Jena DeMoss: Why men’s health matters: the role of fathers in family health

Published 5:18 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

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Father figures deserve tremendous credit for the countless contributions to their families. Their health and lifestyle choices notably impact the overall well-being of their families. They also play a significant role in modeling healthy behaviors for their children. These behaviors encompass fitness activities, dietary habits, and even digital etiquette, such as staying off the phone at the dinner table.

Parents’ lifestyles significantly influence their children’s susceptibility to chronic diseases like cardiovascular issues. This risk can be influenced by genetics in addition to factors such as environment, diet, education and socioeconomic factors. Studies indicate that a parent’s lifestyle can shape their offspring’s health even decades later.

Consider these men’s health values and how you could model them to improve your health and your families’.

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Integrate more of your values into daily life: Amidst responsibilities and work demands, it is essential to design a life that reflects your values each day. For example, cooking balanced meals and eating together as a family, fitting in physical activity throughout the week, or exploring nature.

Regularly see your primary care physician: One simple but crucial step is to find a primary care physician and visit them regularly.

Take initiative with health: Are you looking to improve your personal health or the health of your family? By scheduling a complimentary Discovery session, you will meet your Hy-Vee registered dietitian virtually and learn about the services offered and what package is the perfect fit for you to start your wellness journey.

When it comes to men’s health, let’s not forget about key nutrients in your diet such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, sodium and potassium. Omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce the risk for sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias and all-cause mortality in patients with known coronary heart disease. They are also used to treat hyperlipidemia and hypertension. If you are looking to increase your omega-3 intake but aren’t a fan of seafood, consider Nordic Naturals supplements. Vitamin D plays several roles in men’s health, including maintaining testosterone levels, keeping bones strong, and helping with mental health. It can be found in salmon, fortified dairy and breakfast cereals in addition to supplements. Minerals such as sodium and potassium also play a critical role in men’s health. A diet balanced with low-sodium and potassium-rich foods promotes heart health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

Men’s health matters significantly, affecting not only their individual well-being but also shaping their families’ health and the generations to come. Fathers play a crucial role in modeling healthy behaviors and habits, emphasizing the importance of proactive health management in men’s lives. Try this recipe idea in celebration of Men’s Health Month for a delicious home cooked meal that contains all the flavor without the sodium. Plus, melons contain potassium which is helpful in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Tandoori Chicken with Spicy

Melon Salad

Serves 4

All you need

• 2 teaspoons lime zest, divided

• ½ cup fresh lime juice, divided

• ¼ cup Hy-Vee vegetable oil

• ¼ cup plain Hy-Vee Greek yogurt

• 3 tablespoons salt-free tandoori spice blend

• 3 tablespoons fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 4 (6 ounce) Hy-Vee boneless skinless chicken breasts

• 2 cups Hy-Vee Short Cuts honeydew melon, cut into ¼-inch pieces

• 2 cups Hy-Vee Short Cuts cantaloupe, cut into ¼-inch pieces

• 1 cup English cucumber, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces

• 1 cup Hy-Vee Short Cuts chopped red onions

• 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced

• 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon Hy-Vee honey

• Lime wedges, for serving

All you do

1. Stir together 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1/4 cup lime juice, oil, yogurt, tandoori spice, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt.

2. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken; seal bag. Turn bag to evenly coat chicken with yogurt mixture. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour or overnight, turning bag occasionally.

3. For salad, combine honeydew, cantaloupe, cucumber, red onions, jalapeño, 3 tablespoons parsley, honey, remaining 1 teaspoon lime zest, and 1/4 cup lime juice. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with foil. Place wire rack in pan; lightly spray rack with nonstick spray.

5. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on prepared rack in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees, turning once halfway through.

6. To serve, top chicken with melon salsa. Garnish with additional parsley and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

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