Countdown to Movember
Movember is almost upon us! It’s that time of year when moustaches are well and truly in vogue, as men ditch their shavers to raise money and awareness for men’s health charities. While it’s all great fun, and you might be tempted to join in yourself, it’s also a good opportunity to think about your own health and check that you’re doing everything you can now to avoid potential health issues later.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that men’s health is an older man’s concern – it’s not just all about the prostate. So here are a few tips you might want to take on board to optimise your health.
- How often are you having a curry? A recent study from the BMJ showed that more than 5 portions of white rice per week can increase the risk of diabetes by a massive 27%.That’s easily fixed by swapping brown rice for white rice, and while you’re at it, you might try whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta, as it has pretty much the same effect as white rice.
- Working out hard on an empty stomach? Did you realise that you could just be burning muscle instead of fat, and wasting all your hard work, thanks to the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is released when your blood sugar is out of balance due to long gaps between meals, or a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrate, caffeine and alcohol.
- Carrying extra weight around your middle? A disproportionate amount of abdominal fat, compared to the legs and hips, for example, can lead to cardiac problems and diabetes. It also generates hormones that stimulate the appetite, creating a vicious circle and making it hard to lose weight. A high fibre diet can help stimulate hormones to counteract this, so try eating more vegetables and whole-grains.
- Struggling to conceive? Make sure you’re not letting the side down by including plenty of zinc, vitamin C and selenium in your diet (e.g. vegetables, nuts, seeds). These are crucial for sperm development, count and motility. They can be depleted by high levels of caffeine and alcohol, which are also associated with sperm abnormality and delayed conception.
- Concerned about your prostate? Protective antioxidants can help support prostate health, so eat lots of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, rich in lycopene; green leafy vegetables rich in lutein, and orange and yellow vegetables to boost vitamin C and beta-carotene.
So you don’t just have to leave it to chance. A few adjustments to your diet now might just pay dividends later and keep you younger for longer.