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Top 10 Ways Men Can Stay Highly Functional
If you are a man who is seeking proactive lifestyle strategies to maintain a highly functioning body and mind for the longest period of time, and reduce your risk of common degenerative diseases, then see how you stack up against my following top 10 list:
Eat Less animal fat (except fish) – it’s a simple medical fact that high intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol from red meat, pork, milk or yogurt product above 1%, any cheese above 3%, as well as ice cream, cream, butter, coconut and palm oil, are the main culprits that raise blood cholesterol and increase stickiness of our blood, leading to heart attacks, stroke and vascular problems, which can include erectile dysfunction. Having a highly functional body means choosing chicken, turkey breast, fish, soy products, and low fat dairy products instead. And that includes eating the egg whites, but not the yolk, which contains 250 mg of cholesterol per yolk.
Exercise 5-7 times per week – staying youthful and capable demands that you perform endurance exercise (minimum 3 times per week) and resisted training (minimum 2 times per week) along with some stretching. It’s a critical way to reduce heart disease, stay trim and counter the loss of muscle mass associated with the age-related decline in testosterone and growth hormone after 40.
Five Fruit and Vegetable Servings Per Day – Dr Bruce Ames, a highly revered cancer expert stated in JAMA that it’s all very clear, “people who consumer 5-7 fruit and vegetable serving per day have half the cancer rates as those who have less this amount”. I think you get the point
Keep your waist below 36 inches or you’ll die before your time – regardless of how vigilant you are about fitness, taking supplements and meditating each day, if you’re a man with a waist circumference at or above 36 inches you are likely to die prematurely from complications of diabetes, high cholesterol/triglycerides, colon cancer or prostate cancer. Just do what it takes to get your waist circumference into the safe range.
Consume Prostate Protective Foods Daily – there are hidden active constituents in ground flaxseed, soy products, pomegranate juice and cruciferous vegetables that are shown to reduce risk of prostate cancer. You would be wise to have at least one serving of each per day (2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, at least one serving of a soy product and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, boy choy). As well, drinking 4-8 ounces per day of pomegranate juice has been shown to improve outcomes in men with aggressive prostate cancer progression. There are some unique protective nutrients concentrated in pomegranate juice that show impressive prostate cancer protective effects in many experimental studies.
High Potency Multiple Vitamin – certain antioxidants as well as zinc are associated with decreased prostate cancer and along with B-vitamins, can reduce risk of heart disease and other degenerative conditions. Make sure your supplement contains:
Vitamin C – 1,000mg
Vitamin E Succinate – 400IU
Vitamin A – 2,000-3,000IU
Lycopene Powder – 6mg
Calcium – 500mg
Essential Fatty Acids – we live in a world where the manipulation of the food supply can no longer provide optimal levels of essential fatty acids, which are critical to prostate health, cardiovascular health, slowing the aging process, reducing cancer risk, inhibiting inflammation, optimizing brain structure and function and keeping our skin smooth, soft and radiant. As such, I recommend to my patients that they take two capsules per day of a supplement containing 400 mg of each of borage seed, flaxseed and fish oil.
Prostate Support Supplement – men over 40 face an unwelcome change in their prostate function. At this age the prostate begins converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) more rapidly. The build of DHT contributes to prostate enlargement, prostate cancer and the spread of prostate cancer to bone. However, nature has provided some golden gems in the way of herbs that have been shown to block DHT in the prostate and provide prostate protection in variety of ways. As such, it seems prudent for men over 40 to take a prostate support supplement containing:
Saw Palmetto 640mg (std to 45 fatty acids and sterols)
Beta – Sitosterol- at minimum of 120mg
Pygeum Africanum – 100mg (std to 25% triterpenes)
Soy Extract – 100mg (std to 20% isoflavones)
Stinging Nettle- 60mg
Pumpkin Seed Extract -50mg
Watch your alcohol consumption – although alcohol consumption is touted for its effects on cardiovascular health, consuming more than one alcoholic drink per day is associated with doubling your risk of colon cancer and increases risk of prostate cancer in middle-aged men, according to results from the Harvard Alumni Study and other studies. And did I mention smoking, which is linked to 30% of all cancers and countless numbers of cardiovascular deaths and liver disease.
Extra Vitamin D and Calcium – in recent years studies have shown that supplementing with 1,000IU per day of vitamin D can reduce cancer risk by 50-60% (including prostate cancer). Vitamin D encourages cells to fully mature and slows down their replication rate – two factors that reduce cancer development. It also boosts immune function. Calcium helps block the build up of cancer-causing agents in the colon, helping to reduce colon cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada. So, in addition the 400IU of vitamin D and the 500mg of calcium in your multiple vitamin, simply add another 600IU of vitamin D and 700mg of calcium from a separate supplement to help maximize your defense.