Top 8 Superfoods and Supplements That Every Man Should Know About
Eating a whole food diet and making healthy lifestyle choices helps us chaps keep up with the demands of work stress, financial pressure, relationships, parenting, and intense gym sessions. However, some men need a little extra support to improve energy levels, prostate health, libido, fertility, and stress resilience.
In this article, we walk you through 8 powerful superfoods and supplements that experts recommend for men's wellness.
Grabbing the top spot on our list is Maca, a Peruvian "superfood" and natural aphrodisiac great for men wanting to start a family or reconnect with their partner.
Grown at high altitudes in the Andes, Maca is a tuberous root vegetable and a member of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables. Commonly used in South American cooking, it has an earthy taste and a rich content of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and trace minerals. Interestingly, this root was used by Incan tribes as an adaptogen, a compound that protects the body against the effects of stress and supports stamina and strength. Now, Maca is soaring in popularity thanks to research suggesting it enhances performance, sexual function, and fertility in men. A study of male cyclists found that supplementing with Maca not only improved performance during a 40 km cycle, it also improved libido.
Just one teaspoon of maca powder can add a nutrient and flavour punch to your post-workout smoothie – and helps you meet life's demands head-on!
2. Saw Palmetto
The walnut-shaped prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system. Unfortunately, both prostate enlargement – benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – and prostate cancer are increasingly common in older men. Saw Palmetto, from the berries of the Serenoa repens shrub native to North America, is a herbal extract that may help you manage prostate health naturally.
Saw Palmetto extract is rich in active compounds that may relieve mild to moderate BPH and improve associated urinary tract symptoms and sexual dysfunction. Researchers believe its benefits are a result of inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. By halting this enzyme, Saw Palmetto may naturally preserve testosterone levels by preventing the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Beta-sitosterol, part of a group of plant compounds called phytosterols, is a natural heart-protective supplement. Found in plant cell membranes, beta-sitosterol is great for men, considering coronary heart disease disproportionately impacts us. It has a similar structure to cholesterol, which experts think helps to limit the amount of real cholesterol you absorb from animal products in the diet.
Plus, as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, beta-sitosterol has also been studied for its role in prostate health. Interestingly, it is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor and appears to work synergistically with saw palmetto extract to lower levels of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and improve urinary flow in men with benign prostate enlargement.
4. Korean Ginseng
Korean ginseng – also known as Panax ginseng – is a must-have herbal tonic and pick-me-up for men struggling with fatigue, low immunity, chronic stress, and erectile dysfunction (ED). Not to be confused with Siberian and American ginseng, Korean ginseng is a unique herb native to eastern Asia that's been used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries. The root of the plant is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds called ginsenosides that may improve energy, physical performance, and sexual vitality.
A review study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that Korean red ginseng is a promising natural treatment for ED. This is believed to be linked to an increase in the gas nitric oxide, responsible for relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow to the genitals.
Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their vibrant red colour. Researchers believe there is ample evidence to support the use of lycopene as an adjunct treatment for men with BPH and prostate cancer. Its powerful antioxidant properties may also promote male fertility by protecting sperm cells from oxidative stress.
We suggest getting more lycopene into your diet in any way you can! Eat more tomatoes, tomato sauce, watermelons, red grapefruit, red peppers, and papayas. A convenient lycopene supplement is a good option when you need extra support.
The tart, purple elderberries from the flowering Sambucus nigra tree are nutrient-dense superfoods that may protect your immunity. These berries get their vibrant colour, and many of their health benefits, from a group of antioxidant polyphenols called anthocyanins. They increase blood antioxidant levels, which may help prevent oxidative cell damage, chronic inflammation, and signs of premature ageing.
However, elderberries are most revered for their immune-stimulating properties and rich content of the essential nutrient vitamin C. Commonly known as “Sambucus", elderberry extract may reduce the severity and duration of upper respiratory tract infections.
Elderberries aren't commercially available, but if you get the chance to go foraging we recommend loading up on the ripe berries! Otherwise, elderberry extract is a great supplement for keeping colds and flu at bay.
L-carnitine may be one of the most useful supplements for men who want to improve exercise performance, recovery, cardiovascular health, body composition, and fertility. Found primarily in the heart, skeletal muscles, the brain, and sperm cells; this important amino acid is essential for energy production. It speeds up your body's fat-burning capacity by moving long-chain fatty acids into energy-producing factories in your cells (known as mitochondria) to produce energy molecules called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Carnitine's energy benefits may also improve fertility in men by helping your swimmers get where they need to go! A study of men with low sperm motility found taking 2 g of L-carnitine for three months offered significant benefits.
The main dietary sources of L-carnitine are animal products like red meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. However, ageing, chronic illness, and intense exercise rapidly deplete the body's levels of L-carnitine. So, an amino acid supplement is an easy way to boost your levels fast!
8. Green Tea
Made from the unoxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is a delicious beverage that's been a staple in eastern cultures for centuries.
Green tea is known for promoting longevity, thanks to high levels of antioxidants, including a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This minimises oxidative cell damage by scavenging unstable free radical molecules encountered from pollution, intense exercise, alcohol, and poor dietary choices. EGCG's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may support men's health by reducing premature signs of ageing, supporting cardiovascular health, and even lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Plus, green tea may encourage fat loss by speeding up your metabolism.
Green tea won't give you the jitters due to its low caffeine content and presence of the calming amino acid L-theanine. We love ours with a dash of honey!
We hope this article has given you the information and inspiration needed to take charge of your health!
We suggest starting slow by including more green tea, tomatoes, berries, high-quality protein, and other whole foods in your diet. For an extra boost, consider a men's health supplement containing herbal extracts, like our For Chaps Wellnex Male Multivitamin.
This article was created for informational purposes only and does not necessarily represent the views of For Chaps Ltd. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.