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Take Action on Men's Health

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With Father’s Day on Sunday, the focus turns to Men and Men’s Health Awareness Week. It is reported that men can be less receptive to their health needs than women and are less likely to talk about symptoms they might have. Effective nutrition and natural support can offer some benefits for many common problems. 

Amaranth Nutritional Therapist Caroline Keighley discusses issues that are common to male health. In Part 1 of are series of blogs she focues on ENERGY, STRESS and WEIGHT. 
 

Is This You?

  • Less energy than you would like?
  • Reduced memory and concentration?
  • Low mood?
  • Unhappy about your weight?
  • Aching joints/arthritis?


In
this modern day, low energy is a common problem and when you have worked hard, a few days rest may do the trick. If low energy persists, however, it is time to investigate. Men have unique reasons why they have fatigue.

Let’s talk about testosterone...

Testosterone works hard in the body to maintain bone density, male hair patterns, sex drive and maintenance of muscle mass and good brain function. Naturally as aging occurs testosterone starts to decline, significant drops, for other reasons, can affect the way you feel mentally and the way you look physically.

Stress
A significant factor affecting testosterone levels is stress. Stress creeps up on us and we often don’t recognise the symptoms. Stress disrupts our mood and our energy levels. If you take a look at your diet, whilst you are undergoing stress, you might see more snacking going on, particularly quick sugary pick-me-ups alongside caffeine. Alcohol might also be playing a part in the evening as a “relaxant”.

Stress places demands on the adrenal glands and they can become tired as they try hard to produce the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This uses up vital nutrients more readily and so a “rainbow diet”, that is a diet rich in colours from fruit and vegetables can help to support better intake of vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients – these are compounds rich in plants that support our immune systems and protect against oxidative stress.

At this time, a good multi-vitamin can top up essential nutrients and phytonutrients.

Favourites from the Amaranth Nutrition team are:

Mood Support
Stress, lifestyle and family demands, poor diet, lack of sleep and alcohol can all have an impact on mood as well as energy. Sometimes more support is required to balance the body systems and help you to feel more resilient. Men can respond well to ginseng or ashwagandha, both are Ayurvedic herbs that have been used for centuries to give a gentle lift when the body is under duress.

We advise that you talk to our nutrition team if you are considering herbal formulas so that we help you identify one suitable for you.

Favourites from the Amaranth Nutrition team are:
  • Pukka Herbs Ashwagandha or Wholistic Ginseng or Lamberts Multi-Guard ADR (a multivitamin & mineral preparation with added ginseng and rhodiola - a herb with stress supporting qualities).
  • Pukka Herbs – Vitalise – a combination of 30 energising botanicals and ginseng, that can help to balance stress levels and boost energy.
  • 5-HTP – is the precursor to serotonin, which is the hormone that makes us happy (cannot be taken with anti-depressants).

Weight Gain and/or high cholesterol
Further down the line weight gain, particularly around the middle, “cortisol belly” becomes more noticeable and a visit to the doctor for your MOT might have revealed raised cholesterol or raised blood pressure and/or blood sugar levels.

Diet can help to support the body at times of stress and prevent longer term health consequences. Men will be diagnosed more frequently than women with type 2 diabetes and are more likely to suffer from complications. Type 2 diabetes is related to poor diet and lifestyle choices. Whether it is stress or just bad habits, eating a diet rich in sugars and refined carbohydrates will raise blood sugar levels and consequently insulin levels. When this becomes long term the cells of the body begin to ignore the messages from insulin to open the cell gates and let glucose in, resulting in elevated levels of sugar in the blood. Long term this is damaging to the body and can lead to deterioration of eyesight and even loss of limbs.

Adequate fibre and protein are essential for weight management and to help you feel full (so reduce snacking and sugar cravings). Oats contain beta glucans that are believed to bind to cholersterol and help excrete it from the body. A good reason for your morning porridge.

If sugar craving is an issue supplements providing B vitamins and/or chromium can help to regulate blood sugar control and reducing cravin

For blood sugar or cholesterol support we recommend:
Exercise
Exercise might the last thing on your mind but using walking as exercise can help to put a spring back into your step. It helps to improve circulation and the regulation of energy from food. Try walking for 30 minutes a day on at least 5 days of each week.

Top Nutrition Tips from the Amaranth Nutrition Team:
Whether you are looking to improve energy, provide resistance from stress, reduce weight or cholesterol levels:
  • Ditch the sugar and processed foods.
  • Limit alcohol and enjoy only occasionally.
  • Remove caffeine, especially if you experience fatigue.
  • Eat adequate protein at each meal.
  • Keep well hydrated
  • 50% of your plate should be vegetables.
  • Regular exercise
  • Sleep 8 hours a night minimum.
It is always a good time to get your health in check and you may benefit from a one to one consultation with a nutritional therapist. Busy lives, routine, food preferences and confusing messages around food can make it difficult to know where to start. A Nutritional Therapist will provide simple, clear guidance appropriate for your lifestyle.

Call or visit Amaranth for expert nutritional advice to help reset your health needs.


Before you embark on a supplement programme, we advise that you speak to the BANT registered Nutritional Therapy team at Amaranth to help identify which are the best choices for you.