Men’s health is an area that requires special focus and attention in the coming years. At the moment, men, unfortunately, are more susceptible to certain health conditions than women. A number of reasons are contributing including physiological differences, genetics, hormones, social and behavioural conditioning. Unlike women, Australian men don’t often seek health advice from a health professional unless the illness has already progressed.
Information from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) suggests that men have an increased risk of developing chronic illnesses, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Interestingly, the National Health Survey (2017-2018) also found that only 4% of men were eating the recommended amount of vegetables per day. As you may know, vegetables contain protective antioxidants that prevent chronic disease. This study also showed that 74% of men aged over 18 were overweight or obese which further increases the risk.
Hopefully, ongoing men’s health awareness efforts ultimately lead to collectively improving men’s health within the community. We should all be encouraging men to take better care of themselves by staying physically fit, limiting alcohol consumption, boosting nutritional intake with supplementation, and speaking to a healthcare professional at least once per year.
Poor Mental Health
Current statistics show that roughly 50% of Australian men will experience mental illness at least once during their lifetime. The most common mental health issues facing men include anxiety (including post-traumatic stress disorder), substance abuse issues, and depression.
Sadly, in Australia, more than 75% of suicides are males. This incredibly high percentage of male suicides is the unfortunate result of Australian men not reaching out to professional support when they are suffering from mental illness.
Mood disturbances and fatigue can often go hand-in-hand making it difficult to distinguish one from the other. Fatigue can be experienced for many reasons, including nutritional deficiencies, poor quality sleep, chronic stress, dehydration, and/or impaired cellular function.
When you feel fatigued it can be tempting to reach for caffeinated drinks, but these quick “pick me ups” only help in the short term and lead you to inevitably “crash and burn”, which can contribute to ongoing fatigue. Caffeine also dehydrates and depletes the body of water and nutrients.
Nutrition for Mood and Energy
Similarly to running a car, your body functions at its best when you provide it with the right fuel. This means choosing foods that contain good quality carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
In addition to fuelling with macronutrients, your body also relies on a wide range of vitamins and minerals to support cellular energy production, which should be consumed daily. This means eating a whole food diet containing fruit, vegetables, nuts & seeds, eggs, seafood, and lean meats. To be clear, that means aiming for 1-2 serves of fruit plus 5-6 serves of vegetables every day.
If your find this task particularly challenging I recommend expanding your horizons by trying some new recipes that contain new foods or flavours. Or if you’re a fussy eater, you may find it easier to increase your vegetable intake by trying different cooking methods like juicing, blending a smoothie, adding to soups, casseroles, or to the slow cooker.
Top Nutrients for Men
Try supplementing with nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10 to naturally boost your energy. Other essential nutrients that support optimal health in men include omega-3 fats, zinc, selenium, iron, iodine, vitamin D and C.
You’d be happy to hear that these nutrients generally work quite quickly, so you should start to feel a noticeable difference in your energy levels within the first day. Depending on your current nutritional status and your chosen formula, it may be suitable to continue supplementing in the short-medium term while you work on improving your diet and managing your stress.
As you now know, your food choices play a very big role in maintaining energy production and a healthy mood. So let’s take a closer look at the foods you should be including in your diet:
- B vitamins – green vegetables, avocado, peas, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, silverbeet, lean meats, seafood & fish, ham, egg, nuts & seeds, oatmeal, rye, wheat, beans, legumes, lentils, milk, cheese, passionfruit, coconut, oranges, cocoa powder, spirulina, royal jelly, yeast products
- Magnesium – bee foods, cereal grains, dairy foods, fruits (dried figs & apricots), bananas, lemons, grapes, apples, dates), fresh herbs, wheatgrass, kidney & adzuki beans, eggs, nuts & seeds, chocolate, seafood & kelp, vegetables (Shiitake mushrooms, peas, spinach, silverbeet, globe artichoke, green beans, chestnuts, mustard greens, avocado, parsnip, cauliflower, broccoli, beetroot, celery, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, capsicum), Brewer’s yeast, lecithin
- Omega-3 fats – cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, and herring
- Zinc – miso, tofu, Brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, green beans, oysters, red meats, and shellfish
- Selenium – Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, liver, butter, fish and shellfish, garlic, grains, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts,
- Iron – liver, lean red meats, poultry, fish, oysters, shellfish, kidney & heart, dried beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, tofu
- Iodine – fresh saltwater shellfish and seafood, iodised salt & bread
- Vitamin D – cod liver oil, fatty fish, beef & liver, fortified milk & margarine, oysters, mushrooms, fortified cereals, egg yolk, butter
- Vitamin C – fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, canned/fresh tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash
If you are ready to get your health under control and need some personalized advice make sure you book your FREE Discovery Chat in our online clinic today. Our wide selection of high-quality professional products are available as part of your free consultation and we express post products Australia-wide.