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Men's Health

9 Must-Eat Foods for Men

Men have some specific needs when it comes to diet, 
and many studies suggest that eating the right foods can 
keep the prostate healthy and testosterone levels 
balanced. Get your guy to add these nine essentials into his clean-eating rotation.

When it comes to optimum wellness, all genders aren’t created equal. Here’s a must-eat list of 9 foods for men — plus recipes to make it easier to incorporate them into your guy’s diet.

1. Pomegranate for Reduced PSA

foods for men: Broccoli Pomegranate Salad

Broccoli Pomegranate Salad recipe

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a blood marker for prostate cancer. Men whose PSA levels double in a short period of time have a higher risk of death from prostate cancer, and pomegranate appears to slow PSA increases. In a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, 1 cup of pomegranate juice per day significantly reduced PSA doubling time after surgery or radiation among men with prostate cancer. Studies show pomegranate extract can slow the growth of prostate cancer cells and may lead to apoptosis—or cell death—in cancer cells.

2. Magnesium-Rich Spinach

Roast Halibut with Black Beans & Spinach recipe

Was there any doubt that Popeye’s favorite is one of the best foods for men? Spinach is rich in magnesium, which can lower the body’s levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that binds to free testosterone and makes it inactive. In a study published in the International Journal of Andrology, boosting magnesium intake resulted in a 24% increase in free-testosterone levels; optimal magnesium status has also been linked with higher testosterone levels in observational and intervention studies. Other foods rich in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, halibut and almonds.

3. Ginger for a Testosterone Boost

foods for men: ginger

Ginger-Pear Chutney recipe

In addition to reducing inflammation, ginger may also increase testosterone levels and improve sexual function. In a controlled study conducted on men undergoing infertility treatment, published in the International Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine, researchers found that ginger helped decrease levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (lower levels are linked to improved fertility and less chance of miscarriage). Animal studies have found testosterone levels nearly doubled after ginger intake; as the amount of ginger increased, so did testosterone levels. However, further studies on humans are needed to verify the testosterone-doubling benefits.

4. Collard Greens for Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

Stuffed Red Peppers with Turkey and Collards

Stuffed Red Peppers with Turkey & Collards recipe

Collard greens are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin K, which protects prostate health. In one study of over 11,000 men, high intake of vitamin K2 was linked to a 63% lower risk of prostate cancer.

5. Tuna for Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Rosemary Garlic Grilled Tuna recipe

Tuna is high in omega-3 fats, which have powerful immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. (Though one study suggested omega-3 fats increased prostate cancer risk, that research has been largely discredited.) Eat tuna sandwiches with a slice of avocado, and you’ll increase your prostate protection: Avocados are rich in both vitamin E and lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant. Both the vitamin E and lutein in avocado have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

6. Vitamin-D Loaded Mackerel for Increased Testosterone Levels

Whole Grilled Fish recipe

Mackerel, a fatty fish, is one of the best food sources of vitamin D; studies have shown vitamin D can increase testosterone levels, often dramatically. In a study conducted at Medical University of Graz in Austria, people who spent more time in the sun showed increased levels of both vitamin D and testosterone. In a follow-up study, men who took vitamin D daily saw an average increase of testosterone levels by almost 25%. The sun is still the best source of vitamin D, but if you don’t get outside much – or can’t tolerate fatty fish – you’ll find D in pork, beef liver, caviar and eggs.

7. Pumpkin Seeds for Improved Urinary Function

"Zucchini Bites with Quinoa

Zucchini Bites with Quinoa, Pomegranates, and Pumpkin Seeds recipe

Pumpkin seeds might not seem like obvious foods for men, but they can help prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common condition that enlarges the prostate gland and can cause problems with urination and, occasionally, sexual function. In several studies, pumpkin seed oil reduced symptoms of BPH, improved urinary function in men with overactive bladders, and improved quality of life.

8. Oysters To Boost Testosterone

How to Buy, Shuck, and Bake Oysters

Oysters are the number-one food source of zinc, which blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Deficiencies are linked to low testosterone, and boosting zinc leads to a significant increase in testosterone levels. Zinc is especially important if you work out, since intense exercise can deplete testosterone; in a study published in Neuroendocrinology Letters, wrestlers who took zinc daily maintained testosterone levels after a month of high-intensity training. Other good sources: red meat, chicken, crab, lobster, beans and nuts.

9. Lycopene-Packed Tomatoes to Reduce Prostate Cancer

tomatoes are one of the best foods for men

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup

Tomatoes are widely regarded as one of the best foods for men because they’re loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Better than raw: cook them with olive oil (as in pasta sauce); research shows the absorption of lycopene is greatest when tomatoes are cooked with olive oil. And add some chopped broccoli to that sauce; in a study published in Cancer Research, researchers noted “the combination of tomato and broccoli was more effective at slowing tumor growth than either tomato or broccoli alone.”

From: Clean Eating