8 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Men

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Cindy Kuzma on August 26, 2021
  • Two senior men at the beach smiling holding a football
    8 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Men
    To power your body, you need a wide range of nutrients in the right balance. A healthy diet will give you that. In fact, many studies show that consuming nutrient-rich foods, rather than supplements, is the key to better health and lowered risk for disease. Here’s a rundown of important nutrients that men need and the foods that provide them.
  • Optimize Your Nutrition
    1. Vitamin D
    Every time your muscles move, they use vitamin D. Plus, this vitamin keeps your immune system strong and helps your body absorb calcium. Good sources: milk and fatty fish. Some brands of cereal, orange juice, soy beverages, yogurt, and margarine are fortified with vitamin D (check the label).
  • Beans
    2. Folate
    We read a lot about women taking folate, buy guys need it, too! To use protein, make DNA, and form healthy red blood cells, your body needs folate (also called folic acid and folacin). This B vitamin also may help prevent unhealthy changes in sperm that are linked to chromosomal abnormalities in children. Good sources: spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, beans, nuts, and liver.
  • low-fat-yogurt
    3. Calcium
    This mineral supports healthy muscles, nerves, and bones. It’s especially important that men in their 20s get enough calcium to develop strong, dense bones. Good sources: milk; yogurt; cheese; canned salmon and sardines with soft, edible bones; dark green leafy vegetables; and calcium-fortified cereals and juices (check the label).
  • Beautiful Bell Peppers
    4. Vitamin C
    Enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) is common in older men and causes problems with urination. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C is associated with a lower risk for BPH. Good sources: green and red peppers, kiwifruit, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli.
  • Sliced tomatoes
    5. Potassium
    Potassium helps combat the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium. That makes it a key nutrient for keeping blood vessels healthy and preventing heart disease as men age. Good sources: spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melon, prunes, raisins, oranges, bananas, milk, yogurt, and tuna.
  • Choose Cheese
    6. Vitamin A
    Besides supporting healthy eyes and boosting your immune system, foods high in vitamin A may lower your risk for prostate cancer. Good sources of vitamin A: milk, cheese, salmon, broccoli, carrots, green leafy vegetables, squash, cantaloupe, mangoes, and apricots.
  • Whole Grains
    7. Magnesium
    Many men, especially African-American men, don’t get enough of this mineral. Besides supporting healthy muscles, nerves, and bones, magnesium may boost your immune system and prevent heart disease. Good sources: spinach and other green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Oysters
    8. Zinc
    Men who are vegetarian often come up short on zinc. This mineral helps make proteins throughout the body, fights infection, and heals wounds. Good sources: red meat, seafood (especially oysters), and poultry. Beans and whole grains provide some zinc, but it isn’t absorbed as well as the zinc in meat.
8 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Men
  1. Association of Serum Vitamin A and Carotenoid Levels with Markers of Prostate Cancer Detection among US Men. Beydoun. H.A., et al. Cancer Causes and Control. 2011;22 (11):1483-95.
  2. Dietary Magnesium Intake in a National Sample of U.S. Adults. Ford, E.S., et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2003;133 2879-82.
  3. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Intake of Micronutrients, and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in US Men. Rohrmann, S., et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;85:523-9.
  4. The Association of Folate, Zinc and Antioxidant Intake with Sperm Aneuploidy in Healthy Non-Smoking Men. Young, S.S., et al. Human Reproduction.2008;5:1014-22.
  5. Calcium. Office of Dietary Supplements. Aug. 1, 2012. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-QuickFacts/
  6. Folate. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dec. 14, 2012. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/
  7. Magnesium. Office of Dietary Supplements. July 13, 2009. (http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
  8. Vitamin A. Office of Dietary Supplements. Sept. 5, 2012. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-QuickFacts/
  9. Vitamin C. Office of Dietary Supplements. June 24, 2011. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-QuickFacts/
  10. Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements. June 24, 2011. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-QuickFacts/
  11. Zinc. Office of Dietary Supplements. Sept. 20, 2011. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-QuickFacts/?print=1
  12. Nutrition for Young Men. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2012. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6832&terms=men+nutrition#.UPC7rqzhcng
  13. Nutrition for Older Men. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 2012. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6836&terms=men+nutrition#.UPC6vKzhcng
  14. Potassium and High Blood Pressure. American Heart Association. April 2012. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Po...
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Last Review Date: 2021 Aug 26
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