It is very common for us to concentrate on women and children when it comes to nutrition but did you know men too have specific nutrition needs and it is important for them to pay attention to their nutrition needs. I love to say women have more biological demands on them but men as a population are larger and have more muscle mass than women so their physical demands tend to be more.
Key nutrients men need
Who does not want to have muscle, or at least look at muscles. (hallo ladies….) Men and women need good sources of protein in their diets. However, men’s protein needs may be proportionally greater, especially if a man is physically active. Protein is the building block of muscle, so an adequate supply is especially critical for men to maintain their mass and they also provide a long-lasting source of energy, so men feel strong and alert between meals. If you would love to grow your muscles, in addition to muscle building exercises at your favorite gym, you will need to increase their protein levels above the regular daily requirements. (I can help you with that or reach out to your dietitian).
The common practice especially here in Africa is that we turn to carbohydrate-heavy meals in the evening. They are satisfying and taste good no doubt, but men are better off eating the majority of their protein at dinner, because it helps their bodies rebuild muscle tissues overnight.
Men being more physical than women require more calories than women. The main sources of calories in the diet are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is important for one to march their calorie intake with the level of activity. Excess energy (excess calories) are stored in the body as fat and this does not help anyone’s health. A sports man or construction worker will require more calories than a man who has a more sedentary lifestyle like one who works at their desk all day. This important to note.
Calcium is very important to men as it is for women and children. It is vital for healthy muscles, nerves, and bones. Osteoporosis is a reality and affects all genders. It is important to make sure your Vitamin D levels are in check because it is necessary for the absorption of Calcium. Your body produces vitamin D when you get 10 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day but some foods like dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D.
Selenium is a trace mineral,a critical component for the thyroid gland, which controls your metabolism and growth. It prevents rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. In men’s nutrition it is particularly important for keeping their reproductive organs functioning properly. Sources of Selenium include many whole grains and dairy products, including milk and yogurt, are good sources of selenium as well as pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs contain high amounts of selenium.
Men’s overall bigger size necessitates that the average male to have more calories each day than the average female. In addition men’s bodies require more fiber, to help them gradually absorb the nutrients in their food without dramatic peaks and valleys in their energy levels.
The best sources of fiber include vegetables and fruits such as leafy greens, carrots, and peppers which deliver the most fiber and other nutrients without breaking the calorie bank. Fruits too like apples, oranges, bananas and other varieties of fruit great choices since they are high in fiber and nutrients. Black beans, other legumes and whole grains are other healthy, high-fiber foods.
Omega 3 fatty acids
If you hear about fats and cringe in fear for extra pounds please hear me out. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to your health yet the body can’t produce them on its own. This means you must get these nutrients from food. In men’s health Omega-3s are particularly important because they play an integral role in regulating cholesterol, blood clotting and inflammation. High cholesterol and persistent inflammation contributes to many ailments prevalent in males, like heart disease.
Men we need you alive and healthy please take care of your nutrition.
See you next Wednesday