It's National Men's Health Week. Celebrate with tuna fish, gazpacho and more.
If you are a man, live with a man, gave birth to a man or just want to keep the man in your life healthy, read on.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of death among males include heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, all of which, luckily, can be combated with a knife and fork. Because this is National Men's Health Week, which leads up to Father's Day, here are some must-eat foods that can deliciously help males live longer and better.
Since heart disease is the No. 1 leading cause of death among men, reach for a can of tuna fish for better heart health. Fish, especially fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, sardines and albacore tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce that nasty plague buildup in the arteries leading to heart disease. To reap this heart protective benefit, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings (about 7 ounces) of fish weekly. For a heart-healthy lunch, combine flaked tuna with light mayo and a sprinkle of dried dill, and then sandwich the tuna spread between two slices of bread. Bonus tip: Use whole grain bread to bump up the fiber at lunch.
Approximately 70 percent of American males are overweight, which drastically increases their risk for Type 2 diabetes. The best way for an overweight male to lower his risk is to lower his weight. Research suggests that losing a mere 5 to 7 percent of his body weight can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Consuming a cup of a low calorie, veggie-packed gazpacho prior to a meal can help stave off hunger and make it easier to cut back on portions (and calories) at the meal. Cutting calories is key to losing weight. Bonus Tip: Here is a recipe for an easy-to-make Farmer's Market Gazpacho.
According to the American Cancer Society, certain vegetables such as tomatoes, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) and dried peas and beans may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, the leading cause of cancer among men. Add a tossed salad of greens, shredded cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes and chickpeas at dinner to gain this benefit. Bonus tip: You can buy pre-shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw in the produce aisle of your supermarket for a quick toss.
To lower the risk of stroke, men need to avoid high blood pressure, and the mineral potassium can help. Potassium has been shown to help the kidneys excrete excess sodium from the body, which can help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, many men are falling short of the amount of dietary potassium recommended daily. Since yogurt is a potassium-powerhouse, enjoy it as an afternoon snack. Bonus tip: Choose a yogurt that is fortified with vitamin D, another nutrient many men are falling short of in their diets.