The Hidden Nutrients Men Need: A Closer Look at Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Men, like women, have unique nutritional needs. While some vitamins and minerals are important for both sexes, men require higher levels of certain nutrients to maintain optimal health. Unfortunately, many men don’t get enough of these essential nutrients in their diets. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the hidden nutrients men need and their benefits.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for men that plays a key role in healthy bone development and maintenance. This vitamin is also critical for immune system health, which helps to protect against infections and diseases. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, and in fortified products like milk, yogurt, and cereals.
However, vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the body can produce it when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, men should aim to get 10-30 minutes of sun exposure each day to meet their vitamin D requirements.
Magnesium is an important mineral that supports muscle and nerve function, regulates blood sugar levels, and contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Dietary sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Unfortunately, magnesium is commonly lacking in many men’s diets. Therefore, men should aim to consume at least 420 milligrams of magnesium daily. If their diet falls short, supplementing with magnesium may be beneficial.
Zinc is a mineral that plays multiple roles in men’s health, including supporting immune system function, aiding in wound healing, promoting normal growth and development, and contributing to reproductive health.
Zinc-rich foods include oysters, lean meats, poultry, beans, and nuts. Men who don’t consume enough zinc may develop symptoms such as hair loss, a weakened immune system, and low testosterone levels.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are found in fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds. These healthy fats are important for heart health, brain function, and reducing inflammation in the body.
Unfortunately, many men don’t consume enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, depression, and other health issues. Aim to consume fatty fish at least twice a week or consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This vitamin is also important for maintaining healthy skin and hair.
Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and leafy green vegetables. Men who don’t consume enough vitamin E may experience skin and eye problems, immune system issues, and poor cognition.
Ensuring that you receive adequate amounts of these essential nutrients can help to maintain optimal health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. However, in many cases, supplementation may be necessary to meet nutrient requirements. Speak to your healthcare provider about what supplements may be suitable for your unique needs.