Throughout history both males and females have been depicted in ways that we still see in society today. Female health problems were largely labelled as hysteria and men were simply told to ‘Man up’ but what impact do these have on our health? Most importantly this month what impact does it have on Men’s Health as that’s our theme for the month.
The theme for the month is Men’s Health – trigger warning, health references throughout this month will refer to male suicide, we wish to highlight this but not upset people, you may want to alter your notifications to block us for the month or stop reading this blog.
Facts and Figures
Let’s first of all take a look at some of the shocking headline facts and figures;
Men go to the Doctors less than women
On average, men die 3.7 years earlier than women
In the UK today 1 man out of 5 dies before the age of 65
Men are three times more likely to die from suicide than women
Suicide is the biggest cause of death for men, but not just young men - there are almost as many deaths from suicide amongst men over the age of 50 as there are for men under 45
Where you live matters, in the UK today 1 man out of 5 dies before the age of 65. There are some geographical implications too; 19% of men in England, in Wales and Northern Ireland – and 22% of men in Scotland die before they retire.
Life expectancy is higher in certain areas than others too. The highest life expectancy is unsurprisingly linked to wealth with the highest life expectancy for new-born baby boys born in Kensington & Chelsea and the lowest for baby boys born in Glasgow with a staggering 10 years difference between them.
According to Psychology Today – anger frequency and intensity does not differ between the sexes. We all get angry but there are differences with the expression of anger.
Men are more likely to express anger outwardly than women
Women suffer greater consequences than men when they express their anger outwardly
Anger needs to come out in one way or another or it builds-up and releases itself, sometimes leaving you feeling out of control.
If you feel you’re getting angrier more often or are quick to turn to angry outbursts seeking advice could be hugely beneficial.
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Nutrition for Men's Health
1 in 8 men will develop Prostate Cancer. No food can prevent cancer but diet certainly helps.
The Science of Living Well, Beyond Cancer recommends a diet that is high in colourful vegetables, low in sugar and processed carbohydrates, and moderate in animal-based protein. We certainly second that approach but are there any foods which can support a healthy prostate?
Broccoli, is a cruciferous vegetable and a rich source of natural plant chemicals called Glucoraphanins. These are converted to isothiocyanates in the body. studies have shown these can help rid cancer-causing toxins, interrupt inflammation pathways, and act as antioxidants to protect cells and DNA from damage caused by free radicals.
When a man eats a diet high in lycopene, for some reason, lycopene levels in the prostate go up.” Dr Mucci, Director of Cancer Epidemiology
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which is found in the cell walls of tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes contain more Lycopene as cooking loosens the bond enabling our bodies to absorb more of the antioxidant.
Men’s Health and fertility – foods to include if you’re trying for a baby: -
Zinc - in men, zinc is considered one of the most important trace minerals to date for male fertility
Sperm levels and quality decline with age but an increase of micronutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals reduces the risk of DNA damage to sperm
Strong swimmers? Eat omega 3 fatty acids for stronger more active and mobile sperm
To join the theme of Men's Health we have some special Podcasts for you.
The first guest is Elliot Rae https://musicfootballfatherhood.com/meet-the-team/
Elliott Rae a husband, dad, speaker, author and founder of MusicFootballFatherhood.com (MFF), the parenting platform for men. MFF is all about open conversations around fatherhood and was described as the ‘Dad’s version of Mumsnet’ by the BBC. Elliott started MFF in 2016 after suffering from PTSD after the traumatic birth of his daughter.
Our second guest is Joe Plumb https://www.joeplumb.org/ I wanted Joe to join us for his inspirational story and amazing work and because I love this quote: -
"I’m a man and no less of a man for admitting ‘I’m not okay’ and for openly talking about the constant struggle and battle I face with myself every single day"
Our food of the month for May is Asparagus - Asparagus is officially known as Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the lily family
Asparagus is not only good for you but also an aphrodisiac due to the high amount of Vitamin E and is a good Source of Antioxidants, and particularly high in the flavonoids quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol.
Purple asparagus contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins along with being a source of fibre which protects heart and bowel health.
There's a lot going on this month and next month we pick up on the important subject of Public Health Priorities.
Early Years Nutrition Consultant
Food & Health Writer
Presenter on Early Years TV Food