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How your diet affects your manhood

By Ayah Murad , Family Flavours - Nov 11,2018 - Last updated at Nov 11,2018

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

Clinical Dietician

 

Some of our poor food choices have the ability to reduce testosterone, diminish sex drive, reduce sensitivity, alter sperm production and increase the risk of prostate cancer. Luckily, healthier food choices can achieve the opposite.

 

Healthy weight

 

I know many men who eat as though they have a stomach of steal. But the truth is, overweight and obese men, especially those with waist circumference larger than 101 centimetres are more likely to have erectile dysfunction and reduced sperm count.

The unhealthy fat in the belly (medically known as visceral fat) is the major reason for blocking blood vessels and even the tiny vessels in the penis. Without blood circulation, you might suffer from erectile dysfunction. Excess abdominal fat not only reduces testosterone production, but is also associated with a rise in the female hormone estradiol in men.

Recommendations: Try to cut out fast food, greasy food and pre-prepared meals as they are usually rich in transfats, refined simple sugars and low in essential vitamins and minerals. These types of food are a major cause of visceral fat and an abnormal sperm production. I do appreciate that you are working long hours and have full schedules, but remember to invest in your own health as it will be your source of happiness and your peace of mind. 

I know many men are busy at work and depend mostly on their spouses or mothers to prepare their meals and snacks, but I think it is time for you to start getting involved in preparing your own meals and snacks.

Preparing healthy dishes is easy and usually does not take time. Here are some tips: 

 

Best animal sources

 

Eating less red meat and more seafood is the general recommendation these days. Seafood, especially oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel and even sardines), is rich in zinc, Omega-3, L-carnitine and L-arginine (L-arginine is an amino acid important for building up proteins and improve blood flow). Zinc is important for sperm production and enhancing the count. Omega-3 can prevent plaque build-up, especially in your arteries, thus improving blood flow throughout your body. Oysters, lobster and mussels are known to be an aphrodisiac, are rich in selenium and other essential elements for sperm production and speed. If you are not a seafood fan, another great source for zinc is grilled non-smoked turkey.

 

Best plant choices

 

Fruits and vegetables have amazing benefits for most health problems because they are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially the dark green leafy varieties (folic acid, magnesium and zinc in addition to beta-Carotene, a precursor for vitamin A).

Deficiencies in vitamin A are a common cause of low fertility because a lack of vitamin A plays a role in the speed of sperms. Broccoli is a very rich source of vitamin A and C as are red peppers, spinach, apricots, sweet potatoes and carrots. Asparagus is another weapon against those nasty free radicals. It is also packed with vitamin C, which protects sperm from damage and increases its motility and volume so you will have more active sperms and they will move faster.

Bananas and pineapples have been found to increase both male and female libido and regulate sex hormones because of an enzyme called bromelain. They are also full of vitamins C, A and B1 which will boost sperm production.

Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene that may help prevent prostate cancer as well as reduce tumour growth among men with prostate cancer. Some research showed that men who ate more tomatoes and tomato based products (raw or cooked) may be less likely to develop prostate cancer and that is because of Lycopene which may decrease cell damage and slow cancer cell production. But because lycopene is tightly bound to the plant cell walls, our bodies have a difficult time extracting it from raw tomatoes so the more cooked the better. Cooked tomatoes can be found in tomato paste, sauce, soup and even ketchup.

 

Best choices of nuts and seeds

 

Seeds and nuts, such as walnuts, peanuts, pecan, hazelnut, pumpkin, sunflower and black seeds are all very rich in zinc, and L-arginine (an amino acid that helps the body to build proteins). Although they help improve blood flow, you have to be careful not to go overboard with eating nuts to avoid weight gain! Note that taking L-arginine supplements can cause an allergic reaction or worsen asthma in some people and can also lower blood pressure.

 

Best choices of herbs

 

Turmeric and saffron are a natural antioxidant that can improve your immune system and reduce inflammation, especially in the genitals. Chilli pepper enhances blood flow while the aphrodisiac root of ginkgo biloba has been used to treat infertility for hundreds of years. It boosts levels of testosterone and increases blood flow, with some claiming that it can also treat erectile dysfunction. Drink tea with ginseng, mix it in your honey or even add some to your thyme.

Be and feel your best with the help of good nutrition. Another perk? You can now make a happy wife for a happy life! 

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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