Men are from Mars, women are from Venus – and our health is about as different as those planets too.
From why it’s bad for men to store belly fat to man flu, we’ve gathered our experts together to give their advice on the 7 most common problems men face when it comes to their health.
- Belly fat
For men, the default place for the body to store fat is the belly, which can lead to fat crowding around vital organs like the liver and pancreas.
If his dad bod has gotten a little out of control, there are some small lifestyle changes you can make to help blast the belly fat:
“Try to keep blood sugar levels and energy levels stable by eating something every three hours. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a snack mid morning and one mid afternoon, with no longer than three hours between. Try not to eat carbohydrates after 6pm,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
- Sex drive
You might be surprised but the hidden secret to ramping up his sex drive could be hidden in the veggie aisle of the supermarket.
Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com, explains: “Make sure his diet includes zinc-rich ingredients such as seafood, lamb, spinach, nuts, beans and mushrooms.
“Studies also show that ‘eating a rainbow’ of fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants will not only fuel their grey matter and muscles but can also boost fertility. Antioxidants cause surges in testosterone, improve sperm quality and increases sex drive.”
Did you know that almost 40% of fertility problems are attributed to men?
To boost sperm health naturally, get him taking a CoQ10 supplement. It’s a powerful antioxidant that can help protect cells from free radical damage it is also necessary for energy production.
“Studies have shown that it can not only increase sperm health but also its motility in semen, making those little swimmers more energetic,” explains Sharon Morey, Nutritionist at Quest Vitamins.
Unfortunately, CoQ10 decline with age and is extremely difficult to obtain through the diet, so look for a good quality supplement.
Is he an insomniac? Try nature’s own tranquiliser – magnesium.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says: “Many of us live hectic, stressful lives, and are more exposed to environmental and food toxins, which can make us more prone to a magnesium deficiency.
“Try to get him to include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains and bananas in his diet, which are all rich in magnesium.”
Research has shown that low testosterone levels can be the cause of hair loss, and associated with a drop in energy levels and sex drive.
Shona explains: “Zinc contributes to normal testosterone levels in the blood. This is important for fertility and reproduction. Our testosterone levels naturally decline with age, and therefore supplementing with zinc can help.
“Testosterone signals to the body to make new blood cells. This helps muscles and bones to stay strong during and after puberty. Testosterone contributes to a healthy libido, and the secretion of two important hormones, LH and FSH.”
- Man flu
The truth about ‘man flu’ – according to a study published by Harvard University – is that due to higher oestrogen levels, women actually do have stronger immune systems meaning there might be an ounce of truth to that man flu after all.
To boost a lagging immune system, Shona recommends: “Make sure he gets enough rest to allow the body to recover and build up his immune system.
“A chicken broth is a great way to get extra protein and nutrients contained in the vegetables to help the body fight infection. Or he could try adding anti-inflammatory foods into his meals or hot drinks such as ginger, garlic and turmeric.”