Father’s Day is Sunday and it’s a time of year when people appreciate the men in their life. It’s also a perfect time for men to focus on their wellbeing since June is Men’s Health Month.
While families celebrate great dads and father figures this weekend, men should also take the opportunity to focus on their health so they’re around for the future. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report stated that women are 33 percent more likely to visit the doctor than men. Cierra Robbins, ShopRite in-store registered dietitian of Hatfield, said regular doctor’s visits can help prevent and manage diseases through screenings for blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol. Regular checkups can improve the quality and longevity of a man’s life, Robbins said.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, ShopRites throughout the area will have free cholesterol screenings in June. Locations include West Chester, Hatfied and Norristown. For specific dates and more locations, visit www.shoprite.com/cholesterol-screening.
“According to the Men’s Health Network, men die of higher rates than women from heart disease, cancer, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, kidney and liver disease,” she said.
Robbins said these diseases aren’t always associated with men but men do tend to carry their weight in their midsection. This type of weight is associated with high rates of some chronic diseases such as diabetes. When it comes to preventing and managing such diseases, Robbins said there are five tips to keep in mind.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF BY …
1. Eat a balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy.
2. Limit intake of foods with high amounts of added sugar, salt and fat.
3. Exercise on a regular basis. Even a short 10-minute walk can help improve your health.
4. Make sure to manage your stress for mental wellbeing.
5. It’s important to get enough sleep each night.
The first tip about eating a balanced diet with also means getting necessary nutrients into your body on a daily basis. Robbins said there are several nutrients that are important for everybody but especially men. Men need an increase in calories since they have more muscle and testosterone than women, she said.
IMPORTANT DAILY NUTRIENTS
• More protein is another result of men having more muscle and testosterone than women. Robbins said it’s important to get protein from the right sources such as nuts, lean meat, fish, egg whites and low-fat dairy.
• Healthy fats can be found in oils, nuts, flax seed, avocados and fish. These types of fats are important for heart health and preventing disease.
• Calcium is important for men just as it is for women. Robbins said people tend to associate healthy bones and osteoporosis risks with women but these issues can also affect men. She read that one in four men will develop osteoporosis in their lifetime. Also men that desire big muscles will need strong bones which is another reason why calcium is important. Men should get two to three servings of low-fat dairy options daily.
• Potassium is important for heart health and regulating blood pressure. It also helps with maintaining a healthy brain, muscles and nerves. Potassium is found in many things other than bananas such as fruit, veggies, dairy and meat.
• Fiber is another nutrient that aids in heart health while also helping to balance cholesterol and type diabetes. Fiber helps curb the appetite which keeps you fuller for longer. Robbins said fiber is especially important for men because men need more of it then women. The recommended amount is about 38 grams of fiber per day.
Robbins said when men add these nutrients into their regular meals then it will create a more satisfying meal. She said eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and meals can be made interesting by adding different flavors. Robbins said a basic meal such as grilled chicken, broccoli and rice and be pumped up with spices and herbs. She suggested adding barbecue sauce to the chicken, lemon zest to the broccoli and sautéing the rice in rosemary and garlic. Start by adding flavors that basic and you already like. Some examples are onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoky paprika and red pepper flakes.
“You can add flavors that make things much more juicy and palatable,” Robbins said.
For a full and satisfying healthy meal, try these flavorful recipes courtesy of ShopRite Supermarkets.
GRILLED SPICY PORK CHOPS
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. thyme leaves
1/8 to ¼ tsp. cayenne
4 (8-oz) pork chops
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, chili powder, thyme, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Rub evenly on both sides of chops. Let stand 10 minutes. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high (350°F to 400°F). Grill chops, covered, 5 to 6 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F. Transfer chops to a platter; let stand 3 minutes before serving.
Cook’s tip: If using a stovetop, heat a small amount of oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook pork chops, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F.
BALSAMIC, PORTOBELLO AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (5-oz.) pkg. baby romaine
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into quarters
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)
1 (4-oz.) pkg. crumbled blue cheese
4 portobello mushrooms (about 1 lb.)
For the vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, garlic and ¼ cup water in in a jar or container with a lid. Seal container with lid, and shake vigorously until well combined.
For the salad: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place mushrooms, gill side up, on a large, rimmed plate; drizzle with half of the vinaigrette. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes, turning mushrooms occasionally.
Coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer mushrooms to pan, and season with salt and pepper to taste; discard marinade. Bake 15 minutes, turning once halfway through baking. Let mushrooms stand to cool. Cut mushrooms into slices. In a large bowl combine lettuce and onion; place on 4 plates. Top each with mushroom slices, tomatoes and (if desired) walnuts; season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle remaining half of the vinaigrette evenly on each salad, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.
GRILLED BANANA SPLITS
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. coconut sugar
2 tbsp. coconut sugar
1 pt. fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts (optional)
2 large firm bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
For the chocolate sauce: Place chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan combine 3 tablespoons water, plus sugar and a pinch of salt over medium-high heat. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot sugar mixture over chocolate; stir gently until smooth. Set aside.
Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium (300°F to 350°F). Sprinkle cut sides of banana halves with sugar. Place bananas on grill, sugar side up. Grill, covered, 2 minutes. Turn (sugar side down) and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly softened and grill marks form. Remove from grill; let cool slightly. Cut each banana half in half. Place 2 banana pieces and 1 scoop of frozen yogurt in each of 4 dessert bowls. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, top with peanuts (if desired), and serve.