In an ideal world, we all would consume organic, very low-processed, and nutrient-rich diets full of all types of food with all the required vitamins we need. But this may not always be possible or realistic for a lot of men, giving room for common nutrient deficiencies and health issues to occur.
A lot of people assume vitamin deficiencies as a third world problem in the 21st century. However, research tells us that the top vitamins for men are not even consumed in the developed nations.
A lot of men eating a standard “western diet” today are experiencing at least one form of nutrient or vitamin deficiency. This is mainly due to the consumption of a diet low in vitamin-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
In 2009, a report by the NBC News mentioned how 77 percent of the men fail to take enough magnesium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D in their diets.
Make no mistake, men are as much susceptible to these deficiencies as women. Resolving these deficiencies and getting more nutrients may help improve various aspects of a man’s health.
This can improve the muscle strength, lead to a faster metabolism and fat loss, provide more energy, and improve sexual performance. It may make them sleep better and prevent them from diseases like a heart attack and the cancer of the prostate.
This is why it is extremely important to get as many vitamins as possible, even for men. But which of these vitamins should be prioritized? Keep reading to know the answer.
Vitamin D deficiency is considered one of the most common deficiencies in both adult women and men. According to an estimate, about 45 to 75 percent of the adult population in the United States suffer from at least some degree of this deficiency.
This is particularly true for people living in cold climates who like spending most of their time indoors.
Men require vitamin D3 to make a sufficient amount of testosterone. It also helps them maintain stronger bones and protects their brain. Vitamin D3 also reduces the risk of several mood disorders like depression and can control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Vitamin D3 has an important role to play in lowering inflammation. Due to this effect, it is said that men with a vitamin D deficiency are 80 percent more likely to develop a heart attack as compared to those with no deficiency.
Vitamin D3 can be obtained by consuming certain foods like eggs, certain types of mushrooms, and some dairy products. However, you can get the major share of this vitamin from being exposed to sunlight, while avoiding any sunscreen.
If you spend 15 to 20 minutes outside during most of the days every week, the production of vitamin D in your body gets triggered. Moreover, exposure to sunlight also makes your body undergo detoxification.
During colder months when you are not able to go outside regularly, consider using supplements to avoid any deficiency.
A lot of men and women tend to have lower levels of vitamin B12 in their blood, for different reasons, though. Scientists have proven that most of the men meet their daily requirements of vitamin B12 by eating food like eggs, poultry, and beef.
However, these men tend to face problems during the absorption of this vitamin. These problems usually occur due to the use of certain medications. The problem is particularly more evident in older men using different prescription drugs at the same time.
Medicines like acid-blocking agents and those consumed to regulate blood pressure or blood sugar can interfere with the normal metabolism of B12. This can consequently lead to a B12 deficiency and cause excessive fatigue and problems of the central nervous system.
Considering the importance of vitamin B12 and the issues created because of its deficiency, it is crucial for men to take it in their daily diet.
A report issued by the Harvard Medical School has stated that various estimates show around 3-4 percent of all the adults have a severe deficiency of vitamin B12. About 20 percent of this population has a borderline deficiency which can still be risky.
Now that you know how important it is to obtain vitamin B12, how can you get it naturally?
Try eating animal proteins such as beef, lamb, and salmon. If you avoid eating most of these animal products or all of them altogether, it is better that you get yourself tested for an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency.
You should also undergo immediate testing if you are taking any medicine on a regular basis.
Antioxidant Vitamins (Vitamins A, C, & E)
Eating a diet rich in various antioxidant foods such as vegetables and fruits, particularly the leafy green veggies like kale, spinach, or collard greens, is a great habit for men. This is because these foods are rich in protective antioxidants like vitamin A and C.
These fat-soluble vitamins cannot be manufactured by your body. So, you can only take them via diet. The biggest benefit of taking these vitamins is that they help fight the free radicals which would otherwise cause oxidative stress and trigger radical damage.
Free radicals can also speed up the process of aging. They can put men at an increased risk of various problems like cognitive decline, cancer, heart diseases, and vision loss.
As men age, consuming the antioxidant vitamins can help protect their body cells, avoid cell mutations, and suppress tumor growth. They can also reduce muscle wasting and prevent tissue loss and artery damage.
Poor vision together with dry, irritated skin can be a sign that you are suffering from a deficiency of vitamin A or E. On the other hand, vitamin C deficiency expresses itself in the form of a weakened immune system, swollen gums, frequently falling sick, and nosebleeds.
So, ensure that you “eat a rainbow”worth of various colorful vitamin C foods, fruits, and vegetables. Also, add nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds and almonds in your diet to get extra benefits from vitamin E.
All the benefits that you obtain from these vitamins will go a long way in lowering your risk of different issues like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and skin damage.
Vitamin K is an important vitamin for building and maintenance of strong bones. It helps in blood clotting and prevents heart diseases. The deficiency of this vitamin is currently the No.1 cause of deaths among adult men of the United States and many other nations.
But why would a man be deficient in this vitamin?
Vitamin K deficiency is often seen in men who do not consume dairy products or veggies on a daily basis. It may also occur in those taking antibiotics for a long period of time or men with intestinal issues like IBS or IBD.
Vitamin K1 is abundantly found in many green veggies whereas vitamin K2 exists in almost every dairy product. The best way to prevent developing a vitamin K deficiency is to eat a lot of veggies such as broccoli, leafy vegetables, cabbage, and collards.
Don’t forget to eat some wild-caught fish and cage-free eggs as well.