Fit Fathers. Happy Fathers.
As children we look up to our dads like they are our protectors and heroes (and they really are). We grow up and see them as our knights in shining armour. They work hard and make many sacrifices for their family. So on Father's Day, let us be sure that the men in our lives remain healthy forever.
What To Avoid:
Men are larger and heavier and because they have more muscle mass, they need more calories. However, they should not be overweight, as obesity is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even cancer.
So fathers should stay away from refined carbohydrates, processed foods and should add healthy fats from avocados, fatty fish, nuts and seeds in their diet for better health, stable blood sugar and cholesterol.
What To Include:
Protein is equally important for men and women, but men require a little more protein than women. Lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes, dairy products, nuts and seeds are good sources of protein. In fact all vegetables break down to 5% amino acids, the building blocks of the body. An average protein requirement is 1 gram of protein per kilo of body weight for men whereas women need 0.80 grams per kilo of body weight. So along with your vegetables, include one healthy protein at each meal. For breakfast have eggs or dairy, lunch have legumes, dinner have fish or meat or paneer. However, have one different protein at each meal.
Fibre is extremely important and keeps us healthy. It prevents heart disease. We need to include both insoluble and soluble fiber in our diet. Whole grains, nuts, beans, cauliflower, brocolli, wheatbran and potatoes are good sources of insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber from oats, carrots, barley, peels of fruits and psyllium husk (Isabgol) are good sources. Men need more fibre than women, a minimum of 38 grams a day.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones, muscle contractions and regular heart beat. Include sesame seeds, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables especially kale, bok choy and broccoli., black eyed beans and almonds in addition to dairy.
Potassium is just as important for cell structure, stable blood pressure and fluid balance. Include potatoes, broccoli, bananas, oranges and yogurt.
Water & Minerals:
Hydration is extremely important and men need more water than women. This is because they have higher (on average) fat free mass and energy expenditure. Men also tend to neglect their water intake. Men require about 3 litres of water daily as opposed to 2.2 litres of water that women need.
Selenium is a mineral found in the soil that men need, but in limited quantities. Do not exceed more than a tiny amount as it is a trace mineral. Whole foods are highest in selenium, and contain other beneficial nutrients so you will get all you need from a natural diet. Fresh grown, organic produce is optimal.
Where iron is concerned, men need half the quantity of iron women need.
Good iron sources are lean meat, beetroot, spinach, liver, nuts and seeds. Remember iron absorption happens best with Vitamin C so squeeze lemon on your legumes and vegetables.
Men, even the most fit, will find a slowdown in Metabolic rate as they age, but continued activity and muscle strength exercise is recommended. Men should exercise for 45 to 60 minutes daily.
Hopefully, all these tips will help keep all the Fathers in good health.
So Happy Father's Day to you all.