The Top 4 Micronutrients for Men’s Health

By Sarah Wilson, RHN on June 30, 2016 , categorized in Health

men's health

You want to do more, play hard, and live a good life. And to do that you need to stay well. Here are four nutrients that can help keep all men on their A-game.

 

Zinc

What is it good for?

Zinc is an important mineral that can be found in many different foods or taken in supplement form. Zinc can play a role in immune function.11National Institute of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. (2016, February 11). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/ Since your body does not store zinc, it’s important to ensure you’re consuming adequate amounts in your daily diet.

As a male, eating a completely plant-based diet, you may be at a risk for zinc deficiency. The recommended daily allowance of zinc for adult men is 11mg,12Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Elements. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Elements.pdf?la=en but those who eat a completely plant-based diet may need more than the Daily Value (DV). Soaking your beans and grains before you cook them may help the absorption of zinc. (Just soak them in water before you head to work, and then cook them when you get home!).13National Institute of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. (2016, February 11). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

Where can I get it?

Zinc can be found in many different plant-based foods such as:

  • 1/2 cup baked beans (2.89 mg) 14 USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28: 16006, Beans, baked, canned, plain or vegetarian. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4747?fg=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=baked+beans&ds=Standard+Reference&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
  • 1 cup oats (6.19 mg) 15 USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28: Oats. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6507?fg=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=50&qlookup=oats&offset=&sort=default&format=Abridged&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&Qv=1&Q12199=1&Qv=1&Q12199=0.5
  • 1 oz/28g cashews (1.64 mg) 16 USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28: Cashew nuts, raw. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3645?fg=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=cashews&ds=Standard+Reference&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=5

 

Vitamin D

What is it good for?

Don’t let sticks or stones break your bones. While most Public Service Announcements on bone health are directed to women, strong bones are just as important to your health. Vitamin D can play an important role in bone health by supporting calcium absorption and aiding in bone health and strength. It may also play a role in immune function. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D for adult men is 200IUs a day until you’re 50. After age 50, you’ll want to double that to at least 400IUs a day. And after 70 you’ll need to triple it to 600IUs. So get used to getting enough vitamin D now!17Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamins. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Vitamins.pdf?la=en

Where can I get it?

Not many foods have vitamin D in them unless they are fortified. One way to get vitamin D is in fortified cereals, fortified nut milks, or UV light-exposed mushrooms. Did you know you can also get vitamin D from the sun? Yes—sunshine is a source! Talk to your dermatologist about the potential negative effects of sun exposure before heading outside to get vitamin D, and follow their recommendations.

 

Vitamin C

What is it good for?

One of the most popular vitamins on the block is the well-known vitamin C. While you may feel like you see it everywhere, men in America can be at a higher risk than women of vitamin C deficiency.18CDC. Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population (2012). http://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/pdf/Nutrition_Book_complete508_final.pdf19National Institute of Health. (2016). Vitamin C Health Professionals Fact Sheet. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/ Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and can play a role in supporting immune health. It is also needed for collagen synthesis (supporting skin health), and normal wound healing after those rough soccer matches. Your recommended daily allowance as an adult male is 90mg.20Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamins. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Vitamins.pdf?la=en

National Institute of Health. (2016). Vitamin C Health Professionals Fact Sheet. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

Where can I get it?21National Institute of Health. (2016). Vitamin C Health Professionals Fact Sheet. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

The great news about vitamin C is that it’s found in some pretty tasty foods. Almost all fruits and veggies have some vitamin C. See how easy it is to get C?

  • ½ cup red peppers (95mg)
  • ¾ cup orange juice (93 mg)
  • 1 orange (70mg)
  • 1 kiwi (64mg)
  • ½ cup cooked broccoli (51mg)
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries (49mg)

 

Magnesium

What is it good for?

Magnesium is used in your body to support the development of bone, proper muscle and nerve function, energy production, as well as supporting normal blood pressure. All things you probably care about as an active guy. If you’re under 30, your recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 400mg.22Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Elements. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Elements.pdf?la=en After 30 that gets bumped up to 420mg.

Where can I get it?23National Institute of Health.. Office of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Magnesium is found in many different plant-based foods which make it easy to include in your daily meals. Some plant-based sources of magnesium include:

  • 1 oz roasted almonds (80mg)
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach (78mg)
  • 1 oz dry roasted cashews (74mg)
  • 1/2 cup of black beans (60mg)
  • ½ cup shelled edamame (50mg)
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (49mg)

 

Variety is the spice of life! By eating a wide range of plant-based foods, you’ll get a wide range of nutrients that you need to help you thrive.

 

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men's health minerals ready for anything vitamins zinc

Sarah Wilson, RHN

Sarah is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and works at Vega as a Product Specialist. Sarah educates from experience! Drawing on her retail leadership in the natural health industry, her own nutrition consulting, and a personal passion, she equips audiences with tools and inspiration to feel their absolute best from the inside, out. Specializing in sports and fitness recommendations, Sarah is active as a runner, playing soccer or enjoying the Rocky Mountains on her snowboard.

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