Men’s Health Awareness Week 12th-18th June 2017: top tips to enhance your health and happiness!
For as long as most of us can remember the gender disparities regarding health has always been in favour of women, with the female gender always in the lead of the life expectancy gap. It’s never been exactly proven as to why this is but theories range from biological/environmental factors, to the male population adopting a more risky lifestyle! Whatever the cause for concern may be it’s clear that the majority of guys should certainly be upping their health game. With the help of our experts we’ve compiled some top tips on how to do so when faced with the most common health concern in commemoration with Men’s Health Awareness Week.
“Man Flu” (or Influenza)
It’s unlikely that we’ve not mocked our brother or significant other at one point in our lives when they’ve been complaining of a fever and runny no se, but it turns out that the pejorative term is actually backed by research to prove that men do in fact suffer from the flu more than women. Due to their high levels of testosterone men are more vulnerable to the virus, whilst women are protected as a result of their estrogen, which has strong antiviral properties. Yes, it may seem slightly unfair but that’s genetics for you!
Advice? Be SUPer smart! Whilst all of us should be taking daily supplements, it’s even more important for all the men out there. Cassandra Barns, Nutritionist, explains, “Taking vitamin D daily can boost your immune activity. Aged garlic, beta glucans and probiotics also have really positive immune effects helping to protect against viruses and bacterial infection and help break down catarrh and shorted the duration of illness.” Quest’s Immune Biotix Capsules (£18.41 available at superfooduk.com) are a great daily supplement to take, as their unique complex is designed specifically to support immune system function and help increase resistance to disease and infections.
Another great read for Men’s Mental Health is about the Founder of The Lions Collective, Tom Chapman
Spirulina is miraculous when it comes to boosting energy, supporting weight loss and nourishing and maintaining healthy skin. It is rich in a wide range of essential nutrients – vitamins, minerals and amino acids (the building blocks of protein) – including Vitamin A, B6, B12, iron, magnesium, iodine and calcium. This makes it perfect for treating any form of nutritional deficiency. B-vitamins also nourish the nervous system, help generate red blood cells and aid the metabolism. Fundamentally, spirulina is an excellent alternative to whey protein as it is 60% protein, easy to digest and 100% natural, rather than a by-product of milk.
Pukka Herbs’ Turmeric Gold tea: A supportive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-filled blend of earthy spiciness £2.49 www.pukkaherbs.com
Turmeric, a renowned super-spice and one of Pukka’s very own herbal superheroes, offers a number of health benefits for men and women alike. Recent research suggests that one cup of this golden goodness contains an army of antioxidants – the same antioxidant levels as seven avocados or two handfuls of blueberries – to fight off nasty free radicals which can otherwise damage the skin and age our bodies. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, targets pain, enhances circulation, protects the brain and rejuvenates the liver. The inclusion of lemon provides Vitamin C to protect capillaries and strengthen the immune system, remove toxins from the blood, clear congestion and stimulate the digestive and metabolic processes – the perfect concoction to help tackle infections and sustain a fit and healthy you this summer.
Without a doubt, it’s likely that this topic is up there as one of the most prevalent concerns within the male population. Potentially caused by a number of reasons, low sperm count and infertility in men is far more common than people think, with it accounting for 30% as to why couples have difficulty conceiving. However, there are certainly ways in which you can proactively try to not fall under this statistic…
The first and probably most obvious way is to cut out alcohol and cigarettes. It’s no revelation that both of these vices significantly impact our health, which consequently includes fertility too. Dr Marilyn Glenville, UK leading Nutritionist and author of Getting Pregnant Faster (www.marilynglenville.com), explains how: “Alcohol can cause abnormalities in the head of the sperm, which is critical for fertilization of the egg. Alcohol also reduces the level of vital sperm-making hormones, so a man can wipe out his sperm count for several months after a drinking session.” In terms of cigarettes, “the toxins can increase the risk of DNA damage in sperm cell, and also contributes towards erectile dysfunction as it damages the blood vessels”, says Glenville.
Another factor that contributes to infertility is stress. Yes, that’s right – if your partners been having a difficult time at work or is facing some other stressful situation this will impact not only the count, but also the quality of his sperm. It is not fully understood why or how this happens, but research and suggestions have implied it could be because stress triggers the release of steroid hormones (glucocorticoids), which consequently decreases the levels of testosterone and sperm production. As stress is somewhat harder to physically control, it can be difficult to cut it out in the way you would alcohol or cigarettes. Barns advises boosting your magnesium levels: “The adrenal glands rely on magnesium, which is rapidly depleted when you’re under stress”. Food can also help boost the count and quality of sperm levels, and Barnes encourages incorporating zinc-rich ingredients into your diet. A good supplement to try is AgeLoss Mens Multi by Nature’s Plus (£28.45 available at revital.com) as it’s high in zinc, but also in libido-optimizing herbal staples.
Although it’s normal for teenage boys to go through a bout of acne or pimples, for some the skin concerns don’t cease after puberty and can in fact get worse with age. Whether it’s due to lifestyle, environment, or hereditary issues it can be very distressing for men to have skin issues as it can often result in self-esteem and self-confidence issues. It would be hard (and lengthy) to divulge into each and every skin concern possible, but when dealing with the most common such as acne, eczema and rosacea, we asked Dr Adam Friedman, consultant Dermatologist at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, which natural ingredient is the most effective. He explains: “natural ingredients are great as often they are full of antioxidants. Aloe Vera is commonly known for its healing properties in aiding the oxygenated damage.” Depending on the severity of the issue, you may or may not be prescribed medical treatment but incorporating other natural products alongside your daily regime is a good idea. What Skin Needs’ range (from £8.99 available at whatskinneeds.co.uk) is enriched with key active ingredient Plantolin, which has proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They also contain Aloe Vera, making it perfect for soothing and repairing rough, dry and damaged skin.
We hope you enjoy our suggestions and if you have any great restorative and health tricks to share with our readers, please do get in touch. Hello@TotallyAesthetic.com