There are many manly foods to serve for Dad’s Day celebrations

Here’s a primer on the fabulous fruits, veggies and nuts that real men like (and need) to eat with one mitt while clutching the television remote in the other. There’s a quiz at the end just for the fun of it.

Catherine L. Kaufman

Catherine L. Kaufman

The Heavyweights

The quintessential fruit of summer is the juicy, thirst-quenching watermelon. A cousin to the cucumber and pumpkin, the watermelon is now considered both a fruit and veggie. There are more than 1,200 varieties grown globally.

This fat- and cholesterol-free behemoth is packed with fiber and Vitamins A, C and B to dial-up energy. Ninety-two percent water, they’re naturally high in potassium and electrolytes for balance and hydration. The beautiful pinky hue endows it with the highest concentration of lycopene, making watermelons your prostate’s best friend. Recent studies have also shown them to be Mother Nature’s Viagra containing a phytonutrient citrulline that relaxes blood vessels just like the little blue pill.

The Lightweights

Tomatoes, the most popular fruit in the world, although it most frequently multi-tasks as a veggie, is a close cousin to other nightshades including eggplant, chili peppers and potatoes. Defined by its botanical name, Solanum lycopersicum, tomatoes are another lycopene powerhouse, running a close second 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. Pizza anyone?

Going Ape

Bananas are men’s most popular fruit of choice. Like a remote control, they’re portable, fit nicely into the palm, and allow you to multi-task. Giving a quick energy boost and motherload of potassium and Vitamin B-6, bananas tend to calm the nerves, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and amp up the immune system. So whip up a smoothie, bake banana bread or slice it straightup in your cereal.

Eat Here, Get Gas

Put the skids on heart disease, colon and male-oriented prostate and bladder cancers (the latter strikes men three times greater than women) with cruciferous veggies. Yes–real men eat coleslaw, sauerkraut, stir-fried broccoli and roasted Brussels.

Cruciferous veggies contain weapons of mass disease destruction including stinky phytochemical sulfur compounds, Vitamin C and potassium. A recent Harvard study suggests 5 servings of crucifers a week to ward off the bad guys.

Crack the Nut

The mighty Brazil nut with truckloads of antioxidant magnesium and selenium lowers “bad” cholesterol levels, reduces the occurrence of blood clots, and has also been linked to prostate protection. Standing advice with this selenium superfood — moderation.

Fuzz and Pits

Peaches, either white or yellow, the former enjoyed for their low acidity are good sources of carotenes, potassium, flavonoids, lycopene and lutein. This combo of phytochemicals has been found to put the skids on prostate cancer and heart disease. Stave these off with a warm spinach and grilled peach salad, curried salmon with peach chutney, gingered peach cobbler, or eat them in hand for an energy-boosting snack.

The apricot, which resembles a dwarfed peach in shape, skin color and fuzzy complexion is a mini-powerhouse loaded with lycopene, Vitamin A and beta-carotene for prostate, skin and eye health.  Low in sodium, calories and fat apricots are a guiltless treat.

Apricot Salsa

In honor of these virile foods and all the dads out there, here’s a quiz along with a simple recipe dad can enjoy on his special day while transfixed to the Chicago Cubs/Yankee game or some other testosterone-addictive event.

The Manly Foods Quiz

1. Lycopene-loaded fruits for men’s prostate protection include

a)    guava and papaya

b)   watermelon and tomato

c)  apricots and plums

d)   all the above

2. George Washington, father of the nation particularly enjoyed

a)    cherries and cranberries

b)   green beans and mushrooms

c)    mashed sweet potatoes with coconut milk

d)   b) and c)

e)    all the above

3. While the Dalai Lama, the great spiritual father’s fruit of choice is

a) passion fruit

b) mango

c) the fruit of your karma

d) seeds of compassion

e) c) and d)

4. Golf courses and peaches are found on every continent except

a) Antarctica

b) Asia

c) South America

d) Australia

Answers: 1d, 2d, 3e, 4a

Alpha-Male Apricot Salsa

1 cup diced, fresh apricots

1/2 fresh pineapple, diced

1 avocado, diced

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1/4 sweet onion, minced

1 red pepper, diced

Sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Directions: In a glass bowl, blend the ingredients. Cover and chill. Serve with dad’s favorite chips and remote control.

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Posted by Staff on Jun 6, 2011. Filed under Columns, Editorial Columns, Kitchen Shrink. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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