Men’s Health Month – A Steak And A Yarn For Better Health

Men’s health month is here…

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools” – Spanish Proverb

One of the most challenging things for men throughout history has been staying on top of our health. Sure, we have always been active; whether through our hunter-gathering societies or in our agricultural practices, physical activity has never been a hard prospect for men to understand. However, as we have grown as a species and many processes that were originally physically done have become automated, men have begun to live more sedentary lifestyles.

Throughout history, there has been one product that is a staple of men’s cuisine: beef. Did you know that cows were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago? Spaniards bought the first cattle to the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. That said, according to the writings of New England explorer John Smith, cattle were first bought to Jamestown, what is now Virginia, from England in 1611. This led to colonists in America raising enough cattle by the 1630s to not require imports from Europe to survive.

Now, what can beef do for you from a nutritional point of view? On average, a 100g T-bone steak contains 24g of protein, 16g of fat and 0g of carbohydrates. Beef is not only considered a complete protein; it is loaded with various other micronutrients necessary for our daily lives. This particular cut of steak is rich in zinc, iron, vitamins B12+6 and even selenium. These nutrients support our energy levels, help our immune system, assist our nerve function and most importantly, help boost testosterone production in the body. (Blog post cont’d below the recipe)

So, there isn’t necessarily a steak recipe for this Men’s health month. Everyone likes their steaks a particular way, and I will not be attempting to convince you how to cook them. That said, for all the meat we eat, we need an influx of healthy foods to supplement the nutrients we are missing. This month, try serving your steaks with one of the following side salads!

Avocado Cabbage Salad:

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 large cabbage
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes medley
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 2 large avocados, cubed
  • 1/3 mint leaves
  • 1 tbs of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Thinly slice the cabbage. Cube the avocado, tomatoes and cucumber and place into a bowl with cabbage and mint.
  • Combine lemon juice with olive oil and vinegar
  • Drizzle half dressing over the salad and half of the mint leaves. Season with salt to taste and mix together
  • Place salad into serving dish, top with remaining dressing and mint leaves. Serve immediately

Fig, Red Cabbage and Pomegranate salad:

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 small red cabbage,trimmed and very finely shredded
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup small mint leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 plump ripe figs, quartered
  • 100g marinated Persian feta, crumbled

Instructions
 

  • Combine cabbage, shallots, pomegranate seeds, mint and coriander in a large bowl
  • To make the dressing, combine pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in a screw top jar. Shake until well combined. Drizzle dressing over cabbage salad and gently toss to combine.
  • Arrange cabbage salad on a serving platter, top with figs, scatter with feta and serve.

…..The majority of a man’s overall health is determined by his lifestyle. The national physical activity guidelines suggest that adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity daily, yet around 45% of this population do not reach this goal. Alongside this, 35% of our daily energy intake comes from junk foods high in salt, fat and sugar. These factors contribute to the overall disease burden in Australia and can be mostly prevented by making small changes to one’s lifestyle.

Now, the real issue for men in this day and age that thankfully is being addressed; is mental health. Traditionally, men have been known to bottle everything up and tackle everything in their headstrong manner. But on average, one in eight men will experience depression, and one in five will experience anxiety at some stage in their lives. Men, unfortunately, make up an average of 7 out of every nine suicides every day in Australia. The number of men who commit suicide every year is nearly double the national road toll.

Men’s mental health is something I am incredibly passionate about. I firmly believe that many of our mental health concerns as men would be solved if we opened up the discussion about it, rather than maintain the “She’ll be right mate” mentality we have carried for generations.

There is no shame in talking about your problems. You are not weak if you feel emotional. Those little things that seem always to kick you when you are down, add up. But continuously placing them in a bottle fuels the toxic masculinity culture, which prevents us as men from individually thriving. So, see your doctor. See a psychologist or counsellor. There are many resources for men that are a simple search away.

Or, if you still are not comfortable just yet with seeing a professional, consider getting the lads together and having an open forum discussion. You will be amazed at what you will accomplish. Once a week, my male friends and I get together and just hang out and talk. Free from judgement, filled with compassion – just a couple of boys supporting each other as we navigate life.

I understand that just sitting and talking is not everyone’s forte, so perhaps it might be easier to make an event out of it. The footy season is in full swing currently, and despite the winter chill setting in, an afternoon barbeque cook up could be the perfect excuse to get a group of mates together and relax.

John

Team OsteoStrong

Team OsteoStrong

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