November is probably not every woman’s favourite month as ‘Movember’ makes its return but hey, it’s for a good cause and certainly raises awareness.
As you may know, Men’s Health Month is about raising awareness about prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide. So in order to maintain a good, healthy, functioning body, it’s important to know what a healthy diet for men looks like.
The below 10 superfoods were listed in “The New American Diet” which details the findings of multiple health studies.
10 Superfoods Men Should Be Eating Regularly
Not only are they a good source of dietary fibre for improved digestion, almonds are also a good source of Vitamin E and protein. Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that, when consumed in large quantities, has been shown to boost the immune system, support a healthy heart, improve fertility and even support recovery after an intense gym workout.
Tip: Blend a handful of almonds into your morning smoothie, sprinkle some crushed almonds into a bowl of oats or simply enjoy them raw as a healthy snack.
2. Whole grains
In a recent study by Pennsylvania State University, participants who chose whole grain over refined grain lost 2.4 times more belly fat than those who opted for refined grain. Whole grain has been shown to be a better food choice for maintaining normal blood glucose levels and has been known to reduce cravings. Whole grain is also a source of antioxidants that help control inflammation and maintain normal insulin levels.
Tip: If you need a quick snack on the run, we suggest whole grain crackers, brown rice cakes or salted popcorn.
3. Dark chocolate
Good news, fellas. A healthy diet for men actually does include chocolate. Dark chocolate has been found to reduce LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots and increase blood flow to the brain. A study in Denmark found that participants who ate dark chocolate consumed 15 percent fewer calories during their next meal and became disinterested in fatty, salty and sugar-dense foods.
Tip: Dark chocolate has also been said to improve your mood and concentration as it increases the presence of serotonin and endorphin levels in the blood. Try our Dark Chocolate Bark recipe using our We Care range.
Do you find it difficult to say no to that last treat (or three) or struggle to fully know when you are full? Antioxidants are found in a variety of foods but berries top the charts. Foods rich in antioxidants are great at curbing overindulgence as they inhibit the oxidation of molecules.
A study by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine found that after participants consumed a high-carb and high-sugar meal, rogue molecules called ‘free radicals’ attacked the neurons in the brain that are said to be responsible for noting when we are full.
Tip: Grab a handful or more berries for breakfast, a snack, add them to oats, shakes, muffins, you name it – they’re healthy and delicious.
5. Instant oats
Probably one of the most versatile superfoods, oats make a great breakfast because they sustain your energy levels for longer periods of time than most cereals. This is predominantly the result of their high dietary fibre content which not only curbs hunger, but cleanses the gut and is said to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Tip: Try our delicious Cranberry, Sunflower and Oats Biscuit recipe – a great option when you need an on-the-go snack.
6. Apples and other fruit
Apples are a source of pectin, a soluble and fermentable fibre that has been shown to fight off a range of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, pancreatic cancer, gallstones and high cholesterol. So it seems there may be some truth to the English saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
Tip: Snack on some dried apple rings available at all Montagu stores nationwide. Click here to find your nearest Montagu store.
Yoghurt is a source of enzymes and natural probiotics, friendly bacteria that support the normal function of the digestive system. A healthy functioning digestive system supports normal metabolism and even your mood.
As many as 50 hormone processes are connected to or have processes located in the gut alone. A healthy gut also means that you are able to effectively manage nutrients and water entering the body while preventing entry to toxins and antigens.
Tip: Be careful though: not all yoghurts were created equal. Opt for yoghurt that indicates live and active cultures on the container. Pickles, kefir, soft cheese, sauerkraut and miso soup have also been shown to have a positive effect on gut health.
Around 25 percent of our daily calorie intake comes from sugary drinks. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that if you avoid at least one can of soft drink per day or swap it for a bottle of water or unsweetened tea or coffee, you could potentially lose 1.5kg per month.
Instead of reaching for a sugary drink to quench your thirst, try a green tea. This little leaf packs a punch and is high in ECGC, a plant compound that promotes fat burning. Many Chinese researchers believe that green tea also protects the gums.
Oolong tea has been shown to contain disease-fighting antioxidants and is said to reduce the risk of chronic health conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease and inflammatory disorders.
9. Cruciferous vegetables and other leafy greens
Folate-rich vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage have been shown to help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and even depression. A study by the British Journal of Nutrition discovered that the subjects in the study with the highest folate levels lost 8.5 times more weight than those who didn’t.
For men wanting to tone up and keep fit, cruciferous vegetables are a source of potassium and help preserve lean muscle mass.
10. Healthy fats
Yes, there is such a thing. A healthy diet for men should include good fats found in foods like extra virgin olive oil, avocado and nuts, as healthy fats are beneficial to your health. Avocados are possibly some of the healthiest fruits men could eat as they are high in monounsaturated fats which aid good cholesterol and reduce the bad.
Olive oil contains high levels of antioxidants which protect your cells from damage, improve memory and cognitive function and also act as an anti-inflammatory. Try our mouth-watering Almond and Thyme Encrusted Chicken Salad and get those healthy fats!