This Father’s Day, there is no better gift for yourself and those you love, than that of good health. Often, men wait to take control of their health until they develop an illness, but an ounce of prevention (having regular check ups, following a proper nutrition plan and getting plenty of exercise) really is worth a pound of cure. Still not convinced? Read on, and move towards better health today.
Stopping the Go-Go-Go World
Deadlines…family time…commuting…it’s not easy to stay clear headed. When pressure builds, levels of the stress hormone cortisol start to rise. An increase in cortisol levels generally leads to an upswing in your blood pressure, blood sugar and even your waist size. How do you combat stress? Take the time to do something you love: hit the gym, golf, bike, or just take a bit of quiet time. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with antioxidant support and will be a healthy replacement for high-calorie foods such as chips and baked goodies. Also consider adaptogens, plant-based supplements like ginseng, rhodiola and maca that help your body adapt to stress. Talk to your naturopath about which adaptogen is right for you.
Protecting your Ticker
Every seven minutes, someone dies of heart disease or stroke in Canada. The good news is that number is declining. Heart disease is preventable, and a little healthy eating goes a long way in minimizing your risk. What can you do? Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. Eat poultry, fish and vegetarian proteins more often. Swap butter and margarine for extra virgin olive oil. Take fish oils daily for a dose of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Once you have the healthy fats covered, move on to fibre. Adult men need about 38 grams of fibre a day. Easy ways to reach your goal are to add 1/3 cup of a high-fibre bran cereal to your breakfast, have a sandwich on sprouted grain bread at lunch and make up the balance with plenty of fruits, vegetables and beans. Protecting your heart will also help prevent erectile dysfunction by keeping arteries clear and blood flow strong.
Guarding Against the Big C
Set your sights on preventing colon and prostate cancer. The combination of eating well and exercising more to maintain a healthy weight helps to reduce the risk of all forms of cancer. For a healthy colon, be sure to concentrate on your fibre intake by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and less red meat. One in seven men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. To fight against prostate cancer, add more superfoods to your diet. Tomato products are a great source of lycopene. To reap the benefits of lycopene, eat tomatoes or tomato sauce at least twice per week. Squeeze pomegranate juice into your diet, and you will have a daily dose of antioxidants to fight against prostate cancer. Consider swapping a meaty meal with soy. A recent review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that men eating whole soy foods (not isolates or supplements) had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
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