Top Five Plant-Based Foods for Men’s HealthJun 19, 2022
There are a lot of suggestions to omit things from the diet, but at PlantWhys we like to try and work more on things to add into our diet. Let’s focus a bit on some distinct plant-based foods that offer unique benefits to men (or males assigned at birth) and specifically what they have to offer them.
It’s been found that the average male sperm count has been dropping over the past 45 years, which impacts fertility. Provided there isn’t a nut allergy, walnuts have been found to improve semen quality and can boost fertility in men who are trying to conceive. Walnuts are the only tree nuts that contain a good amount of polyunsaturated fats that sperm cells can actually utilize to replenish itself. There have been small studies that have found that walnuts can reduce cell damage to sperm cells and improve its motility and vitality.
Studies have loosely linked lycopene, which are common in tomatoes, can reduce risk of prostate cancer by limiting cancer growth. Cooked tomatoes make it easier for our bodies to absorb the antioxidants and move directly to the prostate. Pairing tomatoes with an oil rich in omega-3s like olive or avocado oil can facilitate this absorption even more. Tomatoes don’t have to be fresh to enjoy this benefit. Enjoy them canned, dried or frozen!
Broccoli has been studied widely for its nutrient-rich properties that specifically counteract the carcinogenic effects of multiple chemicals in foods and in our environment. Along with other cruciferous veggies, broccoli contains sulforaphane, carotenoids and vitamin C. It’s been found, according to one study, that eight broccoli florets can provide enough nutrients to the prostate to reduce inflammation as effectively as one advil.
In addition to other cruciferous veggies, broccoli sprouts are also a great way to consume these veggies without the potential discomfort of gas and bloating that can come with over consumption of these foods.Try to consume broccoli raw and as fresh as possible to preserve the compounds that make it so beneficial. If you do decide to cook them, try to minimally steam or microwave to reduce as much nutrient loss as possible when blanching or boiling broccoli. Cutting or chewing your broccoli really well can activate the enzyme to facilitate maximum absorption of beneficial compounds found in broccoli.
Blueberries specifically have been studied to help prevent or improve erectile dysfunction, ultimately improving male fertility. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are commonly known to reduce oxidative stress, or buildup of damage in our body’s cells caused by free radicals (harmful byproducts from breaking down things in our body). This can damage our DNA and, in turn, can lead to cancer. Berries contain a good amount of anthocyanins, which are a particular antioxidant that offers multiple health benefits. Some of them include supporting eye health, heart health and boosts our immune system.
Greens such as collard greens and kale can offer a host of vitamins that can protect everyone, not just men, from risk of cancer and promote eye health. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, glaucoma and cataracts can be potentially mitigated with the consumption of leafy greens. One large study of over 100,000 men and women found eating 1 cup of leafy greens was potentially associated with 20-30 percent reduced risk of developing glaucoma. Leafy greens also contain sulforaphanes, which we’ve discussed with broccoli, can also provide additional prevention and treatment of multiple cancers including prostate cancer.
In general, studies related to male fertility are showing that higher amounts of fruits and veggies consumed indicated higher sperm concentration and motility compared to males who ate fewer fruits and veggies.The abundance of antioxidants in plant-based whole foods are unalterably linked to better fertility outcomes in males as well as general health.
If you are planning a special meal for those male figures in your life, consider adding some of these foods to it for some added health benefits!
Robbins, W. A., Xun, L., FitzGerald, L. Z., Esguerra, S., Henning, S. M., & Carpenter, C. L. (2012). Walnuts improve semen quality in men consuming a Western-style diet: randomized control dietary intervention trial. Biology of reproduction, 87(4), 101. https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.112.101634
Advanced Urology Institute. (2017). Why Walnuts Make Men More Fertile. Accessed: June 18, 2022. https://www.advancedurologyinstitute.com/walnuts-men-fertile/
Ricci, E., Al-Beitawi, S., Cipriani, S., Alteri, A., Chiaffarino, F., Candiani, M., Gerli, S., Viganó, P., & Parazzini, F. (2018). Dietary habits and semen parameters: a systematic narrative review. Andrology, 6(1), 104–116. https://doi.org/10.1111/andr.12452
Nandini, D. B., Rao, R. S., Deepak, B. S., & Reddy, P. B. (2020). Sulforaphane in broccoli: The green chemoprevention!! Role in cancer prevention and therapy. Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology : JOMFP, 24(2), 405. https://doi.org/10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_126_19
Prostate Cancer Foundation. (2021). Broccoli and Prostate Cancer: What’s the Connection? Accessed June 18, 2022. https://www.pcf.org/blog/broccoli-and-prostate-cancer-whats-the-connection/
Cassidy, A., Franz, M., & Rimm, E. B. (2016). Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 103(2), 534–541. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.122010
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