It’s a rare day when a guy opts for fruit and veg over pizza and beer, right? Most of us would do a double take if we witnessed our man ordering the house salad instead of a juicy, sauce-smothered burger and fries. “Who are you and where did you come from?”
June is Men’s Health Month, and here at Montagu we care about the men in our lives living a healthier lifestyle.
The best part is, eating the right foods doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, some of the most delicious foods you will ever eat are made with the healthiest, disease-fighting, nutrient-packed ingredients.
So, just to get the gents up to speed, let’s recap our 1, 2, 3 rule for a healthy lifestyle:
- Eat well (or, eat like a man)
- Sleep well (or, sleep like a man)
- Stay active (or, stay active… like a man!)
Since it’s Men’s Health Month, our five favourite foods for dudes should get you started:
Gents, ladies look for two main things in a man’s heart:
- A whole lotta love
- A whole lotta omega-3’s
Boost the Health of Your Heart
Studies have shown that people who eat salmon regularly boost their heart health. How? Omega-3 fatty acids help keep your arteries and veins blockage-free and super supple. They also help keep the rhythms of your heart regular.
Remember Stuff Better
Recent studies have also shown how effectively omega-3 fatty acids slow down memory loss that comes with ageing. What’s more, according to a Clinical Science Journal study, the good fatty acids in most fish seem to reduce your chances of obesity.
Clean Source of Protein
Another great property of salmon is protein, which is excellent for guys who want to build muscle and lose weight. Protein fills you up for longer than carbs and fats do.
We really can’t sing King Salmon’s praises enough. Salmon is definitely your Omega-3 superfood.
2. Sweet potato
Who said you had to cut out carbs to be healthy? Whoever they were, they had clearly never tried a sweet potato before.
Packed with iron, beta carotene (more than 100% of our Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA), and Vitamins C and E (which work hand in hand to fight against cell damage), these little spuds are perfect for athletes and guys who try and stay active.
Nutritionist Kim Mueller, R.D. says that sweet potatoes are the perfect foods to boost muscle recovery after a hard workout.
Sweet potatoes are so versatile; you can do just about anything with them:
- Slow roasted in the oven covered in olive oil, herbs and seasoning (Duuuuuude!)
- Grated into burger patties (even better…)
- Chopped and stirred into warm salads (c’mon somebody…)
- Turned into fries for a healthier alternative to regular fries (perfection!)
That’s right… Popeye wasn’t joking!
Spinach is a superfood you can’t afford to ignore in your diet. Just a single serving of these green leaves of awesomeness contains almost your entire RDA of beta carotene (for a tip top immune system, good eyesight and, of course, strong muscles). It’s also packed with calcium (for strong bones and teeth) and fibre (to keep you, ahem… regular).
Not a fan of the taste on its own? No worries! To flavour up your spinach you can:
- Throw it over a banting pizza
- Mix it into a healthy pasta dish
- Stir it into homemade soups
- Add it to wholewheat wraps with other healthy goodies like grilled chicken, tomato and low fat dressing
By the way, olive oil, (coincidentally, also the name of Popeye’s lady friend) is also a much healthier substitute for sunflower and cooking oils.
We love us some eggs in the morning!
And Nutritionist Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D., says that eating eggs daily is a good habit.
Eggs certainly set the bar for all other muscle-building foods. A single egg contains around 13g of protein per 100g, which helps promote pure muscle-building. So if you want to work towards achieving those rock hard abs, eggs are your new best friends.
Eggs are also good for your brain, as they naturally contain high doses of choline, a vitamin which is believed to help improve memory.
And just between you and us, we’re not entirely sure how the guys on TV manage to drink eggs raw, but we’ll leave that to them because that’s just not something we can stomach.
Nuts about nuts? Then boy, have we got news for you!
Almonds are high in fibre, Vitamin E and protein which means that they’re great for your digestive system, skin and, of course, your ticker. Almonds are the perfect snack to support an active lifestyle because they’re also high in calories and healthy unsaturated fats.
Some people avoid almonds altogether because of their high calorie content. But according to a study done by Gary Fraser, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in California (the mecca of almonds), people who added 60g of almonds to their diet regularly showed no significant changes in their weight.
He says, “Since nuts are such a hard food, it appears that a significant amount of their calories are never absorbed into the body.”
That’s great news, right? And here’s even better news: all Montagu almonds are currently on special! Find your nearest store here.
You can include almonds in your diet in these creative ways:
- Sprinkled over oats, muesli or cereal
- Blended into your morning smoothie when you’re on the go
- Pureed into almond butter as a substitute for peanut butter
- Enjoyed on their own: roasted, lightly salted or plain
So gents, no more excuses. Be strong, be brave and be sure to stock up on these superfoods the next time you’re out grocery shopping.
Happy Men’s Health Month!