Men's Health

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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3

We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the benefits of omega-3 range from protecting your heart, brain and eyes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation. The definitive list of omega-3 benefits would certainly be a long one - there are tens of thousands of academic studies of the benefits of omega-3 intake. We take a look at some surprising, lesser known benefits of omega-3.  

1. Omega-3 may help sleep

Recent research from Oxford University has produced a number of fascinating insights into the importance of a particular type of omega-3 and children's learning. In these studies, children with low levels of 'DHA' (a specific type of omega-3) scored significantly worse on tests for memory, behaviour, concentration, reading and numeracy than children who had sufficient DHA levels. Furthermore, the researchers consequently noted that increasing DHA levels in the children with low DHA by using a DHA supplement helped them improve their performance and bridge the gap to their peers. Increasing DHA levels increased learning outcomes. What does this have to do with sleep? The Oxford team have recently expanded on their study. Their most recent results show that low DHA levels also can lead to poor sleep in children.  Giving a DHA  supplement to the children in the study with low DHA levels improved the quality of their sleep.  

2. Omega-3 may support male fertility

A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship  between omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in fertile and infertile men. Fertile men tended to have higher omega-3 levels than infertile men. Further research is required to consolidate and expand on these findings. However, the results from the study do echo the findings of several animal studies in rats and guppies - both animal studies showed a link between fertility and omega-3 levels.  

3. Omega-3s may protect ageing brains

From the University of Maryland's overview of omega-3 research: "A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against age related cognitive decline."  

4. Omega-3s may support stronger bones.

Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D may not be the only nutrients for supporting strong bones. Several studies have looked at the relationship between omega-3 intake and bone density. Whilst further research is required, there is preliminary evidence to suggest there may be a link between omega-3 levels and maintaining bone density over time.  

5. Omega-3 may help menstrual pain

Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests women who take fish oil during menstruation may experience a decline in menstrual pain.
Foods For Healthy Sperm
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Foods For Healthy Sperm

There are a number of environmental, physical and psychological factors that can have an effect on sperm health. However, did you know that what you eat (and what you don't eat) can increase sperm count and sperm motility? Use the below tips to change up your diet to increase your chances of having healthy sperm.

 Foods For Healthy Sperm

If you are planning a family and have had some trouble conceiving, you may need to consult a health professional. However, before you resort to medical treatment, there are some simple things you can do to give your reproductive cells the best chance of doing their job by eating a diet of sperm-boosting foods and avoiding things that are detrimental to sperm health. Try the following - with a little bit of time, they can increase overall health and lead to better probability of conceiving.

For Healthy Sperm, Eat More:

1. Vitamins

Deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to sluggish sperm and lowered fertility. Eat plenty of red peppers, oats, carrots, dried apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach and broccoli to give you a vitamin A boost.

Vitamin C, found in good amounts in strawberries, asparagus, fruit and yellow veggies, has a positive effect on sperm viability and motility (the swimming ability of sperm).

Vitamins C, E and B12 are also great antioxidants that can help boost sperm production and motility by fighting harmful free radicals.

A good multivitamin supplement is a great idea if you feel that you’re not getting enough of the sperm-supporting vitamins from your regular diet. Whilst getting your nutrients from diet is important, taking a multivitamin is one way to top up any nutritional shortcomings in your diet.

2. Minerals

Inadequate levels of zinc can cause lowered sperm counts. Natural sources of this mineral include eggs, turkey, oysters, seafood, pumpkin seeds, beef, oats, lamb, yoghurt, nuts and barley. Selenium is also thought to be beneficial to sperm motility and health. You can get it by eating Brazil nuts, red meat, cottage cheese, poultry and eggs. If you don't think you are getting enough zinc or selenium, a multivitamin may help. However, be sure to stick within the recommended dose, as high levels of both these minerals can become toxic.

3. Fatty acids

Studies have shown that fertile men’s sperm tend to contain greater amounts of polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, than that of infertile men. They’re found in walnuts, chia seeds, omega-3 supplements like calamari oil and fish like anchovies, sardines and salmon.

4. Folic acid

Some men who have been taking dietary supplements containing folic acid in combination with zinc have experienced increases in sperm counts of as much as 70% and research suggests that men with low folic acid levels tend to have more sperm cells with chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities. Keep your levels up by eating leafy green veggies, whole grain foods, avocados, beans and fruit.

5. Lycopene

Lycopene, a bright red carotene found in tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, watermelons and paw paw, has been shown to help increase sperm count.

6. Water

By drinking plenty of water throughout the day you can counteract dehydration, which is one of the main factors associated with low semen volume.

For healthy sperm, eat less:

1. Pesticide-laced fruit and veg

Chemical pesticides can remain on the foods you buy from the shop and are known to have detrimental effects on sperm health and fertility. Always wash fresh produce thoroughly before eating it, or better yet, go organic.

2. Canned food

Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical found in some plastics has been linked to decreased sperm health and many researchers believe that our biggest exposure to it comes from food packaging. The insides of many food and beverage cans are coated with BPA-containing resin and especially high levels are found in canned acidic foods including certain fruits and tomato sauce. Choose fresh food and food bottled in glass containers rather than canned items.

3. Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can damage sperm. Keep your intake to moderate levels when you’re trying to be fertile.

4. Saturated fats

Research suggests that a diet high in saturated and mono-unsaturated fats, such as those found in bacon, processed meats, sausages, ham and butter, can lead to poor sperm health.

Other assorted sperm killers

There a number of other every-day substances and practices that are no good for your sperm, such as:

1. Drugs 

A number of drugs, both recreational and medicinal, are known to have harmful effects on sperm. These include opiates, steroids and cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatment. Alcohol abuse can lead to infertility... if you must drink, do so in moderation.

2. Smoking

Smokers have been shown to have diminished fertility compared to non-smokers.

3. Temperature

As unbelievable as it may sound, high temperatures can have a negative effect on sperm production. Hot baths and showers, wearing excessive underwear and even sitting for prolonged periods (for example, sitting in traffic or at a desk) may have a detrimental effect on sperm production.

4. Clothing

Tight underpants, especially ones made of synthetic materials have been linked to infertility. Wear boxers made of cotton that allow some freedom of movement instead.

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This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on male health, visit www.health365.com.au.

3 Superfoods For Men's Health
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3 Superfoods For Men's Health

You may scoff at the term 'superfoods', but believe us when we say ..
Liver Detox 120s
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Liver Detox 120s

Nature’s Way Liver Detox with Lecithin is a complete liver health formula with ancient herbs traditionally used in herbal medicine to support liver function and to help relieve indigestion and bloating.
Rest and Restore Night Multivitamin for Men
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5 Benefits of CoQ10
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5 Benefits of CoQ10

CoQ10 (co-enzyme Q10) is a substance found in our body that is critical in energy production and there is a mounting body of evidence to show that it is important for a number of other things, including maintaining a healthy heart. CoQ10 is found naturally in our body, but our body's ability to synthesize CoQ10 declines with age. Further, some blood pressure and cholesterol medications can reduce your body's CoQ10 levels. Therefore, as you age, actively trying to top up your CoQ10 levels may support better heart health.  

5 Benefits of CoQ10

 

1. CoQ10 might help prevent heart failure

Early evidence suggests that low CoQ10 levels are associated with increased risk fo heart failure.  

2. CoQ10 might help prevent high blood pressure

Preliminary studies suggest increasing CoQ10 levels may help manage high blood pressure. Further studies are required.  

3. CoQ10 might help migraine sufferers

A 2005 study suggests that participants taking 100mg of CoQ10 three times daily significantly reduced migraine frequency when compared to the control group who took a placebo. More research is required to replicate the findings.  

4. CoQ10 helps energy production

CoQ10 plays an important role in a process known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) synthesis. ATP is one of the most critical substances in cellular energy production. People with low CoQ10 levels may experience fatigue, and increasing CoQ10 levels has - over time - been shown to increase energy production and reduce fatigue in these same people.  

5. CoQ10 might help exercise performance.

Although further research is required, a small handful of preliminary studies suggest there may be a link between CoQ10 and strength and endurance among athletes.
5 Superfoods For Your Heart
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5 Superfoods For Your Heart

Keeping your heart healthy is as much about putting the right nutrients in to your body as it is about keeping the wrong substances out.  Foods that contain saturated fats, salt and high levels of processed sugar are all "No-no's" (as is smoking). If you are concerned about your heart, eating well and avoiding the above foods and toxins may help. Eating more of the below 5 superfoods for a healthy heart may also be of benefit to overall heart health. Looking after your heart is serious business. As this article is being written, heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia. If you have serious concerns about heart health, talking to your doctor should be your first step. Eating the foods below may help support your heart, but just eating these foods and neglecting other lifestyle factors that can contribute to heart problems will not guarantee a healthy heart.  

5 Superfoods For Your Heart

 

1. Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Omega-3 may also help reduce inflammation of blood vessels and reduce blood clotting. Try our Chia-Crusted Salmon recipe for a tasty, healthy way to get more salmon into your diet.  

2. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are - like salmon - rich in omega-3. In fact, on a pund-for-pound basis, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon. Furthermore, chia seeds are rich in fibre. Diets high in fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease. Try our Chia Cacao Coconut Cluster recipe for a treat that you won't believe is heart-healthy.  

3. Tofu and/or Soy Milk

Both of these food sources contain niacin, folate, calcium magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are crtitical to help support the heart. Try our Banana Split Smoothie recipe - a delicious way to drink soy milk and top up fibre, protein and antioxidants.  

4. Acai

Acai is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for helping prevent potential cellular damage caused by free radicals - unstable molecules that are present in our body and attack cells in an effort to stabilise themselves. This damage can cause inflammation, and antioxidants can thus protect our body from the inflammation. Inflammation can be an aggravating factor in heart disease. Preliminary studies also suggest acai may be helpful for reducing blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. Try our Acai Berry Breakfast recipe for a heart healthy start to the date.  

5. Cacao

You may have heard of studies that suggest a potential link between daily (dark) chocolate consumption and heart health. This link is likely because dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) is rich in polyphenols: substances that can help reduce clotting, blood pressure and inflammation. What you may not know is that dark chocolate, and the cocoa used to make it, are actually the nutritionally inferior by-products of raw cacao. Raw cacao is rich in a number of nutrients that are critical for supporting heart health. It is the base ingredient used to make cocoa / dark chocolate (cacao is processed and cooked to turn it into cocoa, whihc is then processed further to create dark chocolate. This processing and cooking destroys much of the original nutritional content, so choosing cacao over cocoa is a good idea). Try our Choc Chilli Cacao Mousse recipe for a decadent, heart-friendly dessert. ------ This article is presented by our online health partner Health365. To buy Nature's Way Superfoods online, visit www.health365.com.au/shop.
How To Lose Your Beer Belly
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How To Lose Your Beer Belly

A beer belly used to be a mark of the great Australian larrikin. ..
Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin 50+
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Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin 50+

Do you feel worn out, fatigued or not 100%? You may be going to bed stressed, which may cause sleep problems, resulting in feeling tired the next day. Rest & Restore Night Multivitamin 50+ is formulated to help you physically unwind by helping to relax your muscles and mind so that you don't take your stress to bed. It also restores your body while you sleep.