LEAN IN, MEN! YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD. THOUGH YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL THAT MOST OF THE INANE “DIET CUL TURE” MARKETING TARGETS WOMEN, THIS RESULTS IN A LARGE INFORMATION GAP ON MALE NUTRITION.
Every human has unique individual nutrition needs, and that means you don’t have to assume that you, too, must indulge in only 3 ounces of protein at a time (a standard recommendation for females). Great news: you have a faster metabolism and less body fat compared to women (we’re jealous!). However, this doesn’t mean you can glean inspiration from Homer Simpson and consider doughnuts a food group; your body requires nourishing, wholesome foods. Here are some ways to ensure you are feeding your body…and your Essence!
LEARN TO LIKE LYCOPENE
Men are prone to prostate cancer. To reduce your risk, we advise consuming the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a deep orange/red-colored antioxidant (a chemical that inhibits oxidative stress on cells which is a type of cell damage associated with cancers, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) You’ll find it in cooked tomatoes (like tomato sauce, but careful, many commercially-made tomato sauces contain a lot of sugar!), watermelon, papaya, guava, asparagus, red cabbage, carrots, and grapefruit (careful with drug-nutrient interaction with grapefruit). We do not advise taking lycopene supplements, as the naturally-occurring lycopene in whole foods works together with other nutrients to provide beneficial effects that are not available in supplement form. We also recommend beans, peas, and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) as they too are indicated to promote prostate health.
REVISIT THE RED MEAT LOVE
Red meat is a very primal thing to eat; humans are designed to be omnivorous, meaning that yes, we are made for some animal protein like red meat. This is because we have stomach enzymes for digesting meat. Your red meat intake should be no more than one to two times per week, and should always be grass-fed, free-range, organic beef, bison, or venison; cooked/grilled in coconut oil or avocado oil, and seasoned with herbs/spices (they are anti-inflammatory and don’t contain sodium which can raise blood pressure).
Alcohol is a huge risk factor for heart disease—a prime killer of men in this country. “Moderate” drinking for men is equivalent to two drinks per day (one drink = 1.5 oz. spirits, 4 oz. of wine, or 12 oz. of beer). Avoid sugary mixers/add-ins to your cocktails. Opt for calorie-reduced beer or stout, or red wine, which contains Resveratrol (an anti-inflammatory compound), which is indicated to have pro-cardiovascular effects. Don’t fall prey to thinking that more is better, since more than two glasses per day can raise your risk of heart disease.
By MONICA AUSLANDER MORENO , MS, RDN Essence Nutrition,