Essential Nutrients for Men’s Health

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Essential Nutrients for Men’s Health table filled with nutritious food

For men, certain nutrients are particularly vital due to their impact on muscle mass, energy levels, cardiovascular health, and more. Maintaining optimal health requires a balanced intake of essential nutrients, each playing a unique role in the body's functionality. Let’s take a closer look at these key nutrients, why they matter, and how lifestyle factors like alcohol, stress, poor sleep, environmental toxins, and diet can affect them.

Essential nutrients for men include protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, vitamins D and B12, magnesium, zinc, calcium, CoQ10, and antioxidants C and E. Poor lifestyle factors such as a diet high in processed foods, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, chronic stress, and lack of sunlight can deplete these nutrients. Additionally, certain medications, excessive physical activity, and digestive disorders can impair nutrient absorption. Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is crucial for optimal nutrient levels and overall well-being.


Essential Nutrients

Let’s dive a little deeper to these essential nutrients and where to get them from in your diet.



Important for muscle repair and growth, as well as for overall energy levels.

  • Lean meats (chicken, turkey, beef)
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, black beans)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds)


Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Beneficial for heart health, brain function, and reducing inflammation.

  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout)
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Algal oil (plant-based omega-3 supplement)



Essential for digestive health and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

  • Fruits (apples, bananas, berries, pears)
  • Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts)
  • Whole grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Nuts and seeds (chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds)


Vitamin D:

Important for bone health, immune function, and testosterone levels. Found in small amounts in the following foods:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
  • Fortified dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Fortified plant-based milks (soy milk, almond milk)
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms exposed to sunlight



Supports muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure regulation.

  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard, kale)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats)
  • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, lentils)
  • Dark chocolate



Important for immune function, protein synthesis, and testosterone production.

  • Meat (beef, pork, lamb)
  • Shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster)
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans)
  • Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews)
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese)



Essential for nerve function, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis.

  • Meat (beef, pork, chicken)
  • Fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, clams)
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Eggs



Necessary for bone health and muscle function.

  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Leafy green vegetables (kale, broccoli, bok choy)
  • Fortified plant-based milks (soy milk, almond milk)
  • Fortified orange juice
  • Tofu



Important for heart health, muscle function, and regulating blood pressure.

  • Meat ( organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart)
  • Fish  (Especially oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines)
  • Whole grains (whole wheat, oats, and brown rice contain moderate amounts of CoQ10)
  • Nuts and seeds ( Pistachios, sesame seeds, and peanuts)
  • Vegetables (Broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower contain small amounts of CoQ10)
  • Fruits ( Oranges and strawberries.



(Vitamin C and E): Help protect cells from damage and support immune health.

  • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons), strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
  • Vitamin E: Nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds), spinach, broccoli, avocados


Maintaining a balanced diet that includes a variety of these nutrients can support overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases however, it is important to note that several lifestyle factors can deplete essential nutrients in the body. Here are some common ones:


Poor Diet:

Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Lack of variety and reliance on convenience foods can also contribute to insufficient intake of essential nutrients.


Excessive Alcohol Consumption: 

Alcohol can interfere with the absorption and storage of several nutrients, including vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, and minerals like magnesium and zinc.



Smoking increases the need for antioxidants like vitamin C and E due to increased oxidative stress. It can also affect the absorption of calcium and vitamin D, impacting bone health.



Chronic stress can deplete magnesium and increase the need for B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, due to their role in energy production and nervous system function.


Lack of Sunlight:

Insufficient exposure to sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiency, as the skin produces vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays from the sun.



Certain medications, such as antacids, antibiotics, and diuretics, can interfere with nutrient absorption and metabolism. For example, long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can reduce magnesium and vitamin B12 levels.


Excessive Physical Activity:

While exercise is beneficial, intense or prolonged physical activity can increase the need for nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants to support muscle repair, energy production, and recovery.



As people age, nutrient absorption can decrease, and the body’s ability to utilise certain vitamins and minerals can decline, particularly vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D.


Digestive Disorders:

Conditions like Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can impair nutrient absorption and lead to deficiencies.



Excessive caffeine intake can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. It can also increase the excretion of water-soluble vitamins like B vitamins and vitamin C.


Environmental Factors:

Exposure to pollutants and toxins can increase the body’s need for antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, potentially depleting levels of vitamins A, C, and E.


To maintain optimal nutrient levels, it’s important to adopt an optimal diet, manage stress, avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, and stay mindful of medications that may affect nutrient absorption. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can also help monitor and address any potential deficiencies.

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