Foods for Men

5 Foods Every Man Should Eat More Of
Father with daughter.

Men and women are built differently, that much is clear -- but that's not where the differences end. Unique health concerns and nutritional needs also separate the sexes. The five foods featured on this list are chock-full of nutrients men need most, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lycopene, magnesium, B vitamins, folate, antioxidants, vitamin E, and boron. These picks support sexual function, protect against prostate cancer, and reduce cardiovascular disease risk -- to name just a few benefits.

1. Fatty fish

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish -- particularly fatty fish -- at least twice a week. Fatty fish are incredibly nutritious; some of the best picks include salmon, mackerel, lake and rainbow trout, tuna, anchovies, sardines, and herring. All are high in protein, low in saturated fat, and are rich in calcium and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

First, let's talk fats. Ounce for ounce, wild coho salmon has about half the saturated fat content of a 95 percent lean beef patty, and slightly more protein. And unlike the saturated fat in that burger, which greatly increases the body's production of blood cholesterol, the omega-3s found in fish have a cleansing effect on the circulatory system. They reduce blood viscosity and clotting and lower lipid levels and blood pressure. Omega-3s not only minimize your risk of stroke and heart attack by preventing the damage that causes them, they also help heal tissues damaged from poor circulation by promoting better blood flow.

For general health, they're not so bad, either. Omega-3s reduce the bodily inflammation that contributes to many types of disease, and research suggests they may play a role in preventing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Salmon, mackerel, and sardines have the highest levels of healthy omega-3 fats, although all seven fish listed above are good sources.

Omega-3s aren't the only nutritional benefits you'll find in these fish, though. Tuna is a rich source of such minerals as selenium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as B vitamins, including niacin, B1, and B6. It's also an excellent source of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps regulate appetite and improves sleep and mood. Salmon has high scores in all the same nutrients, in addition to being a good source of B12 and a concentrated source of vitamin D. Fatty fish are the richest food source on earth of naturally occurring vitamin D -- salmon, tuna, and mackerel score particularly high. Sardines offer vitamin D, B12, and calcium (thanks to their edible bones). Herring, a close relative of the sardine, is often sold, packaged, and marketed as sardines. Herring is an excellent source of B12 and selenium, and a good source of B6 and phosphorus.

Oceans Alive, a division of the Environmental Defense Fund, lists many of these fatty fish on its Eco-Best list, meaning they're not only good for you but they're being caught or raised in ways that are also sustainable and healthy for the environment. If you're worried about contaminants like mercury and industrial pollutants like PCBs, visit the Oceans Alive website for information on the levels of contamination in all types of fish, along with recommendations about how often you can safely incorporate them into your diet. A good rule of thumb: Smaller fatty fish, such as anchovies, herring, and sardines, tend to be lower in contaminants than larger fish.

Quick and healthy tip: Whenever possible, choose wild salmon over farmed. Independent studies have shown that farmed salmon have significantly higher levels of carcinogenic PCBs. It should be easy: All U.S. supermarkets are required to label salmon as farmed or wild. Canned salmon is a good choice; it's easy to find, affordable, and is shelf-stable. Check the label to make sure it's wild, and keep some on hand to scramble into eggs, toss with whole-grain pasta, or top a salad.

5 foods every man should eat more of: Whole oats

2. Whole oats

Oats are an excellent source of manganese and a good source of selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, vitamin B1 (thiamin), dietary fiber, magnesium, and protein. One cup of cooked oats provides more than 6 grams of protein, more than almost all breakfast grains, particularly those that are corn- or wheat-based.

Harvard researchers who followed 21,376 participants over a period of nearly 20 years in the Physicians' Health Study found that men who had a daily serving of whole-grain cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure. Oats contain a soluble fiber known as beta-glucan that provides numerous health benefits, from helping reduce fat in the blood to preventing hardening of the arteries that can lead to heart attacks, stroke, or dangerous blood clots. Not only does beta-glucan protect against cardiovascular disease, it also supports the body's immune response by stimulating white blood cell activity. And it stabilizes blood sugar, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes.

One of the best things about oatmeal is that it's a perfect canvas for pairing with other tasty, healthy ingredients. Walnuts and flaxseed, for example, are even more concentrated in omega-3s than fatty fish; two tablespoons of flaxseed provides 146 percent of the amount recommended for a man's daily diet, while a quarter cup of walnuts provides 95 percent of the daily recommended amount. Almonds and raisins are rich in boron, which enhances testosterone levels in men, helping build muscle and contributing to bone health. Boron has also shown protective effects against prostate cancer. Other good oatmeal toppers include hazelnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds; all three contain a plant sterol that's been shown to ease the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a common prostate condition in men over 40. If you like your oatmeal sweetened, try raw honey -- it helps lower total cholesterol and is loaded with protective antioxidants.

Quick and healthy tip: Oatmeal isn't the only way to enjoy these healthy whole grains. Add a handful of oats to soups, stews, and chilis -- the fiber will thicken them for a heartier (and healthier) result.

For optimal nutrition, avoid instant and/or flavored oatmeal, which, in addition to being stripped of important nutrients during processing, often contains less-than-healthy additives. Instead, opt for minimally processed or whole oats"”look for the steel-cut (known as Irish or Scottish), thick, or old-fashioned varieties.

5 foods every man should eat more of: Tomatoes

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and derivative products, such as tomato sauce and ketchup, contain many nutrients that support overall health, but there are two primary reasons they made this list: First, they're a great source of the potent antioxidant lycopene; and second, unlike a couple of other lycopene contenders (namely, watermelon and guava), they're available everywhere year-round.

Research shows a strong association between high lycopene consumption and lower rates of prostate cancer -- the second-leading cause of cancer death in men. In addition to exhibiting preventive effects, lycopene also seems to inhibit the spread of existing cancer and to decrease malignancy. It has shown protective benefits against pancreatic cancer, which is more common in men than women and is one of the most fatal of all cancers, largely due to late diagnosis. Lycopene is also being studied for its effect on male fertility; research suggests that it may boost sperm concentrations in infertile men.

Finally, tomatoes contain phenolic acids, which combat lung cancer, the second most common cancer in men and by far the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society.

Quick and healthy tip: Like oatmeal, think of tomato sauce as a base for other healthy ingredients, such as garlic, another potent cancer fighter and an excellent source of vitamin B6 (which combats fatigue and supports the nervous system). Garlic has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer and has shown protective benefits against colon cancer. Plus, it makes any tomato sauce taste better.

5 foods every man should eat more of: Mushrooms

4. Mushrooms

Jessica Black, doctor of naturopathic medicine and author of The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book, points out that mushrooms are a powerful immune stimulant and immune modulator. "They're great detoxifiers because they thrive on what's decaying around them," she says. Black adds that reishi mushrooms have been shown to reduce cancer-causing free radicals by 50 percent.

You don't have to restrict yourself to the more exotic varieties of mushrooms, though. You'll find health benefits in all types of mushrooms that are available at your local grocery store or farmers' market.

Take creminis, for example. Available at almost any grocery store across America, creminis are an excellent source of selenium, copper, tryptophan, potassium, phosphorus, and the vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B5 (pantothenic acid). They're also high in zinc, manganese, protein, and vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B6 (pyridoxine). For good measure, creminis also provide decent amounts of folate, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Here are just a few of the benefits of B vitamins: They combat fatigue, maintain energy levels, help lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, coordinate nerve and muscle activity, aid in the development of nerve cells, and support mood and proper heart function. The essential trace element selenium has been used to treat male infertility and has shown benefit in protecting against Parkinson's disease. It's also been shown to trigger the repair of damaged DNA and to inhibit the spread of cancer and stimulate apoptosis (destruction) of cancer cells.

If that's not enough, consider how much animal protein you consume in your everyday diet. Then ask any vegetarian what he or she makes for die-hard carnivorous friends (the ones who start sweating at the thought of a single meal without meat) at a dinner party. Nine times out of ten, you'll get the same answer: mushrooms. All mushroom varieties have a nice, earthy flavor when cooked and can be used as a base for savory gravies, soups, stews, or casseroles. Portobellos in particular make an excellent and flavorful meat substitute due to their size and robust texture. Make them the star dish: Roast them, barbecue them, stuff them, use them in place of burgers. The options are endless.

Quick and healthy tip: Mushrooms are a great addition to just about anything -- omelets, pastas, pizzas, and especially tomato-based sauces.

5 foods every man should eat more of: Mollusks

5. Mollusks

Mollusks comprise one of the largest animal groups on land, in oceans, or in fresh water. Bivalves, the class of mollusks that includes clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops, are extremely rich in a unique combination of nutrients that promote men's health. Think red meat is your best bet for protein and iron? Think again. Bivalves are a superior source of low-calorie protein loaded with iron. In addition, they're virtually fat free and are packed with zinc and vitamin B12.

Consider clams: They're super-rich in iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and are a good source of niacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, and zinc. Three ounces of raw clams will only cost you 63 calories, but you'll get 11 grams of protein, 66 percent of the daily recommended amount for iron, and 700 percent of the daily recommended amount for vitamin B12. Chinese medicine recommends clams for treating hemorrhoids.

Mussels are high in iron, manganese, vitamin B12, and selenium and are a good source of phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C, and zinc. Three ounces of raw blue mussels contain only 73 calories, but you'll get 10 grams of protein, 19 percent of the daily recommended amount of iron, upward of 50 percent of the recommended amount for selenium, and more than 100 percent of the recommended amount for manganese, which aids in wound healing and optimal brain functioning. In Chinese medicine, mussels are used to treat impotence, low back pain, and goiter.

Six medium raw oysters, which is roughly equivalent to three ounces, provides 31 percent of the daily recommended amount for iron and 6 grams of protein for just 57 calories. Oysters are high in iron, B12, zinc, selenium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. What's more, oysters contain the amino acid tyrosine, which is converted into dopamine in the brain, resulting in a mood and mental boost.

Scallops are an excellent source of tryptophan and a good source of protein, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), phosphorus, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium. To give you an idea how scallops measure up, three raw ounces provide 14 grams of protein and a good amount of B12, all for 75 calories.

Vitamin B12, is a power player in the world of nutrition. It takes on a crucial role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, aids in digestion and proper absorption of nutrients from foods, fights chronic fatigue, and helps expedite the release of melatonin, improving sleep patterns and resulting in better, more restful sleep. B12 also helps maintain red blood cells and nerve cells and aids in the formation of DNA.

Zinc helps balance blood sugar, sharpens smell and taste, and supports immune function. Zinc also plays an important role in supporting male reproductive health. Inadequate zinc has been shown to adversely affect sperm quality, while zinc supplementation has shown benefits in overall sperm health, including higher sperm counts. Other good sources of zinc include sea vegetables.

Quick and healthy tip: Mussels, oysters, and bay scallops are on Oceans Alive's Eco-Best list; clams make the Eco-OK list. You can easily locate canned clams and mussels, and oysters and frozen scallops at your local grocery. Toss with tomato sauce, fresh herbs, and whole-grain pasta for a quick and healthy meal.


3 months ago, said...

Read More Specific health benefits, vitamins/minerals post at multi-vitamins.in


3 months ago, said...

Nice post


over 2 years ago, said...

Age. Male 74 l eat 1/4 pound oysters reguarly .


about 3 years ago, said...

Excelente, we should Eat moré from Jehova's creación than men's transformaciones!


over 3 years ago, said...

This is a nice article, but the mushroom page should urge readers to COOK mushrooms, which are sometimes eaten raw. Raw mushrooms contain hydrazine, a volatile carcinogen that is driven off by cooking. U won't drop dead from eating a few bits of edible raw mushroom now and then, but anybody who eats enough mushrooms to benefit from their virtues should be eating cooked mushrooms.


over 3 years ago, said...

We start our morning each day with old fashioned oatmeal cooked in cider rather in water. The cider satisfies my desire for a slight sweetness, whereas my hubby has to also add honey. We also like to add cinnamon &/or nutmeg. It's so much better than the processed, packages of instant oatmeal and one can add fruit, nuts, whatever!


over 3 years ago, said...

Specific health benefits, vitamins/minerals, & sources of the foods were excellently described. Thank you!


over 3 years ago, said...

dont know yet but will see going forward:)


over 3 years ago, said...

I like articles about health. It's helpful for everyone, no exception.


about 4 years ago, said...

What the article did do was to focus on the bonuses of each food range. A problem which denied me the fullest access is that I do not cook. So what is natural is the handiest. Fish world we do pretty well down here. Tuna is easy to use & spread (wholewheat/brown bread), Pilchard comes as either 6 a can or minced: both good on bread, , tomato, raw onion, even cucumber & lettuce can do no harm. Other fish a bit scarce though. oats, sorry to see that instant is down the list: bowl with milk & brown sugar is a good stand-b.Tomatoes I'm told have acidity bad for arthritis/gout etc, maybe, but I can use a tomato a day & feel the better for it. Mushrooms & bi-valves mean cooking: problem. But canned products I can investigate & see what I can discover. My.self, I make good use of our local Pro-nutro, Morvite & similar foods which are best milk=mixed, brown sugar. Multivitamin tablet each day to round off. Our sunshine looks after Vitamin D. Thank you


about 4 years ago, said...

It was a well written article that presented good information that can be explored even more by the reader. Hope I can find it at will.


about 4 years ago, said...

As a male dealing with prostate cancer and radiation, this information is extremely helpful....wish I knew of it earlier. Thanks for this information.


about 4 years ago, said...

Good review of healthy eating for all!


about 4 years ago, said...

Good info, but..It certainly would be nice to have the ability/button to print this article in its entirety, without having to print separately the sections/pages of this article without including add'l graphics, "Jay"


about 4 years ago, said...

Not the proper use of the word "comprise", but interesting nonetheless.


over 4 years ago, said...

Fish oil is also a vitamin A provider, I had 1 Halibut Liver oil capsule from pre-teen through adolescence: eyes in good shape 2 generations later, as well as all the other values.


over 4 years ago, said...

love healthy tips. please keep me informed on more healthy choices!!!


over 4 years ago, said...

Are there no men in the medical profession who deal with men's issues?


over 4 years ago, said...

good information.


over 4 years ago, said...

Would be helpful if optional sources of healthy foods is provided to the majority who live on incomes too low to afford what you recommend here.


over 4 years ago, said...

I thought Mollusks were all high in cholesterol??


over 4 years ago, said...

these nare very helpful tips however how often we should try to eat them would be most helpful


over 4 years ago, said...

This article is a good reenforcer of what we should be eating.


over 4 years ago, said...

I, personally, enjoy fish. I just worry that we're fishing the planet to death.


over 4 years ago, said...

I do appreciate these articles; but how many instructive articles have you EVER read, written by MEN, telling WOMEN what they should do regarding their diet, or how to live their lives? Few, if any. Apologies to Nikki Jong (whoever SHE is), but I'm overly "instructed" by motherly women who cannot help themselves and need to tell (all) men how to live. Seems women just cannot resist telling men how they should live their lives


over 4 years ago, said...

This is the most important piece of advice, I like it because whatever has been highlighted can be found everywhere/anywhere on the planet earth.


over 4 years ago, said...

RE: http://www.caring.com/articles/5-top-foods-for-men-whole-oats "5 foods every man should eat more of": Whole oats By Nikki Jong, Caring.com contributing editor Beginning in the third paragraph, the focus shifts away from "Whole" Oats to "Oatmeal". Then, the following remark is uttered: "Quick and healthy tip: Oatmeal isn't the only way to enjoy these healthy whole grains." "Oatmeal" is NOT! a "Whole" grain! This is not antics with semantics: "Oatmeal" is ground-up Oats, ground into a Meal, and "Oatmeal" is no longer a "Whole" grain. Any grain that is even "minimally processed" is no longer a "Whole" grain. Far too many people confuse "Whole" Oats and "Oatmeal". When discussing "Whole" grains, don't mention any grains which are ground-up into a Meal. Even the photo illustration appears to be "OATMEAL"! You don't get "Oatmeal" (Ground-Up-Oat-Meal) simply by cooking "Whole" Oats. You get a bowl of cooked "Whole" Oats. And cooked "Whole" Oats are still a "Whole" grain, even after cooking. Which is the "Whole" point! When people see the word "OATMEAL" in an article recommending "Whole" grain, they are likely to purchase ground-up "OATMEAL", instead of purchasing "Whole" Oats. And those people, confused by improper terminology, will cook up a serving of ground-up "OATMEAL" while thinking they are eating the recommended "Whole" grain. I even saw a McDonald's TV commercial which stated that "OATMEAL" was composed of "Oats" and "Meal". How ridiculously absurd! The everyday vernacular defines cooked "Whole" Oats as if it has magically become ground-up "Oatmeal". Even the various Dictionaries have become confused into defining cooked "Whole" Oats as if it actually has become ground-up "Oatmeal". Thereby perpetuating the confusion even further. "Whole" Oats do not resemble "Oatmeal": Compare a sample of uncooked "Whole" Oats with a sample of uncooked "Oatmeal". Then, cook each of them, and compare them again. The "Whole" Oats remain "WHOLE" after cooking. While "Oatmeal" is for making cookies.


over 4 years ago, said...

Thank you for this important information..Issues on men's wellness get less coverage that cosmetics. Men have so few support groups that we really need more attention given to our issues.


over 4 years ago, said...

No such thing as "healthy whole grains" whether whole wheat or not. Please read the book "Wheat Belly".


over 4 years ago, said...

Great article, and I adhere to 4/5 recommended foods for men. While mollusks are great, if you're a gout sufferer - this is a big no-no.


over 4 years ago, said...

Informative article, but I take exception to the inclusion of Ketchup due to thte high percentage of high fructose corn syrup. I feel that any health benefits due to the tomato content are more than offset the the presence of high fructose corn syrup.


over 4 years ago, said...

food value of each variety


over 4 years ago, said...

Information anorgasmia


over 4 years ago, said...

Check out the film called "Fat, Sick and almost Dead" this will wake up alot of people.


over 4 years ago, said...

All five foods are ones I like!


over 4 years ago, said...

i,M HAVE FIND ALL THE INFORMATIONS ARE VERY USEFULL THANKS


over 4 years ago, said...

Great advise!, I actually plan on buying all the foods mentioned in this article, except for the mollusks, I eat those rarely; What I like the most about this article, is that it is gender specific. Most of articles I read on nutrition, seem to be aimed at ladies trying to loose weight or body builders! I just want to stay healthy and strong as long as I can, I'm fifty four years old already, but I feel at least ten years younger!


over 4 years ago, said...

Great advice if only the public could get away from those triple burger whose bread and condiments are adding unecessary caloires. I like emphasising olf more veggies. Avoiding those candy bars and sodas are also helpful..


almost 5 years ago, said...

Details not easily found by direct search - assembled in focused format.


almost 5 years ago, said...

The assumption behind these foods is that they're helpful to many if not most people. However, those suffering from digestive disease(ie., gastritis, Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis) would be ill advised to consume some. For instance, salmon being relatively high in fat could be disastrous for those who've had surgery for Crohn's because the fat produced bile won't circulate back to the liver resulting in bile acid diarrhea. Same thing with mollusks. Also genetic predisposition towards certain ailments would be mildly reduced if at all via dietary changes.