When it comes to good health for men, nothing beats eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from all the food groups. But there are certain foods men can eat that may help maximize nutritional intake and promote health. Wheat germ, for example, is rich in nutrients that may help improve heart and prostate health and assist with weight control.
What's So Great About Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is the most nutritious part of the wheat kernel, according to Food.com. Two tablespoons of wheat germ contains 52 calories, 3 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. It is also a good source of potassium, with 128 milligrams per 2-tablespoon serving, and zinc, with 1.8 milligrams per 2 tablespoons. Wheat germ is also rich in B vitamins, including thiamine, vitamin B-6 and folate.
Keep a Lid on Blood Pressure
Men are one and one-half times more likely to die of heart disease than women, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease. A diet rich in natural sources of potassium may help improve blood pressure by decreasing the effects of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends you eat 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. As an excellent source of potassium, wheat germ can help you meet your daily potassium needs for better blood pressure control.
Good for Your Prostate
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. While the exact cause of the cancer is unknown, cancerous prostates have significantly lower levels of zinc than normal prostates, says LPI. Additionally, people who have higher intakes of zinc also tend to have lower rates of prostate cancer. Zinc may protect the prostate by preventing and repairing DNA damage and promoting cancer cell death. Improve prostate health by sprinkling zinc-rich wheat germ on your salad or into your soup.
Help With Weight Loss
While overweight and obesity statistics between men and women aren't that different, for men, carrying excess weight affects male hormones, fertility and prostate health. As a good source of fiber, wheat germ may help you get to a healthier weight. A 2001 review study published in "Nutrition Reviews" found that, without making any other changes to your diet, eating more than 14 grams of fiber a day for more than two days may help decrease calorie intake by 10 percent and help you lose weight. Men need 30 to 38 grams of fiber a day. Adding wheat germ to your morning cereal or midday smoothie may help up your fiber intake.
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Male Diet & Nutrition
- Food.com: Food Dictionary: Wheat Germ
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Wheat Germ, Crude
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: What Is High Blood Pressure?
- American Heart Association: Potassium and High Blood Pressure
- Linus Pauling Institute: Zinc and Prostate Cancer
- Harvard Medical School: Obesity Takes an Extra Toll on Men's Health and Sexuality
- Nutrition Reviews: Dietary Fiber and Weight Regulation
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Fiber