When trying to narrow down some of the most critical nutrients and dietary needs of men in our modern day, we can simply look at the statistics of where our culture is lacking in terms of health and wellness. Beyond the basic recommended daily intakes of vitamins and minerals, what the men in our society need most is a lifestyle change.
Black Gram (Vigna mungo L.) is one of the best foods in the world to incorporate into your diet for a life of vitality and longevity! Let’s take a look at how this ancient legume from India can benefit men’s health and aid in a winning lifestyle.
Defying Heart Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for males in the United States. Nearly 1 in 4 deaths is caused by heart disease, and it matters little what ethnicity you are. These statistics have prompted researchers to find out what is causing the shockingly high numbers, and what can be done to lower them.
The CDC states that multiple conditions and life habits can raise the risk of heart disease, including:
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcoholism
Black Gram is a great way to lower heart disease risks because of its ability to remedy many of the primary causes such as obesity, poor diet, and even diabetes (by helping to regulate sugar absorption in the process of digestion). The nutritional content of Black Gram (including high amounts of fiber and protein) is also ideal for long-lasting energy and satiation, making it a good choice for supporting exercise and workout routines.
Plant Protein vs. Animal Protein
Although many people are under the impression that animal based proteins are necessary for providing the human body with the proper protein, recent studies have resulted in a surprising (not so surprising to some) discovery.
Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Purdue University observed over 1,800 people who ate either high red meat diets, or diets rich in legumes and nuts. Among those who consumed plant-based proteins, the blood concentrations of LD cholesterol were significantly lower, as was blood pressure. This means that a diet rich in plant-based protein lessens your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Black Gram is one of the best sources of high-quality plant-based protein, simply because it has so much of it. One serving contains 45% of the recommended daily intake. When paired with a complimentary whole grain, Black Gram provides all 9 of the essential amino acids!
Black Gram and Men’s Reproductive Health
While many people view fertility and reproductive health to be primarily an issue for women, men’s reproductive health plays a very important role in fertility and the well-being of offspring too; in fact, modern research is finding out just how important men’s reproductive health really is!
Experts have linked paternal diets to beta-cell dysfunction in daughters, poor embryo development, the pregnancy outcome, and body fat in offspring. Deficiencies of key nutrients can also lessen sperm counts and quality.
This vital nutrient is responsible for cell division and DNA synthesis. Just as an expecting mother should be getting enough folate before and after her baby is conceived, men also need around 400 mcg per day in order to create healthy sperm.
Black Gram is very high in natural folate, which is preferred to the synthetic (and sometimes harder to absorb) folic acid found in many supplements and multivitamins. One serving of Black Gram provides over half of the RDV of folate.
Cells in the body use zinc to metabolize nutrients. Zinc also aids immune function and DNA production, both of which are very important aspects of healthy reproduction. In addition to these direct contributions to the quality of sperm, studies have shown that adequate levels of zinc positively affect testosterone levels in men.
Zinc deficiency is very common around the world and even in the United States; fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Black Gram is an excellent source of zinc, containing as much as 30% RDV per serving.
Valuable antioxidants are responsible for protecting sperm as they develop and for increasing fertility. Antioxidants balance free radicals in the body and can also help prevent cancer, including prostate cancer; the more you can consume, the better!
Governmental research into the nutritional value of Black Gram has shown that it contains a significant amount of antioxidants, and is therefore very beneficial for protecting the body from harmful carcinogens.
Strong Bones, Strong Muscles, Strong Body!
Black Gram contains a very important mineral called phosphorus; this natural electrolyte plays a critical role in many functions of the body, and helps build a strong skeletal structure. Phosphorus is also responsible for helping muscles operate properly by allowing them to relax and contract as they should.
Metabolism, energy, cellular activity, heart beat rhythms, and more are all affected and fortified by the presence of phosphorus in our systems; let’s just say that we don’t want to neglect this nutrient! Eating a serving of Black Gram supplies our bodies with over half of the recommended daily dose, and the high protein content in Black Gram aids the body in absorbing phosphorus more easily.
Time to Eat Black Gram
As if that’s not enough evidence of Black Gram’s amazing qualities, we could go on and on about how this humble legume is great for digestive health, skin health, eye health, …pretty much the health of the whole body! Not to mention, it makes for some good eatin’ too. Check out a few of our delicious recipes, and find out how you can start introducing Black Gram into your lifestyle.
Wanting to learn more about Black Gram? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us any time, or browse through our website for some more great articles on how this little lentil from India is gaining momentum as an unrivaled superfood!