nutrients for optimal health and well-being.
In this article, we share health tips for men and the most essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that men should consider.
Nutrients for Men’s Health
There are several nutrients, including vitamin D, omega 3s, and protein, that are especially important for men. A deficiency in one or more of these nutrients can be the reason for slower muscle growth, weaker bones or even low testosterone levels.
Many people call vitamin D the “sunshine vitamin.” It’s essential for strong bones and plays a role in muscle development, testosterone levels and mood. Although we have come to associate vitamin D with calcium absorption and building bones, it is also necessary to build skeletal muscle.
Healthy tissue levels of vitamin D allow our muscles to perform optimally. Low levels can result in early fatigue during physical activity and may contribute to muscle strains and injury. Vitamin D can also impact insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
When vitamin D levels in the blood are within the healthy range – between 30 and 50 nanograms per milliliter – a person often has better control of his blood sugar levels.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Your body naturally produces CoQ10, but you can also consume it through food or supplements as a dietary antioxidant. Like all antioxidants, CoQ10 helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body, one of the key contributors to infertility. Recent studies show that supplementing with 200-300 mg per day of CoQ10 improves fertility in men.
Just like vitamin D, CoQ10 is important for athletes or even regular gym-goers. It may also increase muscle power output and decrease fatigue during repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise.
Commonly found in fish, nuts and seeds, omega 3s help support brain, eye, heart, and immune system health. EPA and DHA, two types of omega 3 fatty acids, are a great source of unsaturated – also known as “healthy” – fats. These fats may help to prevent cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men in the United States.
While there is no official recommended adequate intake level for EPA and DHA, it is clear that omega-3s are essential for overall health. The American Heart Association recommends eating two or more servings of a variety of fatty fish or seafood each week. Eating the recommended amount of fatty fish will provide at least 450-500 mg of EPA and DHA.
For those who are allergic to fish, or do not eat fatty fish regularly, a high-quality omega-3 fish oil supplement may be essential to obtain a healthy daily intake of omega 3s. Vegetarians may want to consider an algae-based omega-3 supplement to increase their intake.
For men who are athletes or those who are simply trying to prevent muscle loss as they age, taking in enough protein – and at the proper time – is essential.
Protein is most effective at repairing and rebuilding muscles when eaten within 90 minutes following exercise. It is also best to spread out protein consumption throughout the day, with 20 to 30 grams at each meal instead of just at lunch and dinner.
Studies show that consuming a protein supplement such as whey, which is high in the essential amino acid leucine, promotes optimal protein synthesis. Protein needs do vary greatly with age, physical activity, and health. It is important to consult a dietitian and the United States Department of Agriculture guidelines to ensure you are getting enough protein for you.
We’ve already shared the importance of vitamin D for men’s health. However, there are other micronutrients that men should consider taking. The other most important micronutrients for men are vitamin A, vitamin C, the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, and zinc.
Unlike for women, that list does not include iron. Men do not lose blood through menstruation each month and generally do not need a supplement with iron.
Vitamin A is necessary for eye health – a deficiency is actually the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Vitamin C and zinc are important for immune function, helping to prevent frequent colds and viruses. You need B vitamins for energy metabolism, and men deficient in the vitamin may feel sluggish or fatigued. Vitamin K helps the blood to clot when our skin is damaged or wounded.
It is possible to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need from a balanced diet. However, many factors, including allergies, cooking skills, diet restrictions or religious customs can make this a challenge. That’s where a high-quality multivitamin comes into play.
Choosing High-Quality Supplements
Our final health tip is for men on the search for a high-quality supplement. When choosing any supplement, look for one that has been third-party tested and certified by either USP and NSF International. These companies certify that products contain what they say they do and that they are free from contaminants. Testing and certification can help you to feel more confident in the safety of your supplements.
For more information, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @Theralogix! Don’t miss an article! Sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll let you know when our next article comes out.