9 Power Foods for Men's Health

  • peanut butter and banana sandwich on plate with knife
    Healthy (and Hearty) Foods for Men
    Living a longer life may mean eating a diet based on your gender. Men experience unique risks for health issues like prostate cancer, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol. But there are many power foods that can protect your body from disease and keep you strong and healthy for years to come. Don’t worry, this diet isn’t all salads and veggies. Dig in and learn how spaghetti, peanut butter sandwiches, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate are part of a healthy diet for men.

  • Bowl of spaghetti
    1. Tomato Sauce
    Go ahead and add an extra scoop of sauce to your spaghetti, because tomatoes are great for men’s health. The delicious red fruits contain healing lycopene, which is what give tomatoes their bright red color. But it does much more than that: lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. A Harvard study revealed that men were able to reduce their prostate cancer risk by 23% simply by eating 2 servings of tomato sauce each week. Eat 10 or more weekly servings of tomato products and you’ll reduce your risk by 35%. One tip: Don’t eat them raw. The cooking process releases lycopene from the tomato and helps you absorb it better.

  • Grilled Salmon Fillet
    2. Oily Fish
    Good choices include salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease. This type of fish also provides vitamin D which keeps your bones and muscles healthy, helping prevent osteoporosis and dangerous falls as you age. Men should try to work in at least one serving and no more than four servings of oily fish per week. If fresh fish is hard to come by, put a little canned salmon on a salad or add sardines to your pasta or pizza sauce.

  • Tasty oatmeal with fresh blueberries
    3. Oats
    If you’re concerned about your cholesterol, eating oats regularly is an easy way to lower it. Dish up a classic bowl of warm oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios, which both have healthy soluble fiber. Add strawberries and you’ve just upped your fiber even more. Nutritionists recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day that includes 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber. Who knew one of your breakfast staples as a child could also keep you healthy as a man?

  • Whole wheat toast
    4. Whole Grains
    The type of grains you consume matters. Seek out whole grains to help reduce your risk of heart failure. A Harvard study showed seven is the magic number. Aim for seven or more servings of whole grain cereal a week and look for products that aren’t highly processed. You can also get your whole grains in pasta or bread, so choose the heart-healthy option next time you order a sandwich or pizza.

  • Flax seed
    5. Flaxseed
    This nutty little seed packs a big punch when it comes to lowering cholesterol. In one study, men who consumed 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day reduced their cholesterol by 10%. It’s easy to add flaxseed to your diet without even noticing it. Sprinkle a little ground flaxseed on your morning cereal or oatmeal, mix it into turkey burgers, swirl it into a smoothie, or bake it into a muffin. As a bonus, flaxseed can also protect you against prostate cancer.

  • Pomegranate
    6. Pomegranate
    When it comes to prostate health, the pomegranate is a powerful ally. The juice and extracts from pomegranates inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells and can slow down the development and spread of prostate cancer. Pomegranates are also good for your cardiovascular system and dental health. The seeds can be tricky to extract from the fruit, but are worth the effort for a tasty nibble. Drinking pomegranate juice for breakfast is another way to add this rich fruit to your routine.

  • Banana Bunch
    7. Bananas
    Move over, apples: A banana a day keeps the doctor away. High blood pressure is more common in men than women and gets worse as you age. Eating a potassium-rich food like bananas is a wise way to avoid medication and keep your blood pressure down. Bananas can also help reduce inflammation and keep your joints and muscles moving more smoothly. Snack on a banana straight from the peel, add slices to your whole grain cereal, or pop it into a smoothie with your flaxseed.

  • almond-butter-on-bread
    8. Nut Butters
    Need an excuse to make yourself a peanut butter sandwich? Eating nuts and nut butters provides healthy fats that can lower your LDL, the dangerous particle that carries cholesterol and contributes to clogged arteries. But don’t just stop at peanut butter. Mix things up by trying a variety of nut butters like almond, walnut and cashew. Top your nutty sandwich with a banana for an extra boost of heart healthiness. One thing to note about nut butters: They’re high in calories, so keep your portions small.

  • Businessman eating chocolate
    9. Chocolate
    After all that healthy eating, a guy deserves dessert, right? Researchers in Sweden studied more than 37,000 men over 10 years and discovered that men who ate more than 2 ounces of chocolate a week had a lower risk for stroke. Experts believe the secret lies in the flavanol found in cocoa powder. Another study showed eating chocolate can improve cognitive impairment, helping to keep your mind as fit as your body for years to come.

9 Power Foods for Men's Health

About The Author

Elizabeth has been writing for Healthgrades since 2014 and specializes in articles about alternative and complementary therapies like meditation, yoga, energy work and aromatherapy. She also performs improv comedy and is a firm believer that laughter really is the best medicine.
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  6. The Top 17 Foods for Heart Health (Infographic). Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/05/the-top-17-foods-for-heart-health-infographic/
  7. Pomegranates Have the Power to Help Keep You Healthy. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/11/pomegranates-power-help-keep-healthy-video/
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Jul 20
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