In this post our founder Janet Jacks speaks to the women about how to take care of the men in their lives. Men, make sure you read on to learn how to take care of your own health as well!
Husbands and brothers, fathers and sons often need a little pampering from us and November—with its emphasis on men’s health—is a great time to think about what they really need. More than a necktie or the latest gadget is the need for most men to proactively take responsibility for their own health, and for that they may need a little encouragement from those who love them. One way to encourage them is to get them to sign up for our email newsletter with great health info.
Prostate health, heart health, central weight gain, and the problems associated with sleep, energy, and stress are some of the common health issues that men face today. Some simple yet important changes can result in a profound difference in outcome down the road.
Stress is an issue for many: work deadlines, financial pressures, family responsibilities, and strained relationships all take their toll. While we cannot change all of these external stresses, we can remove dietary and sleep stress and in doing so, make the body far more stress resistant.
Enjoying deep, restorative sleep makes a huge difference in our coping abilities. Allowing enough time for a good night’s sleep is very important—for most people that means eight, or at least seven, hours to avoid a sleep deficit. Equally important is getting to bed earlier rather than later to match our sleep pattern with our natural cortisol rhythm. When fatigue sets in, it is important not to push past the tiredness for a second wind, but rather respect our natural production of melatonin that is making us sleepy and go to bed then, usually around 10:00pm.
Herbs such as rhodiola or combinations such as Stress Relax build our stress resistance and help our everyday pressures to be minimized rather than maximized. Of course, optimum nutrition from food as well as from nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin C, and B complex are equally important stress busters.
Heart disease prevention has two key elements: protecting the heart and, more often, the circulatory system. Dr. Michael Murray, ND, says this: “the level of magnesium in the blood correlates with the ability of the heart muscle to manufacture enough energy to beat properly”. And Dr. Mildred Seelig, MD, states emphatically that magnesium is the best protector of our heart and our arteries. As well, we have lost our hard water and our mineral rich soils, at the same time as depleting our magnesium through stress, sugar, and soft drinks. For a complete understanding of the ways magnesium is a key preventative for heart disease, I recommend her book The Magnesium Factor.
One of my favourite magnesium products is Natural Calm Magnesium Calm—a delicious, soothing warm drink to enjoy before bed!
Cholesterol has become a hot issue, and naturopaths disagree with the current philosophy of “lower is better”. We need cholesterol to manufacture our sex hormones and our natural steroid anti-inflammatories in our body, among other things. What we do not need and what is dangerous to us is oxidized cholesterol: cholesterol damaged by unhealthy processed fats and free radicals. Eating cholesterol does not raise cholesterol: sugar and excessive carbohydrates do. A proper, antioxidant-rich diet (not a low fat diet) will not only balance cholesterol in most people, but also will produce healthy forms of cholesterol. Aged garlic extract, like Kyolic or Allimax, has also demonstrated its ability in many research studies to protect against the oxidation of cholesterol.
It’s a well-known fact that central obesity is a risk factor for heart disease. It also creates elevated cholesterol, hypertension, fatigue, brain fog, inflammation, and a strong risk of type 2 diabetes. What is not well known is how to eliminate this weight. A healing diet that restores a healthy metabolism will result in “waist loss”, which is much more important than just weight loss. We teach you this diet—though it’s not actually a diet, but rather a lifestyle because quantities of food are not restricted—in our Lifewatchers program at Goodness Me! In a nutshell, here is what we do: eat plenty of whole, healing, healthy fats and no processed or heat-treated oils; eat adequate amounts of protein throughout the day; consume six or more servings of vegetables, emphasizing non-starchy ones; and eat slow acting complex carbohydrates in moderation, depending on your activity level and your insulin meter (your waistline). If that sounds difficult, let us teach you how and make it fun and delicious at the same time! We have new dates coming up in January—the perfect time to make a change. Learn more here.
Well over 50% of men will develop an enlarged prostate in their lifetime. This is called BPH and is largely the result of hormonal changes associated with aging. Plant-based medicines can be very effective: for example, roughly 90% of men with mild to moderate BPH experience some improvement in symptoms during the first 4-6 weeks after beginning to take saw palmetto extract. Nettle, pygeum, and other herbs are also effective. Zinc is a key nutrient for the prostate. Essential fatty acids are very important as well. The PSA test can help distinguish BPH from prostate cancer. Cholesterol damaged by free radicals—oxidized cholesterol—is particularly toxic and carcinogenic to the prostate, so once again a healthy diet is the key protective factor.
So men, don’t be discouraged in all of this, because as you can see there are a few common threads of common sense measures that will positively impact your health in several key areas all at once. Take the first step, and the rest will be easier. I wish you good health. And sign up for our email newsletter to keep the good health rolling! Sign up here!