What real men should eat — for Dad’s Day and always

By Catharine Kaufman

A typical guy is in culinary bliss with one mitt clutching a Doritos Fritos burrito and the other one holding a bottle or can of something that has the capacity to make him belch. (And if he had a third hand, a remote control would be welded to it).

All kidding aside, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, and the best gift you can give your special man is an A-list of foods that are good for him.

Protecting the Family Jewels

Put the skids on prostate problems by loading up on those stinky cruciferous warriors packed with phytochemical sulfur compounds, Vitamin C and potassium. Yes, real men eat coleslaw, braised kale, roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed broccoli rabe and sauerkraut, while also avoiding high-saturated animal fats, which can wallop the prostrate.

Lycopene, a carotenoid pigment, is also one of your prostate’s best pals. Tomatoes are a lycopene powerhouse and run a close second only behind watermelons. Cooking tomatoes releases even more lycopene than eating them raw, so make a pot of mighty marinara. And since lycopene is also fat soluble, eat it with some fat. Baked ziti, anyone?

Fruit of the Groom

Grape skin —especially the red, purple and black varieties — is a rich source of resveratrol, which may protect against cardiovascular disease. The rich violet, blue and red colors in all kinds of berries and cherries are responsible for the healthy properties of these little jewels, chock-full of over 4,000 health-protecting compounds, elevating antioxidant to a new level. Five servings of berries a day have also been found to keep the aging brain on its toes.

Oil and Lube

Load up on oily seafood and fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids to support a healthy heart and circulation, boost the immune system, lower triglyceride levels, lubricate joints and ease the aches and pains for athletic types.

You can’t beat wild-caught salmon, sardines, (preferably canned in olive oil, and with the Omega-3 and calcium rich skin and bones intact), herring, mackerel and anchovies. Seaweed and other oceanic veggies are also treasure-troves of nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin B-12 and the fatty acid chlorophylone, another defensive weapon against prostate cancer.

Nuts and Bolts

Seeds and nuts, especially walnuts and pecans, are also Omega-3 powerhouses, and thus good substitutes for people who don’t do fish. Flaxseed is known as an excellent Omega protector of healthy prostrate and other organs, since it contains high levels of anti-inflammatory lignans, also good for joint and muscle health.

The mighty Brazil nut, with truckloads of magnesium and selenium, lowers “bad” cholesterol levels and reduces the occurrence of blood clots. Standing advice with this selenium superfood: moderation.

Virile Veggies

Pick a pack of purple peppers, along with yellow, green and red ones, yams, squashes, dark leafy greens, and other rainbow-colored veggies that contain powerful antioxidants to protect the body from harmful free radicals and repair skin cells.

Sowing His Wild Oats

Organic whole-grain pasta, wheat germ, couscous, oatmeal, barley and quinoa have a bonanza of fiber, selenium, phytochemicals and vitamin E, partners in heart health, lowering cholesterol, building muscle, pampering the prostate, and maintaining a slim, machismo waistline.

Going Ape

Portable and man-friendly, bananas are endowed with potassium, magnesium and B-6 giving a quick energy boost, easing the nerves, reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and amping up the immune system. So whip up a smoothie, bake banana bread or slice it straight up in your whole-grain cereal before, after or during your workout.

Pumping Iron

Although most men typically don’t need as much iron as women, Popeye loaded up on spinach, giving him Vitamin B, folic acid and a whole lot of vim and vigor. Long distance runners and blood donors need to pump iron into their diets to avoid anemia.

Reach Catharine Kaufman at or


Celebrate Dad’s Day with this yummy banana pecan treat that can be used as a topping for frozen desserts, pancakes, bread pudding, oatmeal, even grilled salmon or eaten straight up!


1/4 cup butter

3 firm bananas, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder or 1 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger

1/2 cup roasted pecan halves

Method: In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the bananas. Cook about 2 minutes until they start to soften. Add sugar and spices, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and pecans and serve warm.