You don’t have to read the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” to realize that men and women are different in many ways, including their viewpoint on health issues. For instance, boys and girls get the same preventive care during childhood, but when young men hit puberty they are inclined to keep away from their doctors.
One of the reasons men probably do not seek medical advice on a regular basis, is that they appear to practice the art of denial. For example, a lot of my young male patients tell me repeatedly: "If I was feeling fine, why should I have seen the doctor?" A good number of men also think that going to the doctor is a "woman's thing".
Men's health concerns are also different from women's. Men have a greater risk of having a heart attack than women do, and they have attacks earlier in life. Another common malignancy of men is prostate cancer. Approximately sixteen percent of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lives.
The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups with emphasis on fruit, vegetables and whole grains. On that note, following are "Four Super Foods for Men".
Legumes: Not only delicious but packed with protein, fiber and folic acid. The dietary fiber in legumes lowers insulin release and delays nutrient absorption. By lowering nutrient absorption in the intestinal tract and stimulating satiety, it assists with weigh control. Folic acid appears to lower homocysteine which helps maintain healthy blood vessels of the heart and brain.
Spinach: This “Super vegetable” is an excellent source of Vitamins C and A; which are powerful antioxidants. It is also a source of folic acid which may protect against heart attacks and stroke. Spinach also contains Neoxanthin, a carotenoid which may cause destruction of prostate cancer cells.
Tomatoes: Several studies have shown that consumption of lycopene in tomatoes may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. A study from 1995 concluded that men who consumed 10 servings or more a week had 35% less risk of developing prostate CA than men who had one and a half servings. Other sources of lycopene are papaya, watermelon, apricots and guava.
Soy: Recent studies have shown that isoflavones in soy may inhibit prostate tumor growth. Another component of soy, Genistein has also been found to help support a healthy prostate. Soy is also a good source of protein; it actually contains more protein than any other legume.
Another health recommendation from the American Heart Association is for men to do moderate intense cardio for 30 minutes a day, five days a week Or vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to increase your heart rate and break a sweat. The 30 minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.