Men’s Health: Staying Young, Strong, and Pain-Free!
Do you remember when you could shoot hoops until the wee hours or play a round of 18 holes without feeling the effects the next morning? When I could no longer do that it was a rude awakening for me, and a reminder of the importance of taking care of myself and making the most of each day. But what if I told you that as you “age,” you could prevent sagging skin (don’t laugh, guys in your twenties and thirties), memory lapses, and high cholesterol? Trust me, I’m one year away from the big 60 and I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been!
Eating to stay young
The food you eat affects every cell in your body. To live life well at each stage, I suggest incorporating the following:
Limit your overall sugar consumption. Sugar literally cannibalizes the necessary ingredients that help reduce pain and inflammation in your body. Know this word: Glycation. It is the name of the inflammatory process caused by the sugar/protein combination of sugar and dairy, and can cause premature wrinkles in your skin.
Add zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B to your daily supplements. They help create two fatlike tissue hormones called prostaglandins, known as PG1 and PG2, for natural pain relief.
Foods with prostaglandins help reduce pain. A few good ones are kale, Swiss chard, green beans, and asparagus.
Add an omega-3 oil (sourced from ocean-caught anchovies or sardines) or flaxseed oil. If you add flaxseed oil, you’ll get the best results by taking one tablespoon per one hundred pounds of body weight to relieve pain and inflammation. (Do not combine aspirin or blood-thinning medication with flaxseed or marine-based oils).
Speaking of pain, it has been suggested that nearly 86 million Americans woke up with pain. Were you one of them? From my experience I’ve seen that the cause of the chronic pain that compromises your golf and batting swing is a physiologic reflex in your body called “viscerosomatic reflex” (VSR). Viscero pertains to your organs and glands, while somatic relates to muscle.
The VSR in your neck and mid-back region may be caused by an overworked pancreas—yes, your pancreas—which is striving to preserve cellular integrity by attempting to shut itself off. In order to help your pancreas, sugar should be limited: and that includes bananas, pineapples, and grapes.
If I remember correctly, I said I would discuss how to prevent memory lapses. I have noticed that memory-related conditions are actually a four-part process: Pain leads to poor posture, which leads to lack of oxygen, which leads to poor memory.
If you are one of the 86 million suffering from pain, there’s a strong possibility it is affecting your memory as well. Mid-back and neck pain can create collateral damage by restricting your intent to stand up straight.
Real talk time—have you noticed your height may be shorter when you look in the mirror? Are your pant legs getting a little long and baggy? Having erect posture is critical for full expansion of your lungs and the release of oxygen. If your ear is in front of the imaginary plumb line bisecting your mid shoulder from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, the result is poor oxygenation.
Recently I have had patients whose parents are “shrinking” and have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lack of oxygen to the body and brain. These patients are themselves becoming aware of their own memory lapses. So how can you determine if your posture is affecting your memory?
Have your spouse or friend take a side picture of you with your smartphone.
Look at your ear. Is it directly over your shoulder? Every inch your ear is “forward” of the line bisecting your shoulder increases the weight your neck has to support by up to 12 pounds.
Poor posture results in impaired oxygenation. If you want more energy and less pain, stand up straight!
Another observation of mine that affects men’s health at every age, and more so recently, is estrogen saturation. (And you thought having pain was enough!)
Today estrogen is found in car leather, linings, water from your faucet, and herbicides on your lawn and golf fairways. Unfortunately, men are impacted by estrogen because they don’t have the metabolic pathways to process the amount of estrogen they’re exposed to. Excessive estrogen can result in an enlarged prostate and low libido.
Your body part that is most affected by the excess estrogen is the liver. It needs to function optimally to clear the estrogen and have normal cholesterol. Have you noticed small red bumps on your skin? They’re called cherry hemangiomas, and are a signal of excessive estrogen. What can you do to stop the excessive estrogen?
Follow these steps:
Eat Dr. Bob’s ABCs everyday: Eat half of a red apple (it can lower your cholesterol up to 13 percent), 1/3 cup of beet fiber (it can lower your cholesterol up to 40 percent), and one medium carrot, which supports the production of vitamin A for clear skin and liver health.
Add raw, steamed, or sautéed broccoli, which supports the clearing of estrogen by subduing aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen.
Avoid soy. It depletes testosterone.
Drink water from a pure source.
These suggestions might be a lot to comprehend at first, but I have incorporated them and have witnessed positive changes in my personal health. I know they will do the same for you!
Robert DeMaria, DC, NHD, also known as Dr. Bob The Drugless Doctor is the author is seven books including Dr. Bob’s Men’s Health—The Basics, now available in audio. You can find him on Twitter @DruglessDoctor, on Facebook at Dr. Bob: The Drugless Doctor, and on Instagram at Drugless Doctor.