The top ways for men to meet an untimely end fall into three categories: heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries. In an effort to give the average guy a fighting chance, Pennington Biomedical Research Faculty put together a study on Men’s Health as part of their ‘Nutrition Series.’
Surprisingly, unintentional injuries (such as falling off of a roof) account for only 6.6% of deaths in men –much less than either of the other two categories. The real killers are cancer and heart disease, which make up 50% of male deaths every year. Heart disease consists of any heart-based affliction – congestive heart failure, heart attack, and coronary heart disease – and out of roughly 320 million Americans, over 81,000,000 (25%) have some form of heart disease.
As for cancer, these rates continue to increase year-over-year with prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer being the most prevalent in men. Based on cancer rates gathered in the 2000s, 41% of people born after 2005 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life time.
However, Pennington Biomedical Researchers have found ways for men to lead a healthy lifestyle and try to fend off heart disease and cancer.
A great place to start getting healthier is diet. What you eat has a huge effect on your body chemistry, and Pennington Biomedical recommends eating a variety of foods that include large portions of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and high-protein meats, chicken, eggs, and fish.
There are also some ‘superfoods for men’ provided by Mother Nature to help fight the number one causes of death in males.
These include: seafood; nuts; whole grains; tomatoes; red and orange fruits and vegetables; berries and cherries; green, leafy vegetables; dried beans and lentils; and any type of cruciferous vegetable (such as broccoli and brussel sprouts).
The ultimate superfood, however, is green tea. According to Pennington Biomedical, it is the ‘handyman of health foods’ and fights arthritis, prostate cancer, and anti-biotic resistant bacteria. Its secret is the powerful anti-oxidants which fight cancer and lowers bad cholesterol.
This means that drinking a cup of green tea once a day could be the start of a healthier life.
Once you’ve got a healthy diet down, it’s time to stay active. To avoid burnout, don’t jump in all at once but, instead, find a routine that’s manageable and grow from there. Over 60% of adult men don’t get enough exercise to provide health benefits, so start with something around the twenty minute mark and add as you go.
Lastly, personal screenings play a huge part of a healthy lifestyle, not just for the detection of maladies, but because these check-ups can let you know if the healthier routine you’ve adapted to is working.
These screenings include cholesterol checks every five years; blood pressure checks every two years; colorectal cancer screenings every year starting at age 50; depression tests; and prostate cancer screenings.
With a combination of superfoods, exercise, and health screenings, you can take steps towards a healthier lifestyle every day and avoid becoming just another statistic. To learn more about Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s studies, visit pbrc.edu.