Men, the very word conjures up images of strength, vitality, and health. However, the reality is that women outlive men, and are much healthier overall. In fact, World Health Organization studies1 show that men are much less informed about their health needs than women are, and are more reluctant to see a physician. Men also do not tend to seek out treatment until a condition is advanced, which leaves very little chance of achieving a full recovery.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control2, the greatest risks to men’s health come from heart disease, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and colon cancer. What many people do not know is that the risks from all of these conditions can be reduced with good nutrition. Unfortunately, the deadly truth is that many men aren’t getting the nutrients they need to bolster their health.
Ethnicity and Disease Risk.
Some men are aware of these health risks. What they may not know is that some health risks are statistically higher for particular ethnic groups. For example, the Centers for Disease Control2 reports that African Americans have a higher risk for prostate cancer than Caucasians, and prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Hispanic men. Testicular cancer is more common among Caucasian men, but Hispanic, Native American, and Asian men develop testicular cancer at a higher rate than African American men. And colon cancer, which kills 57,000 Americans a year, hits African Americans the hardest. They have the highest incidence and resultant death rates of any ethnic group. Heart disease is the biggest all-around killer of all genders and ethnic groups.
However, African American men have the highest mortality rate due to heart disease of any group in the world. Cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of death among Hispanics, killing 33,000 Hispanic Americans each year—more than cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined!
The above statistics are not just alarming— they’re frightening! However, there are nutritionally sound ways for all men to reduce risk and live a healthy, vibrant life. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services campaign aimed at reducing the risk of chronic diseases among African-American men, prevention and immunity begin with 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. “These leading causes of death are largely preventable through changes in our lifestyle choices,” “The 9 A Day campaign will help us to start emphasizing prevention of this epidemic by letting African-American men know the vital importance of eating fruits and vegetables to their overall health.”
Because men, in general, don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, they lose the protective power of fruits’ and vegetables’ unique phytonutrients. As a result, many men are at a higher risk of disease than they need to be.
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