Time to celebrate the health and well-being of men around the country! Since 1994, June has been set aside as Men’s Health Month (MHM), with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other education and outreach activities.
Plus, the Friday before Father’s Day is Wear BLUE Day (June 16), when corporations, government agencies, sports teams, and individuals wear blue to raise awareness about the need for regular checkups and health education, all geared toward men.
In support of MHM, Veestro brings plants to the table with the following top five nutritional benefits for men.
1. Mental focus and clarity
If you’re nutrient-deficient, your ability to think straight, remember things, and cope with stress is diminished. Even worse, you get cranky! You need vitamin C to support brain health, and replenish daily because the body doesn’t store C. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, protects cells from free-radical damage, keeping brain cells healthy and thought processes sharp.
- Vitamin C (90 mg): broccoli, kiwi, orange juice, red bell pepper
- Vitamin E (15 mcg): kale, nuts, olive oil, spinach, Swiss chard, wheat
- Veestro: Spanish Torta, Spinach Pie, Spring into Action (juice)
2. Better energy and post-workout recovery
Vitamins like B3 (niacin) and B6 boost the body’s energy. They’re vital to your circulatory and digestive systems, as well as muscular and nervous-system function for quicker recovery from exercise. Conversely, a deficiency in B can cause tiredness, low metabolism, and insomnia. Vitamin K is another good energizer.
- Vitamin B3 (16 mg): avocado, green peas, mushrooms, peanut butter
- Vitamin B6 (1.3 mg): beans, nuts, potatoes, tomatoes, whole grains
- Veestro: Indian Kamut Stew, Portobello Steak Dinner, Quinoa Bake
3. Decreased risk of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, next to skin cancer, but a 2014 study found that a plant-based diet actually reduces the risk for it. Not only that, the study claims consuming 10 or more servings of tomatoes or tomato products per week reduces the risk by 18%. And don’t forget to factor in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, as well as plant foods high in fiber but low in fat.
- Vitamin D (600 IU): sunshine (see Veestro’s article)
- Vitamin K (120 mg): blueberries, broccoli, collard greens, kale
- Veestro: Kale and Quinoa Salad, Veggie Lasagna, Cleansing Tonic (juice)
4. Improved sexual health and stamina
Have you noticed the tons of supplements flooding the market that claim to enhance men’s (and women’s) sex life? All the while the plethora of plant foods provide the same vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B3 in plants supports sex hormones and libido, while the multi-talented C improves cortisol and testosterone levels, sperm motility, and fertility. And men may be happy to know that dark chocolate can help circulation and the ability to get an erection.
- Vitamin B3 (16 mg): coffee, peanuts, sunflower seeds, wild rice
- Vitamin C (90 mg): bell peppers, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes
- Veestro: Quinoa Soup, Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce, Power of the Tropics (juice)
5. Lower blood pressure and increased heart health
Plants are easier on your heart due to less fat and cholesterol, known contributors to weight gain, high blood pressure, and cardio disease. So add plenty of exercise and plant foods into your routine, and avoid saturated fats, refined carbs, and sweets. When it comes to protein—the building blocks of muscle, tissue, and blood—plant protein is healthier than non-veg, as studies show it lowers blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality.
- Vitamin C (90 mg): citrus, kiwi, parsley, red pepper, strawberries
- Vitamin D (600 IU): sunshine and supplements
- Veestro: Sweet Potato Chili, Veggie Empanadas, Hand Greenade (juice)
Veestro wishes the men and families out there
a happy Men’s Health Month!
* recommended daily allowance
Susan Ferrandino, “Vitamins for Mental Clarity,” LIVESTRONG.COM
Jim Dillan, “Essential Vitamins for Energy,” Health Ambition
“Nutrition and Prostate Cancer,” UCSF Medical Center
Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Vitamin K2 Helps Prevent Prostate Cancer,” Mercola
“Vitamin D RDA,” Vitamin D3—Cholecalciferol
“Halt Heart Disease with a Plant-Based, Oil-Free Diet,” Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School