The facts don’t lie. Men die earlier than women. But we’re not just talking about old age…
Studies show male infants die more often than females. Little boys have a higher death and injury rate than little girls. The same goes for teens and males of any age group.
Some experts say men are actually born more fragile than the female species. There’s also the cultural stigma of machismo that makes men less likely to seek out health and medical advice. As guys, we feel like we need to “suck it up and deal with it.”
If men really are genetically hardwired to be more susceptible to death and disease, shouldn’t we be working a little harder to keep our butts alive?
Take a look at some of the most common health issues among men and get some advice on how to avoid them so you can avoid ending up six feet underground.
1. Men and Heart Health
The number one killer of men in the United States is cardiovascular disease. The CDC reports more than 300,000 men die every year from heart issues – that equates to about 25% off all male deaths.
The scariest part is this…
Half of all sudden cardiac deaths happen to men with no signs or symptoms of heart disease. So you can see why maintaining a healthy heart is so important. High blood pressure and high levels of LDL cholesterol are considered main causes of cardiovascular disease – although there’s been debate over cholesterol’s role. Other contributors are obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Food for Heart Health:
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and other types of seafood, are some of the best supporters of a healthy heart. Plant-based sources of omega-3s include seeds like flax and hemp as well as winter squashes. Berries can benefit your heart because they are natural anti-inflammatories and are full of antioxidants. Nuts, avocados, and olive oil are also heart healthy choices.
Supplements for Heart Health:
If you aren’t getting enough omega-3s in your normal diet, you can fill that nutrient gap with fish oils as well as other supplements containing Essential Fatty acids. Plus, Natural Healthy Concepts has an entire category of products for heart health.
2. Men and Prostate Health
The prostate is a little gland that only men have – but it can cause big problems.
As part of a man’s reproductive system, the prostate helps to produce semen. Trouble arises as men grow older. The walnut-sized gland often grows bigger, which causes all sorts of problems with urination. The majority of men will develop some sort of issue with an enlarged prostate (aka BPH) at some point – it’s just a matter of living long enough.
The more serious problem is prostate cancer. After skin cancer, it’s the most common type of cancer in men. According to Cancer.org, it’s estimated that 1 in every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and there are more than 27,000 deaths every year.
Food for Prostate Health:
What you eat can certainly support a healthier prostate – like food that’s high in Vitamin C. Some health experts say only Vitamin C obtained from fruits and vegetables can help prevent BPH. Bell peppers are an excellent source of that nutrient, and so is the papaya fruit. The lycopene in tomatoes could be important in reducing your risk of prostate cancer. Studies have shown consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may also reduce prostate cancer risk.
Supplements for Prostate Health:
You’ll find a section of Natural Healthy Concept’s online store completely devoted to Prostate Support. Supplements containing ingredients like beta-sitosterol and saw palmetto are some of the most popular.
3. Men and Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is not a nice way to die. While smoking cessation has improved in recent years, cigarettes and nicotine addiction are still a huge problem. The CDC says about 18% of American adults still smoke. But men are even more likely to be smokers, with 2 out of every 10 men lighting up regularly.
90% of all lung cancer deaths are tobacco related. So it’s easy to see why quitting smoking is one of the smartest things you can do for your health.
Food for Healthy Lungs:
The blog Healthy & Natural World lists a whole bunch of good food choices for cleansing your lungs. However, they add the most important thing of all may be drinking plenty of water.
Supplements for Healthy Lungs:
Natural Healthy Concepts offers a wide variety of lung support supplements, including respiratory homeopathics. Plus, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you’ll also find products to help with addiction.
4. Men and Type 2 Diabetes
There are studies suggesting men may be more biologically susceptible to Type 2 diabetes than women. That’s likely because men tend to develop most of their fat around the abdomen, which can lead to diabetes. On the other hand, women tend to store fat across their hips and thighs before it starts accumulating in the abdomen.
Diabetes means elevated blood glucose levels, which can lead to all sorts of health complications if left untreated. That includes kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness and heart disease. This is a health concern that develops slowly as men age, causing more and more internal damage as the condition gets worse and worse. You may not know you’re at risk until you start having serious trouble.
However, there is some good news for men too. A separate study indicated the rate of male deaths from Type 2 diabetes decreased between 1971 and 2000. Hopefully, that’s because more men are making healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices.
Food Choices for Healthy Blood Sugar:
The best way to prevent Type 2 diabetes in the first place is to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet. If you’re already dealing with diabetes, it’s smart to eat foods that won’t cause your glucose levels to spike. In general, lean protein is good, high-carb foods are bad as carbohydrates are converted into sugar. Beans and other high fiber foods are smart as they are digested slowly and cause blood sugar to rise steadily. Studies show diets high in magnesium could prevent diabetes, so eat almonds, spinach and pumpkin seeds to get that mineral.
Supplements for Diabetes and Blood Sugar:
You’ll find many natural health products for diabetes nutrition available on our website. However, if you are on insulin, you should discuss any supplements you plan to take with a healthcare professional – especially if those supplement could impact your glucose levels. Monitor your blood sugar closely while using such products.
5. Men and Mental Health
Men talking about or seeking help for their mental health tends to be somewhat taboo. Traditionally, men weren’t supposed to show much emotional vulnerability.
That might be why experts used to believe mental health issues like depression effected women more than men. It could be that many cases involving males simply go unreported.
Consider the fact that suicide is the 8th leading cause of death among men, and you can’t deny that mental health should be addressed. According to the American Psychological Association, men are also more likely than women to deal with mental health problems through substance abuse.
No matter what your gender, we all have to deal with stress and anxiety. But we need to do it in the healthier ways.
Food Choices for Mental Health:
Too many people fail to recognize the link between good nutrition and mental well-being. Fresh food will do much more to improve your mood than processed food full of preservatives and sugar. Junk food makes you feel happy in the short-term, but then brings you crashing down. Science is confirming the important connection between gut health and the brain, and more experts agree on the idea that friendly bacteria (probiotics) can contribute to a balanced mental well-being. For that reason, eating foods like yogurt could be beneficial.
Serotonin – aka the happy hormone – is Mother Nature’s mood booster. Food items that encourage serotonin production include dark chocolate, flaxseed, fatty fish and bananas.
Supplements for Stress Support:
There are a lot of different supplemental options for natural stress support. A couple of the most popular products at Natural Healthy Concepts are Calm PRT from Neuroscience as well as Kavinace, which is also formulated to promote healthy sleeping patterns.
- Why You Need to Relax and How to Do It
- How Exercise Can Boost Your Mood
- 4 Ways to Nip Anxiety in the Bud
- Serotonin – It’s Good Mood Food!
6. Men and Hormonal Health
Talk of men and hormones probably has your mind going straight to sex and erectile dysfunction. But hormonal health impacts much more than that. In fact, the decrease in testosterone production in men can contribute to many of the health issues described in this article.
After a man turns 30, it is said his testosterone production falls by about 1% each year. So-called Low-T could lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Low testosterone levels can also mean low energy levels, loss of muscle, weak bones and mood issues.
While a gradual decline in testosterone levels is normal, a sudden decrease in your sex drive or difficulties in the bedroom may be a warning sign of something more serious.
Good habits are important. Get exercise. Get adequate sleep. And of course, eat healthy food. Excessive drinking, un-managed stress, as well as certain prescription medications and anabolic steroids can all cause testosterone levels to decline.
Foods for Healthy Hormone Levels:
Healthy fats are essential to building testosterone. So men should include foods like olive oil, coconut oil, raw nuts and grass-fed meat in their diets.
One food you may want to avoid eating too much of is soy. That’s because it is often used in place of meat, which may mean less protein in your diet. But the real problem is that soy tends to boost estrogen levels – that’s the wrong hormone, bro.
Supplements for Male Hormones:
Natural Healthy Concepts offers a varied selection of natural hormonal support products for both men and women. That includes supplements for sexual health.
DHEA supplements are some of the most popular among both genders for supporting healthy hormone levels.
The stress hormone, cortisol, has been shown to decrease levels of testosterone. Cortisol production spikes during intense exercise like long-distance running and weightlifting. That’s why using a high-quality whey protein powder is a good idea. The branched-chain amino acids in whey can slow your body’s cortisol response.
- Win the Fight Against Impotency Naturally
- Is Testosterone Therapy Right for You?
- DHEA – Benefits for Men and Women
The Bottom Line
As a man myself, I’m just as guilty as the rest of us. I pretend like I’m invincible and may blow off solid health advice I don’t feel like following. I’ve also been known to ignore signs of a health problem for longer than I should.
It’s time for us all to change that. Maybe getting competitive will help. Why should women be the ones who live the longest? We may be the biological underdogs, but if we make the right choices in life…you never know, we just might be able to turn the tables on those girls and their long lifespans.
Do you have some health tips for men? Let us know your advice in the comment section below!
Image Credit: KAZ Vorpal via Flickr