This is the last in our series of health tips for men leading up to Father’s Day.
We hear it practically every day “Eat healthy and exercise daily.” Healthy food and regular exercise go a long way toward a productive life. The foods we eat affect every organ in the body, including the brain.
So, here’s a sampling of healthy foods men should be thinking about including in their diet.
We’re usually told to avoid fats but there are good fats out there that we should be searching out and consuming. One of them is the Omega-3 fat found in fish. Omega-3 increases heart and blood vessel circulation. It also has proved to be anti inflammatory, beneficial to the immune system and helpful in reducing triglycerides. The fish richest in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and herring.
Broccoli is loaded with beta carotene and potassium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, making it a top gun in the fight against heart disease and cancer. It also provides significant benefits to the immune system. To take full advantage of all these benefits, steam the broccoli, so the nutrients aren’t lost in the water. Bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are other great alternatives if you aren’t partial to broccoli.
No surprise here. We’re constantly being told how great whole grains are. They contain lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Everyone loves pasta but it contains enriched, bleached grains. Whole grain pasta is a great way to have your pasta and eat healthy, too. Oatmeal and barley are also great sources of whole grains and fiber. Look to consume at least 3-5 grams of fiber daily.
Berries, of course
Violet, blue and red are wonderful colors – and when it comes to fruits, are pretty darn wonderful, too. They contain tons of anti oxidants, flavanoids, such as anthocyanin. Well, maybe not tons, but you know what I mean. In fact, berries contain over 4000 different compounds that are good for us. There is even evidence that the normal decline in brain function that comes with age can be slowed by consuming berries. So, eat more blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries.
Again the colors. But, it so happens that the colors in fruits and vegetables result from the anti oxidants that are so healthy for us. Looking for those colors in the fruits and vegetables we consume will help us to slow the aging process. In vegetables, reds and oranges are the result of beta carotene. Red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are all rich in beta carotene.
Eating healthy will go a long way toward a productive life and, coupled with lots of exercise and stress reduction, a rich one.
Remember to eat healthy on Father’s Day. Well, OK, splurge a bit, but get back on that diet Monday.