A little extra for the man of the house

Published July 2, 2022, 5:45 PM

by Cheshire Que

Supplements and botanicals for men’s health

The man of the house has the big responsibilities in the household, which often put their health at the bottom of their priorities. Men may not be as verbal when it comes to expressing their health concerns in general. In their pursuit to provide for the family, they tend to work harder, to the detriment of their health.

As reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) based on data released on Feb. 22, 2022, the leading causes of mortality among the male population in the country for the year 2021 are Ischemic heart disease, which accounts for 17.9 percent of deaths, followed by cerebrovascular disease at 9.7 percent, and then by Covid-19 with 9.6 percent. The fourth and fifth causes of death are cancer and diabetes.


Optimum nutrition intake is the primary goal when it comes to maintaining a healthy body to prevent the onset of these illnesses as well as preventing complications of existing medical conditions. Unfortunately, while food intake may be abundant in terms of quantity and calories, the quality of food in terms of nutrition may be insufficient. A diet that is not predominantly plant-based and one that is composed of highly processed food lacks phytonutrients or plant chemicals that the body needs to decrease inflammation inside the body.

All the above-mentioned illnesses have underlying inflammatory reactions in the body. For example, a cerebrovascular disease, which includes a stroke or brain attack, and an aneurysm that is characterized by a weak artery that could rupture, begins with inflammation of the blood vessels. Cholesterol, fats, and other substances form plaques that clog the arteries causing inflammation of the walls while stimulating the immune system to produce more platelets that clump together. This will further narrow the arterial wall, thus impeding proper blood circulation and oxygenation of body organs, in this case, the brain, leading to stroke.

Ashitaba plant

Functional food is anti-inflammatory food and has benefits beyond providing basic nutrition. For example, soy contains isoflavones that have weak hormone-like properties that promote prostate health and prevent prostate cancer among men. Another one is green tea, which contains epigallocatechin gallate, a potent natural antioxidant that has been proven to help prevent clogging of arteries and increase fat burning. Functional food also comes in liquid, powder, and pill form. It is best to be guided by a registered nutritionist dietitian, especially if you are on medication to ensure optimum absorption and drug-nutrient interaction.

Optimum nutrition intake is the primary goal when it comes to maintaining a healthy body to prevent the onset of illnesses as well as preventing complications of existing medical conditions.

In addition to a balanced diet that must include liberal amounts of fresh produce from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lean protein sources like fish, some functional food, botanicals, and supplements may have health benefits for the man of the house. Here are some.

Hawthorn fruit

Hawthorn – a shrub that is highly beneficial to heart health. Its flowers and berries keep cholesterol in check. It has oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPCs. These are strong antioxidants that are also found in grapes. OPCs protect cells against damage and prevent the formation of plaques in arteries as a result of cholesterol buildup. Moreover, OPCs promote smooth blood flow, thus regulating blood pressure and heartbeats. Good blood circulation also protects against stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases in the brain.

Ashitaba – native to Hachijo Island in Japan, this plant is now cultivated in our country. It boasts of many health benefits that range from longevity, cancer prevention, blood glucose regulation, and bone health to immunity, digestive health, heart health, and even weight management as some clinical studies conducted on human subjects have resulted in decreased visceral or abdominal fat. Ashitaba is abundant in phytonutrients called flavonoids and other bioactive components like coumarin, which is like a blood thinner and chlorophyll. The green pigment in plants that has the same chemical structure as the human red blood cell is responsible for carrying oxygen to all cells in the body.

Berberine – is a yellow and bitter-tasting chemical derived from various plants. It activates the enzyme-activated protein kinase or AMPK inside the cells to regulate metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts the food and drinks we consume into energy. Berberine has promising effects on liver health, blood sugar regulation, as well as lipid (cholesterol and triglycerides) control.

The man of the house deserves a little extra when it comes to nutrition. Consider functional food and supplements and be guided by a health professional.