For many of us, the concept of “good nutrition for men” sounds like some sort of weird contradiction — men love eating like cavemen, so how can that be healthy?
We’ll get to paleo eating in a minute, but one of the big reasons why men are often missing certain nutrients is because so-called diet experts have made them obsessed with what they can’t eat, rather than focusing on all of the good things that they can eat.
A focus on a “you can’t eat this” diet is not only very frustrating for men (and women) but it also sets us up for nutritional deficiencies.
In fact, over 75 percent of men don't get enough magnesium, vitamin D and other nutrients, including vitamin B-12.
It may not be a surprise that men’s Paleolithic, or caveman, ancestors were able to get all the nutrients they needed from their diet, a diet that featured lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that could be obtained by hunting and gathering.
Today, though, men don’t need to go “full caveman” to get the nutrients they need.
There are smart ways that they can score all the good nutrition they need, along with healthy protein-rich Almased as a super-important addition, but more on that in a minute…
Here are 8 nutrients men need to get more of:
Antioxidants protect the body (and our cells) from harmful molecules called free radicals, and include some vitamins, minerals and flavonoids (which are natural colors in plants).
With all of the problems caused by environmental pollution, men (and women) can use all the help from antioxidants they can get.
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables.
Good antioxidant-rich examples are: Grapes (purple, red or blue); berries (acai, blueberries, maqui, raspberries and strawberries); nuts (Brazil nuts); dark green veggies (leeks, lettuce, kale); orange vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, acorn squash); and tea (tea).
Dietary fiber is required for digestive health. When many of us hear the word “fiber” we usually only think about fending off constipation, but fiber offers many more benefits than that, including helping us to achieve a healthy weight.
Fiber is found primarily in fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, legumes and whole gains. Specific examples of high-fiber foods include: apples, bananas, black beans, carrots, oats and peppers.
Most Almased users feel more satisfied adding a little fiber — like chia seeds, flaxseeds or psyllium husks — to their shakes.
3. Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body can’t directly manufacture, so it needs to get them from food. These fatty acids are crucial for brain function, joint function and heart health, and that’s just for starters!
Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish, like wild-caught Pacific salmon, sardines, mussels, rainbow trout, and Atlantic mackerel from Alaska, but they’re also found in flax seed, walnuts and leafy green vegetables.
Try to consume omega-3 fatty acids through diet when possible, but you can also obtain these healthy fats from fish oil supplements.
Nutrition surveys reveal that over 75 percent of men don’t get enough magnesium. Without the right amount of magnesium, our cells are sluggish and struggle to generate the energy that they need.
Shoot for more magnesium-rich foods, such as Alaskan king crab, spinach, seeds (squash and pumpkin seeds), lima beans, brown rice, almonds, avocados, bananas, and yes, dark chocolate (with 85% cocoa)!
5. Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and is involved in making DNA, the genetic instructions that are found in all cells.
In a British study, older people with the worst (lowest) levels of this vital vitamin lost brain volume at a faster clip over five years than did those with the best levels. One of the factors linked to today’s low B-12 levels is believed to be acid-blocking medications.
Good sources of this B include: beef, sardines, salmon, rainbow trout, milk and eggs, plus fortified cereal.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is manufactured in your body when the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays penetrate your skin.
When looking at vitamin D benefits for men, absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth is only part of the healthy story. Vitamin D also helps keep our immune system working correctly, improves our mood, and supports weight loss.
But the vitamin D stores your body builds up during sunny months are often tapped out by winter, which is especially true if you live in the northern parts of the United States, where UVB rays are weaker from November through February.
When Boston University researchers tested the vitamin D levels of young adults at the end of winter, 36 percent of them were deficient in this vital vitamin.
You may want to ask your healthcare practitioner to test your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. You’ll usually want to be above 30 nanograms per milliliter.
Good sources of D include: mackerel, salmon, milk, cheese, and egg yolks.
If you can’t get enough from food, shoot for 1,000 to 1,400 IU of vitamin D3 daily from a supplement.
Without this mineral, the heart couldn't beat, our muscles wouldn't contract, and the brain couldn't work properly. Why? Potassium helps your cells use glucose for energy.
As critical as potassium is, nutrition surveys show that young men only consume 60 to 70 percent of the recommended 4,700 mg a day.
And when sodium levels go up, potassium levels go down. Unfortunately, many men load up on sodium.
Foods to shoot for include: avocados, bananas, cooked spinach or broccoli, mushrooms, peas and cucumbers.
The thyroid gland needs iodine to make the hormones T3 and T4, both of which help control how well we burn calories. That means low iodine intake can cause weight gain and fatigue.
Many people might think, well I’ll just add a little salt. This may help if it is iodized salt, but U.S. manufacturers aren't required to use iodized salt. Because of this, we've been inching toward iodine deficiency since the 1970s.
Since dumping more salt on top of an already sodium-packed diet isn't the greatest idea, iodine can also be found in a nearly sodium-free source: milk.
You can also opt for one serving of eggs or yogurt a day: Both are good sources of iodine.
Protein may well be missing nutrient number 9 — and it’s not because we don’t get enough protein, it’s because we often don’t get the right kind of high-quality protein.
And that’s where Almased comes in.
Almased: Adding to Our Nutritional Arsenal
While getting the wrong protein is unfortunately easy, choosing the right protein has been done for us with Almased!
Almased’s core ingredients — non-GMO soy, yogurt and enzyme-rich honey —are part of a power-packed formula that’s bursting with high-quality protein and amino acids, in addition to vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
In fact, Almased is the original low-glycemic high-protein (LGHP) meal-replacement shake for weight loss and nutrition support that’s backed by over 15 published studies.
Nutrition-packed Almased can help you build a foundation for better health.
Give Almased a try!