Over 50? Boost your testosterone with these foods

Women go through menopause, but men also go through their own process of changes called andropause.

What is andropause?  Andropause is the change of life that men experience, usually between the ages of 40 and 60. It involves a slow decline in testosterone levels in men. This drop in sex hormones and advancing age bring a lower metabolism, an enlarged prostate and an increased risk for cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis and other diseases. The hormonal changes can affect a man’s sex life, mood, sleep, energy level, concentration and prostate health.

The best foods for men over 50 are foods that can help you deal with all these changes your body is going through as you grow older. It is important to eat the right foods to help boost your mental acuity, manage your health problems and increase your energy. Consuming a variety of healthful foods full of antioxidants can strengthen your immunity and help you age better as well as feel better. It is also vital to eat a lot fiber to keep your digestive track running regularly and protect your bowel health. Following are the best foods for men over 50.

Berries And Apples

All men over 50 should try to eat one cup of berries every day.

All berries are good for men, but blueberries and acai berries have the highest levels of antioxidants and are especially good for brain health. Berries are high in fiber and vitamin C. Berries, apples and tea contain flavonoids called anthocyanins: A Harvard study found that anthocyanins are especially beneficial to men in preventing Parkinson’s disease.

Apples and berries also contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It is beneficial for symptoms of an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer, a condition that commonly affects aging men.

Red And Orange Fruits And Vegetables

Red and orange fruits and vegetable are generally high in beta-carotene, which can help your immune system fight cancer and other diseases.

Some top foods for aging men include:

  • Bell peppers: High in vitamin C.
  • Pomegranates: Good for prostate health and fighting cancer.
  • Tomatoes: Contain Lycopene for prostate health.
  • Beets: Support sexual health.
  • Carrots: Good for the skin, easing inflammation and fighting cancer.
  • Sweet potatoes: May lower the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and heart attack.
  • Chili peppers: Improve metabolism, thin blood and help mood.

Nutty Health Benefits

Nuts are considered among the top foods for men over 50. They all are good for your heart.

The best nuts include:

  • Almonds: Improve sleep and mood.
  • Brazil nuts: Are among the superfoods for prostate health.
  • Walnuts: Have anti-inflammatory properties that help muscles. Plus, there are benefits of walnuts in fighting prostate cancer.
  • Pistachios: May lower cholesterol and improve erectile function.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage and radishes are some of the best foods for aging men. They help prevent bladder cancer and other types of cancer (especially when eaten raw), and they are high in fiber. Some studies have shown that eating vegetables can reduce prostate cancer progression.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Dark green vegetables can improve your brain health and sexual health. The lutein in spinach can even increase blood flow to the penis, helping with erectile function, a condition often influenced by heart health and low T.

Green leafy vegetables contain folic acid and potassium. They are also high in calcium and other micronutrients that are beneficial for your bones. Leafy green vegetables can reduce your risk for aggressive prostate cancer.

Beans

Beans are among the top 10 natural cancer killers.

White kidney beans are the best for killing cancer cells. Black beans are especially good for brain health. A Loma Linda University study reported that people who ate beans at least three times a week experienced a 33 percent reduced risk of colon polyps (which often lead to colon cancer). High in fiber and protein, beans have many benefits for aging men.

Whole Grains 

Whole grains are important for men over 50. The fiber — found in whole grains like oatmeal, barley, brown rice and wheat — calms inflamed tissues and helps keep the colon and heart healthy. Oatmeal can help lower cholesterol.

Your body may digest whole grains more slowly than it absorbs refined grains. That helps to control blood sugar and insulin levels. Consuming at least 5 grams of fiber from whole-grain cereals each day can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart, prostate and brain health.

Omega-3s are found in:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts

Flaxseed is a high-fiber mood lifter. Be sure to buy only wild salmon and avoid farmed salmon.

Drink Green Tea

Drink several cups of green tea every day to lower the risk of prostate and other cancers. Green tea is good for your brain; it helps lower cholesterol; and it provides cardiovascular benefits by improving blood flow. In a Swiss study, MRIs showed that drinking green tea provided greater activity in the working-memory area of people’s brains. Green tea also helps block formation of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy Fats

Aging men need heart-healthy oils such as olive oil, seeds, nuts and avocado. Besides improving heart health, a study on heart-healthy food for prostate cancer showed that healthy fats slowed progression of cancer and increased men’s survival. Other benefits of these oils include reducing inflammation for cells and joints.

Spice Up Your Life

There are spices for your food that have many health benefits. Curcumin, derived from turmeric, is common in Indian foods. It is helpful in fighting tumors including prostate tumors. It has anti-inflammatory properties beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, prostatitis and other inflammatory conditions. Curcumin is included in formulations for prostate health like Prost-P10x, which contains quercetin.

Other flavorful foods with health benefits for men over 50 include cinnamon and garlic. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, helps relieve arthritis pain and boosts cognitive function and memory. Garlic may reduce your risk for BPH, boost immune function and reduce the risk for several kinds of cancer.

Counting Calories

Even if you know what you should be eating, you may be unsure of how many calories do you need each day. Consuming too many can lead to weight gain and obesity, risk factors for a long list of health problems.

Aside from increasing your risk for enlarged prostate and heart disease, obesity hurts your joints. Have too much body fat can affect your hormone balance by increasing your estrogen and lowering your testosterone. That shift can further damage your heart health.

General daily calorie guidelines for Men over 50:

  • Not active: about 2,000 calories.
  • Moderately active: 2,200-2,400 calories.
  • Active: 2,400-2,800 calories.

It is important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. You can break it up into 10-minute increments. Choose activities that promote endurance, balance, flexibility and strength. Good choices include swimming, biking, walking, jogging, weight lifting, aerobics and yoga. It is important to find activities you love to do and build them into your schedule so you don’t neglect them.

The right diet-and-exercise plan improves your body as you age. And when you feel better and have good health, you can enjoy your life more easily.

The right foods for aging also help you think better, prevent disease and manage any conditions you already have so you can feel your best.

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Dr. Geo Espinosa

By Dr. Geo Espinosa

Dr. Geo Espinosa is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and certified functional medicine practitioner recognized as an authority in holistic urology and men’s health. He is Clinical Assistant Professor and holistic clinician in Urology at New York University Langone Medical Center. As an avid researcher and writer, Dr. Geo has authored numerous scientific papers and books including co-editing the Integrative Sexual Health book, and author of the best selling prostate cancer book: Thrive, Don't Only Survive.