10 Vitamins essential to men’s health

By: Health Local Staff Aug 10, 2011
men's vitamins

The top vitamins that men need, and some good sources from which to get them.

In the perfect world, everyone eats enough of the right stuff to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are right for them. Of course, this is not a perfect world, and even the most health conscious folks find it hard to eat everything required to get all the nutrition they need. In addition, studies have shown that women are, by and large, more health conscious than men. As a result, men seem to get even fewer of the foods they need to get the vitamins they need.

While it may seem as though the answer is to just pop a pill, one that’s loaded with all the vitamins your body either isn’t producing enough of or that you’re not getting in your diet, there may be a better solution. Sure it’s easier to open a bottle and get what you need or lack, but with just a few additions or alterations to your diet, you should be able to get what you need in the form of food, which is best. Here is a run down of some of the top 10 vitamins that men need, and some good sources from which to get them.

Vitamin A, found in animal liver, eggs, and cow milk, as well as Beta-carotene-rich vegetables like carrots, cabbage and spinach. Vitamin A is good for your eyesight.

Vitamin B-2/Riboflavin augments your metabolism, and can be found in almonds, as well as milk, spinach and yeast.

Vitamin B-3/Niacin lowers your cholesterol, which means minimizing your risk for strokes and heart attacks. Vitamin B-3 is also good for your skin, and can be found in whole grains and almonds.

Vitamin B-6 works together with the other B Vitamins to impact many parts of your body. It helps make your nervous system run more smoothly. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help those battling with depression and dementia. B-6 in combination with the cocktail of other vitamins helps to regulate the metabolism, which is key in maintaining healthy weight. In addition, it helps with both blood flow and increasing red blood cells. On a general level, it helps decrease risk of things like heart attack, stroke, prostate cancer and seizures. B6 is readily available in many common foods - chicken, beef, avocados, lentils, banana, soybeans (tofu), ham, tuna and potatoes to name a few.

Vitamin B-9/Folic Acid increases sperm count and promotes healthy red blood cell production. Supplementing this Vitamin increases your risk of prostate cancer; therefore it should be consumed in the form of green leafy vegetables and asparagus.

Vitamin B-12 lowers bad cholesterol, thereby preventing heart attacks and stroke. It is essential to the cardiovascular health of both men and women - pretty much anybody who’s got a heart. It can be found in salmon and tuna fish.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and promotes muscle and bone health. It also “does battle” with free radicals, which live for compromising practically everything in your body – skin, ability to fight infection, hair, healthy cells, etc. As such, it is a great booster for you immune system and can be found in most fruits - but especially citrus fruits and berries, coffee and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium, which is essentially to your bones and teeth. It also helps maintain mental health. The most common sources of Vitamin D are sunlight and milk (soymilk as well).

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and reduces the effects and appearance of aging. It can be found in whole grains, nuts and seeds - especially flax seeds. It is not recommended that Vitamin E be taken as a supplement, because it is fat soluble and will remain in your system, making it dangerously easy to overdose.

Vitamin K strengthens your bones, reduces your risk for cancer and promotes vascular health. It can be found in broccoli, spinach and soy products.

Much of the information out there in regards to vitamins for men is about multivitamins. This is because manufacturers who make them bank on knowing it’s easier to pop a pill than eat real food.  By eating properly and getting plenty of exercise and sleep, you really don’t need to take a vitamin. Nature has this incredible way of making sure she takes care of most of your health needs.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.