Sunday, 4 December 2016

5 Very Important Nutrients For Men

Proper nutrition still remains the best way to keep the body functioning the way it is meant to in today's fast paced world . Nutritional requirements for the human body, though similar in both sexes, do have a few variations specific for optimal functioning of the masculine body .

While the human body needs all 13 vitamins and essential minerals to function properly, The male body most especially needs the following specific nutrients:

Vitamin D - The Sunshine Vitamin

Popularly referred to as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D plays an important role in men's health. To be sure, vitamin D does the following in men:
  • Improves reproductive health in men. An increase in circulating vitamin D levels in men boosts formation of testosterone which in turn boosts sex drive and the expression of masculinity in men. Research also shows that vitamin D is important in spermatogenesis (formation of sperms in men). Vitamin D has a direct bearing on male fertility, without vitamin D or during low levels of vitamin D, formation of mature sperms is inhibited.
  • Slows down bone loss in men. Without vitamin D, the body cannot utilize calcium, which is necessary for bone formation. Men aged 30 years and above start to experience a higher level of bone loss compared to bone formation, so increased vitamin D levels is important to help the body mop up more calcium mineral necessary to help balance out the increased level of bone loss with an increased level of bone formation.
  • Improves Immunity to diseases. Although this is an effect seen in men as well as women, it is still a very important action of vitamin D seen in men. Vitamin D plays a huge role in modulating immune responses to different diseases. Vitamin D's benefit on immunity is classically seen in cases of people who suffer from some form of auto-immune disorder e.g asthma, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, type1 diabetes etc.
To benefit from the wonders of vitamin D men need at least 2000I.U to 5000I.U of vitamin D daily and thats about the volume of vitamin D produced by an adult human body after exposure to, say, 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight. 

If you live in the hot tropics and yet you live all your life in an air-conditioned car, air-conditioned office and air-conditioned bedroom chances are you are not getting enough sunshine necessary to produce the vitamin D you need. Go outside and grab your vitamin D.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - The Good Fat

Not all fats are bad. The Omega 3 fatty acids are one very important group of fats, very important moreso for men. These important omega 3 fatty acids are the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The omega 3 fatty acids amongst other things do the following for men:
  • DHA omega 3 fatty acids is necessary for fertility in men. Because the body produces its own DHA omega 3 fatty from other fatty acids, DHA is normally seen to be high in men with good fertility profile. Research has shown that low levels of DHA omega 3 fatty acids in the testes leads to diminished fertility in men as DHA omega 3 fatty acids is necessary to enable a sperm fertilise the female ova. This is often seen in men who do not make adequate amounts of DHA omega 3 fatty acid. This is easily reversed with intake of DHA omega 3 fatty acids in supplements or dietary form.
  • Supports fat loss. When combined with healthy diet and good exercise regimen, omega 3 fatty acids aids fat loss, moreso belly fat. It also improves the body composition, improving it's muscle to fat ratio. For men that carry pot belly, this is great news.
  • Reduces Inflammation. If you suffer from joint pains with stiffness, swollen joint area and immobility, chances are they are inflammed. Omega 3 fatty acids work superb for inflammation as they reduce inflammatory actions. For athletes this is impressive as it allows them train harder and recover faster from injuries.
  • Helps in lowering blood presure and reduces heart risks. Omega 3 fatty acids have shown immense potential in lowering blood pressure and protecting the cardiovascular system. If you suffer from high blood pressure , include this supplement to your daily vitamin regimen.
Great sources for omega 3 fatty acids includes; flaxseed oil, soybeans, oily fish (mackerel, codfish), walnuts etc

Good quality Omega 3 fatty acids are also available in supplemental form to help meet up with dietary needs. 

Vitamin B complex - Water Soluble Vitamin

The vitamin B group of vitamins belong to a class of vitamins classified based on their ability to dissolve completely in water (the other vitamin member of this class is vitamin C).

The human body needs the eight vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12) that make up the vitamin B complex group for energy utilization and efficient functioning. Men however, need the vitamin B complex for the following;

Enhances libido in men. Vitamin B complex boosts testosterone levels in men (Vitamin B5 is used in the formation of testosterone). Increase in testosterone levels will usually drive up increase in sex drive in men.  Vitamin B's also help increase sexual arousal in men, improve blood flow to the penile organ and improve overall sexual enjoyment.

Energy and muscle bulk. Vitamin B group of vitamins is directly responsible for the way the human body converts food into energy. if you want more energy, you need the vitamin B group of vitamins. Since vitamin B complex boosts production of testosterone which in turn aids muscle growth, if you want to improve your muscle mass during work out sessions, incorporate vitamin B complex into your daily vitamin regimen.

Lowers stress levels. Vitamin B6 present in the vitamin B group of vitamins helps the body produce serotonin which is important in regulating sleep and stress patterns. This is of great benefit in men with high stress levels.

Calcium - For the bone

Calcium is needed for proper functioning of the heart muscles, nerves and even in blood clot formation. Most importantly, calcium is needed for bone formation.

Believe it or not men start to lose bone faster than it is formed right after the age of 30 (happens in women too). To slow down the risk of osteoporosis in later years and keep the bone and teeth in top condition intake of adequate amounts of calcium is important. 

Men can get adequate amounts of calcium from proper diet, however good calcium supplementation are beneficial in cases of calcium deficiency.

Potassium - The banana nutrient

Potassium regulates the electrical signals responsible for muscle contractions in the body. Think of the heart muscles, the skeletal muscles and all other muscle groups of the body, potassium plays a key role in their function. It also helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body. Potassium is especially important in men for the following:
  • Helps maintain and improve muscle mass. Potassium regulates how your muscle functions and its ability to build more bulk. deficiency in potassium will weaken muscle mass and make the muscles lose its critical work performing functions.
  • Blood pressure and Heart Performance. Potassium is important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Low potassium levels leads to an increased blood pressure and related heart disease. For men suffering from high blood pressure, reducing intake of sodium containing salts and increasing intake of potassium can go a long way in reducing blood pressure and maintaining good heart health.
Obtaining good amounts of potassium is quite easy from dietary sources. Banana's are a major source of potassium. Other good dietary sources are avocado peer, tomatoes, mango, green leafy vegetables, beans etc

A little caveat with potassium though, for men with established kidney disorders, take potassium only at recommend levels. Do not over indulge in them so as to avoid potassium toxicity (not a problem in people with normal, healthy kidneys).

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1 comment:

  1. The nutrients you have mentioned also play an important role in creation of testosterone. Overall health of men is decided by the level of testosterone.
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