Whether you’re pulling tires at the local CrossFit, pedaling to work on your fixie bike, or getting your cardio by chasing your kids around the house, you need nutritional support. As men, your bodies were designed to withstand major stress, both physical and mental. That does not mean though, that your non-stop, 24/7 routine is not taking its toll! And while you may not know it at first, those nagging symptoms are your body’s way of calling for help.
Enter the high-octane fuel to get you there: the right nutrition. With a little love and care, it is possible to feel as strong, push as hard, all while feeling as calm and centered as you did in your earlier years. Check out our list of the top twelve foods that all men should eat weekly to become the high-performance machines you were meant to be…
The 12 Best Foods Men Should Eat Weekly
Much like the other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is rich in sulforaphane. Stanford University scientists determined that sulforaphane boosts your levels of cancer-fighting enzymes higher than any other plant chemical. As a result, its consumption can lower the risk for bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Cabbage is also a natural source of DIM, diindolymethane. This compound helps to detoxify xeno estrogens from the body. Xeno estrogens come from plastics, soy, personal care products, and non-organic meat and dairy. Xeno estrogens interrupt hormone balance which can lead to lower testosterone levels, abdominal weight gain, gynecomastia (breast tissue growth), infertility and erectile dysfunction.
TCM Pick: Lemon Coleslaw with Walnuts
Maca is a powerful adaptogen. Adaptogens help the body to adapt to stress whether physical or mental. This root then helps reduce stress, improve energy, endurance, and mood. It is also traditionally used for its aphrodisiac qualities and its ability to help improve libido and quell symptoms of erectile dysfunction. It’s no wonder its nicknamed “Nature’s Viagra!”
Eating as few as three to four Brazil nuts a day can help you to reach your daily dose of selenium. Selenium is an important mineral that acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells against damage from toxins. As a result, selenium may be a helpful form of prevention against prostate cancer. Brazil nuts are also believed to increase testosterone levels naturally, while improving sperm motility and thus reducing infertility.
TCM Pick: Brazil Nut Butter by Dastony
Based on Chinese medicine, walnuts are said to be a premier yang jing tonic. This means it helps to improve and accrue primordial life energy needed for the body’s vitality. In particular, walnuts help strengthen the kidney and adrenal functions, protecting against stress. They also reduce symptoms of fatigue while strengthening sexual functions and increasing physical strength. Walnuts are also an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids. A handful of walnuts contains almost as much omega-3 fatty acid as three ounces of salmon. Research indicates that a diet composed of less than 40 percent fat leads to a decrease in testosterone levels, so grab a handful of walnuts everyday!
TCM Pick: Hermit’s Mix by Dragon Herbs
These tiny little seeds contain a powerful blend of nutrients that help both to ensure a healthy prostate while protecting against prostate cancer. They are also a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium is needed for energy production, reduction in stress and anxiety, muscle relaxing, bones, normal bowel movements and sleep. These seeds contain unique plant sterols that lower serum LDL (bad) cholesterol, and can improve urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Grass-fed lamb is one of the cleanest sources of animal-based protein, rich in key nutrients such as zinc, B12, and B6. Zinc is important for testosterone production, and has been shown in studies to raise levels quickly in those who are deficient. Zinc is also an important mineral for men because it plays an important role in maintaining prostate health. The prostate accumulates the highest level of zinc of any soft tissue in the body and cancerous prostates seem to have less zinc than normal prostates. In addition, zinc is crucial for wound healing and immunity. Rich in B12, lamb can help improve energy, cognition, red-blood-cell production and reduce chances of dementia. Finally, its B6 content aids in protein digestion. The more protein you eat, the higher the B6 requirements.
TCM Pick: Grass-fed over conventionally raised
Grass-fed contains much higher levels of nutrients and it prevents exposure to possible hormones and antibiotics.
Most of us are vitamin-D deficient, and wild salmon is a great way to get a much-needed dose of this “sunshine vitamin.” Vitamin D n is a steroid hormone, which means it is essential for the healthy development of sperm and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, giving your libido a boost. Studies also indicate that low vitamin D levels have been linked with numerous diseases, including prostate cancer. Another reason to eat wild salmon? Its CoQ10 content. Coenzyme Q10 is beneficial for the heart in many ways: it keeps LDL (bad) cholesterol in check, improves circulation, and supports the optimal functioning of the heart muscle and blood vessels. CoQ10 may improve sperm motility as well.
*Note: statin drugs cause CoQ10 deficiency. If you are taking statins, CoQ10 supplementation is recommended in addition to eating wild salmon regularly.
TCM Pick: Alaska Smokehouse Smoked Salmon Jerky
* Wild salmon has much higher levels of nutrients including healthy fats and protein than its farm-raised alternative. Farm-raised has also been found to have 16x more cancer-causing PCBs than wild.
With high levels of minerals and vitamin C and K, drinking fresh pomegranate juice or eating pomegranates is a great way to boost immunity, strengthen bones and improve the skin. Pomegranates are also an excellent source of the antioxidants phytoestrogens and polyphenols. These antioxidants may have potential benefits for prostate cancer and heart disease. Pomegranates are also believed to improve blood flow to the heart, helping to lower blood pressure and ease symptoms of circulatory disorders.
TCM Pick: Pomegranate Powder by Navitas Naturals
One of our favorite superfoods for men, colostrum, contains 97 immune factors (including IgG and IgA) and 87 growth factors. It is the first breastmilk of cows, and therefore has the ability to stimulate the natural production of growth hormone and immune protection. Colostrum also assists in regeneration and can improve normal growth of aged or injured muscle, bone, cartilage, skin collagen and nerve tissue. Research also indicates that it can improve lean muscle mass, while promoting optimal oxygen transport in the blood. Finally, it is a natural source of MSM, which is known to protect the joints and ligaments.
TCM Pick: Colostrum Powder by Surthrival
This powerful yellow spice has numerous applications, with studies showing that it may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive conditions. Turmeric can also improve bile flow, assisting in disorders of the gallbladder. It can help ease gallbladder symptoms such as indigestion after eating fatty foods, burping, nausea, dry skin and insomnia. As for cancer protection, a 2009 study from Oregon Health & Science University reported that turmeric may prevent the spreading of prostate cancer cells. Finally, turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis, reducing the risk for stroke or heart disease.
TCM Pick: Turmeric Spiked Lassi
Spanish Red Wine
You’ve probably heard that drinking wine can improve heart health, but research shows that the most beneficial is Spanish red wine. This is because the red wines from Spain seem to consistently have the highest levels of the antioxidant, resveratrol. In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, resveratrol has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including those from prostate, stomach, colon, pancreatic, and thyroid cancers. Another benefit of resveratrol is that it has the potential to activate Sirtuin genes. These genes are known as the longevity genes, delaying the process of aging.
TCM Pick: Bodegas Iranzo, NSA Spartico Tempranillo
Homemade Tomato Sauce
By adding homemade tomato sauce into your diet, you can get your recommended dose of lycopene – an antioxidant that protects the body from toxins, and has the potential to protect the skin from UV rays (and thus skin cancers). Research has also linked lycopene levels in the blood to stroke protection, and the protection against cancers such as prostate cancer. Cooked tomato products (especially cooked in olive oil) are the richest sources of lycopene. This is because lycopene is not well absorbed from eating tomatoes unless they have been heated and paired with a source of fat such as olive oil.
TCM Pick: Fiery Tomato Sauce