men's health month: five plant-based benefits for men
If you’re nutrient-deficient, your ability to think straight, remember things, and cope with stress is diminished. Even worse, you get cranky! You need vitamin C to support brain health, and replenish daily because the body doesn’t store C. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, protects cells from free-radical damage, keeping brain cells healthy and thought processes sharp.
- Vitamin C (90 mg): broccoli, kiwi, orange juice, red bell pepper
- Vitamin E (15 mcg): kale, nuts, olive oil, spinach, Swiss chard, wheat
- Veestro: Spanish Torta, Spinach Pie
Vitamins like B3 (niacin) and B6 boost the body’s energy. They’re vital to your circulatory and digestive systems, as well as muscular and nervous-system function for quicker recovery from exercise. Conversely, a deficiency in B can cause tiredness, low metabolism, and insomnia. Vitamin K is another good energizer.
- Vitamin B3 (16 mg): avocado, green peas, mushrooms, peanut butter
- Vitamin B6 (1.3 mg): beans, nuts, potatoes, tomatoes, whole grains
- Veestro: Portobello Steak Dinner, Quinoa Bake
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, next to skin cancer, but a 2014 study found that a plant-based diet actually reduces the risk for it. Not only that, the study claims consuming 10 or more servings of tomatoes or tomato products per week reduces the risk by 18%. And don’t forget to factor in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, as well as plant foods high in fiber but low in fat.
- Vitamin D (600 IU): sunshine (see Veestro’s article)
- Vitamin K (120 mg): blueberries, broccoli, collard greens, kale
- Veestro: Kale and Quinoa Salad, Veggie Lasagna
Have you noticed the tons of supplements flooding the market that claim to enhance men’s (and women’s) sex life? All the while the plethora of plant foods provide the same vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B3 in plants supports sex hormones and libido, while the multi-talented C improves cortisol and testosterone levels, sperm motility, and fertility. And men may be happy to know that dark chocolate can help circulation and the ability to get an erection.
- Vitamin B3 (16 mg): coffee, peanuts, sunflower seeds, wild rice
- Vitamin C (90 mg): bell peppers, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes
- Veestro: Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce
Plants are easier on your heart due to less fat and cholesterol, known contributors to weight gain, high blood pressure, and cardio disease. So add plenty of exercise and plant foods into your routine, and avoid saturated fats, refined carbs, and sweets. When it comes to protein—the building blocks of muscle, tissue, and blood—plant protein is healthier than non-veg, as studies show it lowers blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality.
- Vitamin C (90 mg): citrus, kiwi, parsley, red pepper, strawberries
- Vitamin D (600 IU): sunshine and supplements
- Veestro: Veggie Empanadas
Veestro wishes the men and families out there
a happy Men’s Health Month!
footnote:* recommended daily allowance
Read more about if soy is good or bad for men?
Sources: Susan Ferrandino, “Vitamins for Mental Clarity,” LIVESTRONG.COM
Jim Dillan,“Essential Vitamins for Energy,” Health Ambition“,
Nutrition and Prostate Cancer,”UCSF Medical Center
Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Vitamin K2 Helps Prevent Prostate Cancer,” Mercola,
“Vitamin D RDA,” Vitamin D3—Cholecalciferol ,
“Halt Heart Disease with a Plant-Based, Oil-Free Diet,” Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School