June is definitely a month to celebrate the men in our lives! I know I have a lot of great ones in my life and I hope to see them enjoy good health. When we look at statistics and data, we see two trending health concerns for men: Heart Disease and Prostate Cancer. Fortunately, a healthy diet has shown to reduce the risk for both of these. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals, as part of regular, balanced meals, will not only possibly prevent disease, but lead to a greater quality of life due to better health. There are some foods in particular that have been shown to decrease risk for these diseases.
1. Tomatoes and Watermelon: You?ve probably heard of the antioxidant Lycopene and it?s effect on Prostate Cancer risk. It isn?t confined to just tomatoes though ? any deep red colored fruit or vegetable will have it. It also isn?t just for Prostate Cancer; it can reduce risk of other types of cancers such as lung and stomach. Also, fruits and vegetables in general are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals which can reduce oxidative damage to keep not only cells healthy and cancer-free but also the lining of your arteries clear, allowing adequate blood flow to tissues and the heart. Our recommendation, as many of you know, is to choose a fruit or vegetable to add to your meal or snack each time you eat.
2. Plant Based Fats: By choosing plant based fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds over butter and high fat animal products, you will be reducing your risk for cancer and heart disease. While including eggs, dairy and meat can be part of a healthy diet, research does clearly outline the benefits of eating plant based fats more often.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These essential fats are great at reducing inflammation and keeping your arteries clear. They are found in fish, flax seed, chia seeds, walnuts and soy products. While soy has been somewhat controversial in the past, we do see that moderate amounts can be cancer and heart protective. The issue really is that we love extremes in this country ? it?s all or nothing. A serving or 2 of soy products a day (not none or 10) will have no effect on your hormones and may reduce risk for heart disease and cancer.
So here?s to the men! We hope you celebrate health and wellness for many years to come!