These series of articles for Manual aim to give you the highlight from books around mental health and physical wellbeing for men.
Man Food: The No-Nonsense Guide To Improving Your Health And Energy In Your 40s and Beyond – Ian Marber.
This book is a very comprehensive guide to men’s health in your later years from nutritional therapist, Ian Marber.
With over 30 years of experience, Ian breaks down the different health challenges that men face, and applies his food knowledge to help men navigate health issues as we age. He speaks about the heart, sleep, weight management and digestion.
The first chapter, which I cover in this article, is the chapter on the prostate gland which is of course linked to prostate cancer.
In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for Black men and men with a family history of prostate or breast cancer.
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way.
Some prostate cancers grow too slowly to cause any problems or affect how long you live. Because of this, many men with prostate cancer will never need any treatment.
But some prostate cancer grows quickly and is more likely to spread. This is more likely to cause problems and needs treatment to stop it spreading. Source: Prostate Cancer UK
What does Man Food say
Some men are at greater risk of developing the disease than others, and that 88 per cent of those men are unaware of the fact.
Your risk increases significantly if a parent or sibling has suffered either prostate or breast cancer, and the disease affects 1 in 4 Black men, compared to 1 in 8 White men.
Overweight and obese people are at greater risk of developing many of the most common cancers. Be easy on the dairy intake! Excessive consumption of calcium and/or dairy products may have an impact on cancer growth.
Men under the age of 55 are advised to consume 700-800mg of calcium per day, while those over 55 should aim for 1200mg. Four modest servings of dairy products each day are enough to provide this amount.
Top tip: Milk with porridge or in a mug of tea or coffee, a matchbox-sized lump of cheese or a small pot of yoghurt is one serving.
Calcium can be found in: kale, chicken, lettuce, beans and pulses, almonds and sesame seeds. Get some tomatoes down you! Eat lycopene rich foods like: red pepper, guava, watermelon, pomegranate and tomatoes. Tomato sauce and passata have just as much lycopene in them.
A small glass of pomegranate juice once a day may help, as this has a high concentration of lycopene in it. If tomato juice is your bag – then go for that if you like!
Try and ditch coffee and black teas! We all could use a pick me up in the morning, but studies suggest six cups per day of green tea to help protect ourselves against cancer. Ian says this is feasible, but try it out and see. Try substituting it for your usual cups of black tea and coffee.
Why? Catechins. These are found in high concentration in green, white and oolong teas, and in smaller concentrations in black tea. Regular daily intake of unsweetened and unsalted green tea may offer protection against cancer.
Ian’s top three supplements for consideration are Saw Palmetto, Quercetin and a capsule of lycopene, catechins and sulforaphane.
Note: Are you willing to take these daily for the rest of your life? Are you willing to embrace the cost? (According to Marber, this would be almost £400 per year)
He suggests if possible to try and get the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat rather than the pills unless for specific circumstances – on a vegan diet, or to boost Vitamin D level during the winter.
That’s it for prostate foods from Ian Marber.
Would you like to know more about foods that help testosterone? Keep an eye out for the next post from me!
Do you want to read the book? Get it here.
By Alex Holmes, Writer, Podcaster and Men of Manual Ambassador