Men’s Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to Father’s Day. Men are notorious for steering clear of the doctor’s office. In fact, 25 percent of men in a recent survey said that they wait as long as possible before turning to medical treatment.

We all know that a healthy diet is essential for fighting off disease, strengthening your immune system and simply feeling good. So what’s a guy to eat? Your Hy-Vee is filled with foods for that will help all the men in your life reach their optimal health.

Some great foods for guys:

• Tomatoes: Lycopene, a phytochemical found in tomatoes, has been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. The best form of lycopene is found in processed tomato products such as tomato sauce, tomato soup or ketchup. The USDA studied lycopene levels of commercial ketchup brands. They found that organic ketchup contained higher amounts of lycopene than many commercial brands. The reason: Organic ketchup is made with riper tomatoes which have a higher lycopene content. Watermelon is also a good source of lycopene.

• Oatmeal: Men everywhere! Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal. The soluble fiber in oatmeal has the unique ability to bind up cholesterol and remove it from your body before it ever gets absorbed.

• Seafood: Seafood such as salmon, herring, trout, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are effective in lowering risk for heart disease. Most health professionals recommend having fish (instead of meat) two to three times each week to reap the benefits of seafood. If you don’t like seafood, omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in canola, flaxseed, soybean oils and walnuts.

• Omega-3 fortified eggs: Yolks from omega-3 eggs can contain eight to 10 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids than yolks from regular eggs. If you eat eggs regularly, substituting omega-3 eggs for regular eggs is a good option.

• Nuts: Nuts are filling and satisfying because of their healthy, monounsaturated fat content. Nuts have their own qualified health claim. Eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts per day may reduce the risk of heart disease when they’re part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.


Tomato and Pesto Chicken

Servings: 6


8 oz. dry penne pasta, uncooked

3 cup small fresh broccoli florets

1 tbsp. olive oil

6 (5 oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce

½ cup reduced-fat soft cream cheese spread

⅓ cup refrigerated basil pesto


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and adding broccoli last 2 minutes of cook time.

Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides. Add undrained tomatoes and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165 degrees).

Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add cream cheese to sauce remaining in skillet; stir until cream cheese is melted completely. Stir in pesto; simmer 2 minutes to thicken slightly. Drain pasta. Add to skillet; mix lightly. Serve chicken with pasta mixture.


Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at