THINK ABOUT: It’s easy to think of yourself as invincible at this age, but it’s worth considering your health in a number of ways. Firstly, watch the booze and be wary of recreational drug use. Secondly, make sure you regularly check yourself for testicular cancer as this is the leading cause of cancer in young men. Don’t be shy about this – there are plenty of videos on YouTube that can help. Similarly, don’t dismiss prolonged periods of stress; seek help if you’re struggling to cope – statistics show mental health is a huge issue for men under 30.
KEY NUTRIENTS: Creating a solid foundation in your 20s is key when it comes to nutrition. Aim for balanced meals that include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, good-for-you carbs like wholegrains, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Protein is also a must, since it helps you build lean muscle – aim for around 30g per meal. If you are into your fitness, be wary of overtraining – instead of wearing yourself out, establish a way of training, and eating, that is sustainable for the years ahead. Now’s also the time to get comfortable in the kitchen, establishing a basic repertoire of healthy meals, with countless studies showing people who cook at home carry less body fat.
SUPPLEMENTS: Give your nutrition a helping hand with a multivitamin – Healthspan MultiVitality Gold is a good option.
THINK ABOUT: Things tend to get a bit more serious in your thirties – real life starts to kick in, which often means marriage, kids and mortgages. With responsibility comes stress, which shouldn’t be overlooked. If left to fester, stress can take its toll on your health as it triggers inflammation, believed to be at the root of many diseases. If fertility is on the agenda, it’s worth cutting back on your alcohol consumption as a heavy drinking session can significantly affect hormones and wipe out sperm for several months.
KEY NUTRIENTS: Eating to support a healthy state of mind is crucial in your 30s as stress kicks in. If you are burning the candle at both ends, your body will naturally become depleted in B vitamins and magnesium, so make these nutrients a priority by eating plenty of vegetables, nuts, seeds and white fish. If you are thinking about having a baby, it’s also worth upping your zinc intake – good sources include seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Vitamin C is also key for fertility – find it in citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
SUPPLEMENTS: Stress can affect appetite, which may cause deficiencies. Therefore a good-quality multivitamin is worth taking, as is a zinc and B vitamin supplement.
THINK ABOUT: 17% of British men know absolutely nothing about their prostate gland, while 50% don’t know where it is and 92% don’t have a clue what it does. If prostate cancer runs in your family, it’s worth getting yours checked in your mid to late 40s. It’s also worth giving some thought to your weight – with testosterone levels plummeting by 1% every four years after you pass the age of 30, this can take its toll on metabolism-boosting muscle. Try to incorporate strength training into your fitness regime to maintain a healthy body weight and lean muscle mass. If you are overweight, it’s worth getting your cholesterol checked.
KEY NUTRIENTS: The Mediterranean diet is considered to be the gold standard of healthy eating and with good reason – it has been shown to prevent heart disease, protect against type 2 diabetes and increase longevity. Follow its main principles by eating a diet rich in wholegrains, fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, legumes and potatoes. It is also naturally high in fibre, which can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. If you are concerned with prostate health, eat more tomatoes, which are naturally rich in lycopene, a nutrient touted as being prostate-protective. Selenium may also have a role to play – snacking on a few Brazil nuts daily will keep your levels topped up.
SUPPLEMENTS: A good-quality omega-3 supplement can support heart health and brain function, as well as ease joint pain.
THINK ABOUT: Maintaining a healthy body weight and eating a balanced diet is a no brainer once you reach your 50s, given the increased risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of premature death. Keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and consider getting checked for colorectal cancer because your risk also increases with age.
KEY NUTRIENTS: Try to reduce your salt intake, which can lead to high blood pressure – aim for no more than 6g daily. Avoiding processed foods will help cut down your intake; using lemon juice and herbs to flavour food is a clever way to avoid adding extra salt. The latest findings show limiting processed meats can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer – aim for no more than 500g per week to reduce your risk. The same report also said eating three servings of wholegrain foods (oats, brown rice, etc) can also reduce your risk by 17%. While you don’t need to run a marathon or go paleo to keep yourself in good nick, it’s worth being mindful of your fibre intake – fibre has recently been lauded as the new ‘superfood’, proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Aim for at least 30g per day.
SUPPLEMENTS: Nutrients aren’t as easily absorbed as you get older, so consider a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Vitamin B12 can also be an issue for men in their 50s and beyond – if you are suffering from extreme fatigue and a loss in appetite, it could be worth supplementing. Vitamin B12 sprays are a good choice as they bypass the gut to boost absorption.
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