Most of us are pretty busy, which means food on the go always seems convenient and easy. However, these foods usually lack adequate nutrients and vitamins, and are often loaded with sugar, fat, and calories – and as a result, your body may feel like it’s in an endless, tired, eating rut.
Thankfully, Menshealth.com explored the best foods for every part of your body, so you can put down the fries and stop the self-loathing:
Carrots are a healthy snack choice, since they are loaded with Vitamin A which helps balance the pH of your skin’s surface, making it acidic enough to fight off bad bacteria. Even more convincing, the National Cancer Institute researchers found, “people with the highest intakes of carotenoids—pigments that occur naturally in carrots—were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lower intakes.”
Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic reviewed 11 studies on the relationship between iron intake and hair loss and found that low iron levels can lead to baldness. To avoid thinning hair, eat foods that are packed with iron like lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruit, and whole grains.
According to the National Institute of Health, “people who consume the most lutein—a carotenoid found in plant foods—are 43 percent less likely to develop macular degeneration.” Lutein is best known for helping your eyes filter blue light, and preventing it from damaging retinal tissues. Try eating two servings of greens a day, one being a 1/2 cup of cooked spinach, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.
The age old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is actually partly true. Researchers from Cornell University found “that eating one Red Delicious apple a day can block LDL oxidation, resulting in an 8 percent drop in levels.” Apples also contain soluble fiber, which work to scrubs your artery walls clean.
Packed with protein, zinc, and creatine, beef is the perfect food to maximize muscle growth. Try a healthy taco-salad made of extra-lean ground beef, to make sure you’re getting the right amount of raw materials to keep your muscles strong.
It’s important to remember that as we get older your bones do too, so try to drink two 8-oucne glasses of Vitamin D-fortified low-fat milk every day – giving your bones the perfect amount of calcium and Vitamin D they need . Even more beneficial, in a 20-year study, U.K. researchers determined that, “men who drink more than 6 ounces of milk a day have half the risk of stroke of men who drink less.”
If you feel like you’re always in the mood to snack, try reaching for a different treat – one that is low in sugar but rich in protein will be more likely to keep you feeling fuller, longer. Menshealth.com suggests having one slice of hard or semi-hard cheese—for instance, Cheddar, Swiss, or provolone—two or three times a day. Cheese has 7 grams of protein per slice, and contains no sugar, meaning it won’t raise your blood sugar levels so your body will remain in fat-burning mode. Not a fan of cheese? Try a cup of low-fat plain yogurt or a stick of beef jerky instead.
When it comes to getting the most out of your time in the bedroom, a certain amino acid, L-Arginine, could be your new best friend. "L-Arginine works like Viagra by increasing nitric oxide to help relax blood vessels and allow more blood flow to the penis," says Marrena Lindberg, author of The Orgasmic Diet. To get more L-Arginine in your everyday diet try foods also packed with omega-3s, like free-range game, seafood, walnuts, and sesame seeds.
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