Many men experience prostate problems between ages 60-80. You can strengthen a weak prostate by taking care of your overall health:
If you are at risk of prostate cancer, regular screening is recommended.
What can I eat to make my prostate strong?
What you eat can make a huge difference in prostate health. Here are diet tips for strengthening your prostate:
- Eat more vegetables: Try to consume at least five servings of vegetables with your daily meals. Green, leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants, which can counteract the oxidative damage caused by free radicals and can help prevent the formation of cancer cells in the prostate.
- Opt for whole grains: Opt for whole grains instead of refined grains, such as white bread or white rice. Include whole-grain pasta and cereals in your diet instead of plain pasta and cereals.
- Limit red, processed meat: Limit your intake of red meat (beef, pork, lamb, and goat) as well as processed meats (sausage, bacon). Eat healthier proteins such as fish, skinless poultry, eggs, and beans.
- Eat healthy fats: Choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) and avocados. Limit saturated fats from dairy and animal products. Avoid trans fats found in many fast foods and packaged foods.
- Avoid added sugar: Added sugars contain high fructose, which is responsible for causing inflammation associated with cancer and other chronic diseases.
- Limit salt intake: Carefully inspect nutrition labels to see how much sodium is in your food and avoid canned and frozen foods.
- Practice portion control: Practice portion control by eating slowly and being mindful of when you feel full.
What nutrients are essential for prostate health?
Eating cruciferous vegetables rich in vitamin C may help lower the risk of enlarged prostate. Cruciferous vegetables are also known to lower inflammation associated with prostate cancer. Additionally, broccoli consists of a phytochemical called glucoraphanin that has the potential of destroying cancer cells. Cruciferous vegetables that are loaded with vitamin C include:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
Fiber promotes weight loss and prostate health by:
- Promoting early satiation
- Delaying fat absorption
- Preventing constipation
- Reducing cancer risk
- Slowing the progression of prostate cancer
Omega-3 fatty acids
Studies conducted on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in fighting prostate cancer have shown that men who consume fatty fish 3-4 times a week have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Some other benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced cholesterol level
- Enhanced cardiovascular health
Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Cold-water fish, such as salmon, trout, herring, and sardines
- Canola oil
Although there is a lack of strong evidence regarding the effect of lycopene on prostate cancer, consuming lycopene has health benefits and there is no harm in adding it to your diet.
Rich sources of lycopene include:
- Pink grapefruit
How does staying active promote prostate health?
Staying active helps with weight management, which in turn can boost prostate health. In general, anything that promotes heart health can also promote prostate health.
According to a recent study, men engaged in physically demanding jobs were less likely to develop prostate enlargement than men with sedentary jobs. Men who exercised for 5 or more hours per week were also 30%-50% less likely to develop prostate enlargement.
Even walking daily at a moderate pace can work wonders in prostate health. However, bicycle riding can put pressure on your groin and worsen some prostate-related conditions.
Getting adequate exposure to the sun is also important, as it can ensure that you are getting enough vitamin D necessary for preventing prostate cancer. Vitamin D is also good for the heart, kidneys, and pancreas.
Who should get regular prostate cancer screening?
Regular screening for prostate cancer is recommended for men at higher risk of prostate problems. Risk factors include:
- African American descent
- Scandinavian descent
- Family history of prostate cancer
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Briley J. Exercise to Protect the Prostate. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-for-prostate-health
Cannon B. How your diet promotes a healthy prostate. Intermountain Healthcare. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2016/09/how-your-diet-promotes-a-healthy-prostate/
Johns Hopkins Medicine. Tips for Keeping a Healthy Prostate. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/tips-for-keeping-a-healthy-prostate
Prostate Cancer Foundation. Five Foods to Protect your Prostate. https://www.pcf.org/c/five-foods-to-protect-your-prostate/
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