June is Men's Health Month
June is Men's Health Month
This month we celebrate Father’s Day. This is a good time to re-evaluate the choices you make that affect your health. Whether you are a father or a son, you can make some changes that can have a positive impact on your well-being. Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to put off regular checkups and seek a doctor’s care. As you age, your body changes, but treating your body right can help minimize the effects of these changes.
Nutrition needs change as you age, and your ability to burn calories slows down, so the amount of food you need to eat will likely decrease. Your appetite may even decrease. The amount of vitamins and minerals you need may be different than those you required when you were younger. Also, you may have trouble absorbing certain nutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin B12.
There are certain risk factors that increase your likelihood of having health issues:
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating fatty foods
- Being inactive
- Elevated cholesterol level
- High blood pressure
These risk factors are all related to food intake and lifestyle in one way or another.
Below are some common health issues faced by men; ways to reduce the risk factors include:
Heart disease and stroke
Some tips to lower chances of developing heart disease include:
- Eat fatty fish with omega-3 fats -- aim for two servings a week.
- Use fats like olive or canola oil.
- Increase fiber -- whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.
- Be physically active 30-60 minutes on most days of the week.
Some tips to minimize the risk of prostate cancer are:
- Increase intake of the antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes and cooked tomato products
- Increase the intake of the mineral selenium, found in Brazil nuts, whole grains and meat.
- Increase consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes and soy.
- Limit processed meats and fatty foods.
Some things that may help prevent osteoporosis:
- Increase intake calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercise to keep bones strong.
- Limit alcohol to two drinks per day.
- Limit sodium to less than 1500 mg/day.
- Exercise to release endorphins -- the body's natural stress-fighting hormone
- Get regular sleep
- Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing/meditation
- Eat a regular meals with nutritious foods
To reduce your chances of diabetes:
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet.
- Achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
- Some studies have shown that 30 minutes a day of physical activity has shown to reduce the chance of diabetes by more than 50 percent in men at high risk.
In celebration of Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month, set some new goals for yourself! Any of these small changes can make a big difference:
- Try a new plant-based recipe.
- Go out for a walk.
- Read labels when you shop.
- Substitute fish for lean meat at least once a week.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
- Decrease your fat intake.
- Cut down on salt intake.
- Reduce high-fat foods or try lower fat versions.
- Limit sodas and alcohol.