SECRETS FOR SEXY, HEALTHY MEN
TAKE A TIME OUT. Getting into the Zen of the present moment reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases energy, and improves memory and immunity. A relaxed man also has better sex. Slow down for just 10-20 minutes a few days a week: try deep, belly breathing; getting outdoors for a walk (without your headphones); taking a yoga class; or checking out a meditation app, our favorite is Headspace.
LMAO. Here’s a good excuse to go to a comedy club with the guys: Laughing eases stress, promotes social bonding, and lowers blood pressure. It may even boost your immune system. So bring some humor into your life, whether it’s with friends, a funny book, or a movie.
POWER-UP THE MORNING. Skipping breakfast may make you feel lethargic and give you middle-of-the-day cravings for sugar and other foods that will expand your waistline. A balanced breakfast–say, a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins, walnuts, and a dash of flax seed, plus a side of eggs–will rev-up your metabolism and maintain your energy. Plus, fiber in your daily diet regulates digestion and can moderate inflammation, cut your risk for diabetes, and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
POUR A CUP OF GREEN. Drinking a few cups of green tea each day can improve memory and cognition in men. Rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols, green tea is also credited with boosting immunity, firing up your metabolism, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. High-quality gunpowder green tea will be rolled tightly into small pellets that maintain their shape regardless of time in storage. Try Ceylon Organic Gunpowder Green Tea.
EAT A RAINBOW. Every meal should include a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can reap the health benefits. Vibrantly colored produce is packed with flavonoids and carotenoids, powerful compounds that help reduce inflammation. Antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens may be some of the best cancer-preventing foods. They also help with weight management and regulate digestion.
HIT THE SACK. Jimmy Fallon might be funny, but the late hours won’t do much for your health. The number of hours of sleep needed varies for everyone. What’s most important is the quality of sleep you get. If you feel refreshed and ready for the day when you wake, then you’re getting good sleep. If you don’t, it’s time to change your pre-bedtime habits: Turn off digital devices an hour before bedtime, keep your phone off and out of your bedroom; eat your last meal before 7 p.m.; stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule and … watch Jimmy the next day while you’re working out.
SEX IT UP. A relaxed, well-rested man has better sex. In turn, sex can make you look and feel younger, reduce stress, boost immunity, enhance sleep, protect against prostate cancer, and improve cardiovascular health. Some studies even suggest a link between the frequency and enjoyment of sex with longevity. Yes sir, sex just might help you live longer.
Your wellness provider can help keep you in good health, but the responsibility ultimately falls on you. Check in with your doc once a year for cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, and a prostate exam and colonoscopy (if needed). There are not many cancers that we can either prevent or detect early enough to make a difference, but these are two. After all, you’re worth it, right?
- Authority Nutrition “10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea.” Accessed April 2015.
- Chang, A., et al.”Evening Use of Light-emitting eReaders Negatively Affects Sleep, Circadian Timing, and Next-morning Alertness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 4 (January 27, 2015): 1232-1237
- Glaucoma Research Foundation. “A Guide to Sunglasses.” Reviewed April 16, 2013.
- Monash University “The Health Benefits of Meditation and Being Mindful.” Accessed April 2015.
- Talking About Men’s Health “Secret to Better Sex? Get Better Sleep!” March 25, 2015.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT. . .
RED MEAT THE HEALTHY WAY
We have been conditioned to believe that we need to eat meat with every meal. However, the fact is that most Americans get enough protein in their diets. Reducing meat consumption has many benefits. If you find yourself eating meat with every meal, try limiting your meat consumption to a few times a week. Nuts, sprouted mung beans and chickpeas are a great meat protein alternative. Beef, lamb, and venison provide quality protein, B-vitamins, iron, and zinc. Depending on the cut, meat can be low in fat. When buying meat, pay attention to the source, cut, processing, and preparation method.
PROCESSING. Meat can go through a variety of processing to create what may be some of your favorite foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, deli meat. Read the labels to understand exactly what is added to these products. The more words that look like chemical names, the more processing the meat has gone through and the less nutrient dense it will be. Avoid these types of meat products. Rule of thumb: If you can’t pronounce it and you don’t know what it is, then it doesn’t belong in your food.
CUT. The leanest cuts of meat tend to have the word “loin” in the name: sirloin, tenderloin, pork loin. Also good options are round and bottom round, chuck shoulder steaks, filet mignon, flank steak, bone-in rib chops, lamb loin, and 90-95% lean ground beef.
PORTION SIZE. Three to four ounces, or about the size your palm for a burger patty, steak, or chop.
PREPARATION. Grilled steak is a favorite for many people, but the compounds that form when meat is cooked at very high heat have been linked to the disease process in many animal studies. Enjoy grilled meats occasionally; more often, choose gentler cooking methods such as braising, stewing, and steaming. If you grill or broil, flip the meat frequently, and don’t set it right on the flame. Our favorite way of cooking meat is on a pan with coconut oil, on very low heat. Low heat is the key to cooking tender delicious meat.
BEEFY ALTERNATIVES. Bison/buffalo and venison are lower in saturated fat than beef, high in protein, and good sources of vitamins and minerals as long as they are organic. If you are vegan or vegetarian, pea and hemp protein as well as sprouted mung beans are great protein sources.
- Authority Nutrition website. “Authority Nutrition.“
- Cooking Light. “The Grass-fed Vs. Grain-fed Cattle Debate.” March 29, 2011.
- Micha, R., S. Wallace, and D. Mozaffarian. “Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk of Incident Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Abstract. Epidemiology and Prevention 121 (May 17, 2010): 2271-2283.
- SF Gate. “Healthy Cooking with Red Meat.” Accessed April 2015.
- Web MD. “The Truth about Red Meat.” Reviewed August 29, 2011.
RECIPE: SIMPLE GRILLED VENISON BURGERS
- 1 lb. ground venison
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
Gently combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a fork. Do not overwork the meat or it will give you very tough burgers. Shape into four large patties and grill over medium-high heat until medium well, about 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and the heat of your grill.
These are absolutely perfect topped with a slice of raw unpasteurized cheese and fresh organic tomatoes.
Source: Brittany’s Pantry. “Simple Grilled Venison Burgers.”
HERBS FOR BOOSTING THE MALE LIBIDOAL
Keep in mind that herbs work synergistically with the body. Healthy dietary and lifestyle practices need to be in place or the body will not be able to make optimal use of herbal remedies. Herbs may take several weeks before beneficial effects will be noticed. Some herbs should not be taken with other medicines–consult with your personal wellness practitioner before trying any herbal tonic.
SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens) is widely used in Europe and, in the U.S., it is the most popular adjunct herbal treatment for symptoms of enlarged prostate. It has been recommended as an alternative treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Saw palmetto is nourishing to the endocrine (hormone regulating) system, which includes the sex hormones and may be the mechanism by which it helps improve overall reproductive function in men.
PYGEUM (Pygeum africanum) is derived from the African plum tree and has been studied in small clinical trials for its effects on prostate cancer cells and symptoms associated with benign prostate hypertrophy. It also is used in traditional medicine to boost sexual performance and treat lower urinary tract infections.
MACA ROOT (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian “super food” rich in phytonutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and fatty acids. Scientifically speaking, it is an adaptogen, meaning its properties help boost the body’s natural resistance to disease. In traditional medicine, Maca is used to balance endocrine system function, including male and female sex hormones. In animal and human clinical trials, Maca is being studied for its effectiveness on sexual desire, hormone levels, and sexual performance.
DAMIANA (Turnera aphrodisiaca and Turnera diffusa). Damiana leaves have been used as an aphrodisiac and to boost sexual potency by the native peoples of Mexico, including the Mayan Indians. It stimulates the intestinal tract, brings oxygen to the genital area, and increases energy levels which does a lot to restore libido and desire.
- Kotta, S., S. Ansari, and J. Ali. “Exploring Scientifically Proven Herbal Aphrodisiacs.” Pharmacognosy Review 7, no. 13 (Jan-June 2013): 1-10.
- Mayo Clinic. “Saw Palmetto.” Updated November 1, 2013.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Pygeum.” Accessed April 2015.
- Natural Fertility Info. “Top 5 Herbs for the Male Reproductive System.” Accessed April 2015.
- Damiana Benefits. herbwisdom.com
HE SHOU WU (Polygonum multiflorum)
Out of about 10,000 Chinese medicinal plants, He Shou Wu (HSW) is one of the most highly regarded herbal tonics for health and longevity for men as well as women. HSW is the prepared tuberous root of Polygonum multiflorum, a plant that grows in the mountains of central and southern China.
TCM physicians have long documented the effect of the herb on the vitality of the reproductive system, the hair and skin, brain and nervous system, and the immune system. A primary tonic in Chinese herbalism, in healthy individuals, HSW helps promote healthy aging, supports the youthful condition and color of the hair, and supports the vitality of sperm and ova.
Even though HSW has been an important remedy in TCM for thousands of years, only in recent years has the herb come under the microscope in scientific studies*. International researchers are examining the ancient claims that Polygonum multiflorum has chemical and medicinal properties pertinent to health and healing.
Areas of research include examining the effects of HSW on conditions such as alopecia, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, cancer, immune function, brain and nervous system conditions, and chronic fatigue.
More than 100 chemical compounds have been isolated from this plant, and the major components have been determined to be stilbenes, quinones, flavonoids, and others. Crude extracts and pure compounds of this plant are used as effective agents in preclinical and clinical practice due to their anti-aging, anti-hyperlipidaemia, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory effects and to promote immunomodulation, neuroprotection, and the curing of other diseases. However, the herb can reach toxic levels if not used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Many factors can affect the quality of HSW, including how it is harvested, prepared, and method of ingestion (extract, tea, powder). Consult with your wellness practitioner before taking this herbal supplement. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Polygonum multiflorum, as the safety of this supplement has not been evaluated during pregnancy. Additionally, avoid taking this supplement if you have liver disease or are scheduled to undergo surgery.
*To date, there are few controlled clinical trials on effectiveness or safety in human populations.
- Dragon Herbs.”He Shou Wu.” Accessed April 2015.
- Institute for Traditional Medicine.”He Shou Wu.” Accessed April 2015.
- Lin, L., et al. “Traditional Usages, Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology of Polygonum Multiflorum Thunb.: A Review.” Abstract. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 159 (January 15, 2015): 158-83.
TAKE A HIKE
HIKING SAFETY AND FITNESS BOOSTING TIPS
PACK RIGHT. Use a day pack that properly fits your torso so the extra weight you carry (snacks, water, maps, first aid) won’t cause discomfort. If you aren’t properly fitted for a pack, you could risk injury to the back and hips.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Most trail systems have online maps that indicate degree of difficulty and trail conditions. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. It’s always possible for a GPS to lose its signal or battery strength, so carry a paper copy with you. Check the weather; dress and pack accordingly.
BUDDY-UP. A partner or group can help you navigate and assist if you get hurt.
START SLOW. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills, rugged terrain, or higher elevation.
USE POLES. Poles propel you forward and engage upper body muscles, which gives a more vigorous workout.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Keep tabs on your water and fatigue level. Stay on marked trails.
- American Hiking Society. “A Step in the Right Direction: The Health Benefits of Hiking and Trails.” Accessed April 2015.
- Barton, J., and J. Pretty. “What Is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis.” Abstract. Environmental Science & Technology 44, no. 10 (May 15, 2010): 3947-3955.
- Gladwell, V.F., D.K. Brown, C. Wood, et al. “The Great Outdoors: How a Green Exercise Environment Can Benefit All.” Extreme Physiology and Medicine 2 (January 3, 2013).
First Do not Harm
Identify and Treat the cause
Healing Power of Nature
Doctor as Teachers
Treat the Whole
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