Vitamin deficiency is not a distinctly third world problem, and even in developed nations, many men are not receiving the best vitamins. Ideally, one should eat a daily diet consisting of plenty of vitamins and organic minerals, but this isn’t always possible. The majority of men tend to have a diet that consists of processed foods that rarely include enough veggies and fruits. According to a recent report by NBC News, 77% of all men suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, specifically magnesium and vitamins D and 2. This glaring statistic explains why there is a prevalence of susceptibility to illnesses among men.
Micronutrient deficiency among men results in a decreased libido and sexual performance, slow metabolism, lethargy, low muscle strength, bloating, obesity, insomnia, and a horde of cardiovascular conditions. The prevalence of these deficiencies calls for men to take a closer look at their diet and infuse it with vitamins that address their manly problems.
Essential Vitamins for Men
Ideally, men wouldn’t need to use multi-vitamin supplements, however, it’s a fast-paced world we live in, which means it’s a tall order to ask most people to keep their fridges stocked with organic produce that can quickly go bad. When shopping for these multi-vitamins go for the organic and fermented options.
Fermented vitamin supplements are a quick fix for micronutrients deficiency. In the state of fermentation, the vitamins are ‘pre-digested’ which makes them easily absorbed into the bloodstream. When shopping, be sure to check out multivitamins crafted from organic foods such as ginger, saw palmetto, and other vital plants.
Given the startling stats and the many nutritional problems men are facing, the following is a breakdown of the essential vitamins for men to best nourish their bodies.
A study documented in the publication Scientific American showed that 75% of all adults in the U.S. suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D3 is vital for men to maintain bone strength, prevent depression, produce enough testosterone, and in the healthy regulation of both cholesterol and blood pressure.
Let us further dissect this matter; the internet is flooded with people selling testosterone supplements. The known reasons why men would want to use testosterone supplements is to increase their raw power in physical activities and enhance their libidos. The increasing vitamin D deficiency correlates with the rising numbers of men looking for testosterone supplementation.
The solution to this lies in maintaining proper Vitamin D3 intake. Not only can it help in increasing libido, but you will also have an active and healthy heart that is protected from attacks and other debilitating conditions. Using Vitamin D3 regularly will set the foundation to have stronger bones and a sharper memory even when old age creeps in.
Vitamin D3 also helps to reduce inflammation, to maintain a moderate blood pressure level, and control blood cholesterol content. The best thing about this vitamin is that you can get it by spending just 20 minutes in the sun in the early morning or late afternoon. Time outdoors should be considered an added bonus. Endeavor to eat fresh foods like eggs, mushrooms, and dairy products. If you aren’t able to receive adequate Vitamin D3 from both foods and the sun, then you should definitely consider supplementation.
Antioxidant Vitamins (A, C and E)
Antioxidants foods include fruits and vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and nuts and seeds. The antioxidants vitamins cannot be made within the body, which is why you need to get them steadily from your diet. Vitamins A, C, and E help in combating free radical damage, a process that speeds up aging, memory loss, cardiovascular diseases, and vision loss.
Antioxidant vitamins are so crucial, especially as men get older. The vitamins mediate against muscle wasting, tissue loss, and artery damage. They reinvigorate cells and prevent cell mutation, while at the same time working in the skin and sight. Deficiency of these essential vitamins will manifest in the form of nosebleeds, swollen gums, and a generally weakened immune system.
Vitamin B12 comes in handy for endurance and strength building, equipping men with the energy they need for intense physical activities. These micronutrients also function to prevent heart attacks and dementia, among other health conditions. There is a general deficiency of vitamin B12 among men and women. The problem, however, is not in consumption but absorption. Most men get their daily dose of B12 from foods like poultry, fish, beef, salmon, and eggs, but absorption is hindered because of several factors.
For starters, medications such as antacids and those used to control blood pressure interfere with the breakdown of vitamin B12 in the body. As men grow old, they develop a condition known as atrophic gastritis: where the stomach cannot produce enough digestive juices, including HCL (hydrochloric acid). HCL acid plays a vital role in disintegrating B12 vitamins from the protein. The US Office of Dietary Supplements estimates that the atrophic gastric condition affects around 30% of all older adults.
Other factors that slow down the absorption of vitamin B12 include pernicious anemia where your immune system attacks your normal body cells instead of bacteria and viruses. Intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the intestinal walls) and Celiac disease (gluten allergy) can also interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.
This vitamin works to strengthen and maintain bone structure, to help in blood clotting and healing of injuries, and to prevent heart disease: the notorious cause of death among adult men in the US and many other developed nations. Men need to consume enough veggies and fruits or take supplements if they suffer from intestinal disorders that would prevent absorption of Vitamin K.
You get vitamin K1 by eating green vegetables, and vitamin k2 from dairy products. Ensure your diet contains at least one of these things: cabbage, broccoli, fish, eggs, milk, vegetables, and collard greens.
Vitamin K1 is found in many green vegetables and vitamin K2 from dairy products. To prevent vitamin K deficiency you need to eat a variety of veggies, including green leafy vegetables, broccoli, collards, and cabbage, plus some wild-caught fish and cage-free eggs too.
Aside from the vitamins mentioned above, the best diet for men should also contain the following minerals:
Essential Minerals for Men
Magnesium helps to regulate other electrolyte levels in the bloodstream. It is useful for blood pressure regulation, preventing muscle spasms, migraines, and heart disease.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle twitching, difficulty going to the bathroom and insomnia. You can get magnesium from leafy greens, algae, beans, nuts, and seeds. Supplementation is necessary to make up for slow absorption and excess urinary loss of magnesium.
Omega-3 Fish Oils
You can get these minerals by eating fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, and sardines, in addition to eggs, nuts, and seeds. Omega 3 Fatty Oils are anti-inflammatory, as opposed to the Omega 6 Fatty Acids that are found in many processed foods and vegetable oils.
Data shows that most men are consuming an alarmingly high amount of Omega 6 Fatty Acids when compared to their Omega 3 Fatty Oils intake. There needs to be a balance between the two if men are to have healthier hearts, proper functioning brains, and active immunity. That means if you cannot eat wild fish at least 3 times a week, then look into an Omega 3 fish oil supplement.
You are at a higher risk of cardiovascular conditions, like high blood pressure, if your potassium levels are low. High blood pressure is already a common condition among adult men in western countries. But that’s not all; low potassium levels can also slow down your metabolism which will lead to obesity, fatigue, indigestion, and muscle spasms.
Men who are on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease run a high risk of potassium deficiency. These drugs interfere with the absorption of the mineral. Additional risk factors include alcoholism, kidney disorders, and intense physical activities-all these are can cause low potassium levels among men.
A potassium-rich diet includes foods such as avocado, beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, bananas and grass-fed beef. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include diarrhea, dehydration, and fever.
Risk Factors for Vitamin Deficiencies in Men
The high rate of vitamin deficiency among men could be as a result of:
- Eating processed foods – no time to prepare meals at home
- Low economic status – cannot afford the right amount of foods or supplements
- Aversion to fresh vegetables and fruits
- Following a vegetarian or vegan diet and avoiding animal products
- Food allergies that interfere with the absorption and metabolism of vitamins
- Lack of education
- Digestive tract disorders
- Medications that interfere with the absorption of vitamins
Have You Considered Vitamin Supplements?
Chances are you try to include all the variety of vitamin-rich foods in your diet. But to avoid any risk of vitamin deficiency, supplements are necessary. More so if you fall into the category of men listed below:
- You rarely eat seafood, meat, and eggs
- You have inflammatory bowel diseases, food allergies, or impaired digestive functions
- You are taking antacids and antibiotics
Men need a regular diet that includes vitamins D, B12, A, C, E, and vitamin K. On top of that; the food should be fortified with magnesium, potassium, and Omega 3 fish oils. To ensure you get all of the proper nutrition your body needs then supplements need to be on your radar as a viable option.