Food for Men: 10 Foods to Boost Male Health
Foods men should include in their diets to improve health and prevent disease.
Food for Men No 8: Soybeans
Soy is rich in isoflavones, which protect prostate health and have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk, says Gerbstadt. The latest research continues to strengthen the fact that isoflavones found in soy foods are beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer in men.
And according to one study, "eating 25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol," Farrell says.
The FDA has approved a health claim for food labels that says having 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Try to eat a few servings a day of soy products, such as soy nuts, soy milk, soy cheese, veggie burgers, tofu, or edamame.
Food for Men No 9: Berries or Cherries
The violet, blue, and red colors in all kinds of berries and cherries are responsible for the healthy properties of these fruits. These little jewels are chock-full of the health-protecting flavonoid, anthocyanin.
"Berries contain over 4,000 different compounds that have antioxidant properties beyond vitamin C, so make sure you include these delicious and low-calorie fruits to help meet your 5+ servings of fruits each day," says Gerbstadt.
Adding berries to the diet may even help slow the decline in brain function that can occur with aging.
"Large studies show the more produce you eat the better, but specifically berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and cherries) can enhance brain function and keep your brain healthy," says Bauer.
Food for Men No 10: Red-Orange Vegetables
Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants that help preserve healthy skin cells and prevent oxidation from the sun.
"Vitamin C is involved in collagen production," says Bauer. "Beta-carotene converts to the active form of vitamin A, which helps to repair epithelial or skin cells."
She recommends getting these nutrients from red bell peppers (just one has 300% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C), carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.
But for that matter, just about any vegetable should be on the list of top foods for men (and women). Dark, leafy greens and any nutrient-rich vegetable can help reduce the risk of enlarged prostates, according to a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Men whose diets are high in nutrients found in vegetables -- like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium – were found to be less likely to develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.