Dear men, if you’re in your 30s or above, it’s time to start caring more about your health. And taking care of your health doesn’t mean just going to the gym daily. Maybe you’ve been having more joint pain lately, or maybe you’re reading this article while you’re still sore from your last workout…which was two days ago. Perhaps you’ve been having performance issues in the bedroom lately, to the point that sometimes you just can’t “get it up” as often as you used to be able to.
You’re not in your 20s anymore. There’s a reason why many professional athletes decide to retire after their 20s or early 30s. Many of these new aches and pains are signs that your body is aging, a process all organisms must inevitably go through. But thanks to medical and scientific research, there are ways to slow down or combat aging, and no, it’s not “feminine” to adopt a multi-step skin care regimen that’ll help keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free. Read on to find out 5 supplements or tips you can implement in your daily life to keep your body feeling young and healthy for as long as possible.
Drink Plenty of Water
If you can only choose one takeaway from this article, it’s this first tip. Many people in developed countries take clean water for granted, and they don’t realize that water can play a vital role in disease prevention, particularly in cardiovascular disease. Hypohydration, or dehydration, can increase your blood viscosity, which can slow down your blood flow throughout your body. This, in turn, allows toxins to build up in your blood and forces your heart to work harder.
One study conducted in 2002 by researchers at Loma Linda University in California indicated that there was a negative correlation between high intake of water and risk of fatal coronary heart disease. Risk of coronary heart disease was measured by whole blood viscosity, which is determined by the levels of hematocrit (red blood cells) and fibrinogen (a protein involved in clotting). Hypohydration had a larger negative impact on blood viscosity of the study’s male participants, most likely because men naturally tend to have higher blood viscosity and larger blood volumes.
Drinking more water can also help you lose weight, relieve constipation, prevent migraines and water-induced headaches, and keep your skin looking young.
Zinc could be one of the most important minerals for men’s health. It is found in high concentration in the prostate gland, and is important for optimal immune function, cell division and metabolism, DNA synthesis, and wound healing among other things. It can also help combat age-related changes in cells and prevent prostate tumor development. If that’s not a good enough reason for you, here’s another: zinc also seems to have an impact on testosterone levels, and all aging men know how important that is!
Good sources of zinc include whole grains, oysters, baked beans, almonds, cashews, chickpeas, red meat, and crab. If you regularly eat zinc-rich foods, you shouldn’t need to worry. But if you are worried that you might have zinc deficiency, talk to your doctor about taking a zinc supplement.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You’ve probably seen store shelves full of bottles of fish oil capsules, all promoting better heart and brain health. Maybe you passed on them in the past because you didn’t believe in the hype – after all, most vitamins and supplements don’t really work, right?
That might be true, but omega-3 fatty acids are one of the rare supplements that have well-documented benefits. EPA and DHA, the two most common omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to many aspects of cardiovascular function, as well as maintenance of neuronal, retinal, and immune functions.
Unfortunately, while EPA and DHA are essential for good health, the human body does not efficiently produce them, which makes it necessary for you to obtain them from fish and fish-oil products. The human body does produce a shorter chain omega-3 fatty acid called α-linolenic acid (ALA), but ALA does not provide the health benefits that EPA and DHA do.
Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, have shown promising results in the prevention and cognitive function of mild Alzheimer’s patients. DHA is found in large amounts in neuron membrane phospholipids, and thus is believed to be involved in maintaining proper functions of the nervous system. Some mouse studies have shown that brain in mice receiving DHA-enriched diet had their overall plaque burden reduced by 40.3%, with the largest reduction seen in the hippocampus and parietal cortex, the regions of the brain thought to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease.
You’ve probably never heard of this one before, but it’s been around for thousands of years. Officially described as a black or brown herbo-mineral exudate, it is found in the mountainous regions of India, Russia, China, and other countries. Shilajit has been used in traditional folk medicine for its rejuvenating and adaptogenic properties, and is particularly popular among men for its enhancement of spermatogenesis and testosterone levels. Other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities make shilajit a necessary addition to your anti-aging regimen.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
80% of your immune system is in your gastrointestinal (GI) system. You’ve been taking probiotics and your bowel movements are normal and regular, but is that enough?
Many research studies indicate that just taking probiotics may not be enough. Your body needs digestive enzymes to properly process and absorb nutrients from the food you eat, but enzyme levels decrease with age, going down to about 25% by the time you reach the age of 40. To make things worse, enzyme insufficiency can contribute to a weak immune system and a faster aging process.
To increase or preserve your enzyme levels, eat more raw foods, particularly those that are predigested or fermented. Food with high enzyme content include sprouted seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Not only will they help your digestion, they may also be beneficial in managing your weight and in alleviating symptoms of arthritis.
The thought of aging can make you quake with both dread and excitement. Fortunately, there are things you can do now to delay the progress of this inevitable process. Before you add any vitamins or supplements to your diet, be sure to consult your doctor so you can have a regimen that is right for you.