The prostate, a little gland located in the pelvis, is an essential component of the reproductive system in men. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a different hormone, is produced by the prostate from testosterone. The prostate’s cells grow when DHT levels are high. Because of how certain meals and drinks affect testosterone and other hormones, it is recognized that they have an impact on prostate health. A diet high in whole fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats has been shown to both delay the growth of the prostate and improve its health.
Prostate cancer affects 1 in 8 men in the US, making it the most frequent cancer among men, according to the American Cancer Society.
Although it’s unclear exactly how nutrition affects prostate health, there are a number of possibilities. According to some experts, the Western diet’s high fat and high sugar content may be a factor in the rising incidence of prostate cancer.
Studies have linked a higher risk of prostate cancer to diets heavy in dairy products as well as high consumption of calcium overall from food and supplements. To validate this connection, more investigation is necessary.
Strive for a healthy eating pattern:
Dietitians, doctors, and researchers advocate for a general pattern of healthy eating rather than concentrating on particular items. It’s surprising how simple good eating is. In summary, the following is what professionals advise:
- Consume five servings or more of fruits and vegetables each day. Select the ones with vibrant, deep colors.
- Select whole-grain pasta and cereals and steer clear of white bread in favor of whole-grain bread.
- Reduce the amount of red meat you eat, such as goat, lamb, and hog, as well as processed meats like hot dogs and bologna. Better sources of protein include fish, skinless chicken, beans, and eggs.
- Select healthy fats from foods like avocados, walnuts, pecans, and olive oil. Reduce your intake of dairy and other animal products’ saturated fats.
- You can start promoting your prostate health by eating well, but you’ll still need to visit your doctor for routine prostate cancer screenings even after making dietary adjustments. Steer clear of trans fats, which are found in a lot of packaged and fast food items.
- Steer clear of beverages that include added sugar, like soda and most fruit juices. Consume sweets just sometimes as a treat.
- Use less salt. Examine food labels and make an informed decision on low-sodium foods. The use of processed, frozen, and canned meals should be minimized.
- Observe serving sizes. When you are satisfied, stop eating. Eat gently.
Food items to include in your diet:
Prostate health may be enhanced by eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, like the Mediterranean diet. According to research, following this diet can enhance health, lessen the chance of getting prostate cancer, and limit the growth of the prostate.
Antioxidants and good fats, which are abundant in the Mediterranean diet and other comparable diets, can help protect the prostate. Among the particular foods one should eat are:
- Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in healthy fats and help prevent and reduce inflammation in the body, are found in salmon. These lipids are also abundant in other cold-water fish, like trout and sardines.
- Tomatoes: Lycopene, an antioxidant found in abundance in tomatoes, may help cells in the prostate gland. Lycopene is released and becomes more easily absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked, as in tomato sauce or soup.
- Berries: Antioxidants, such as those found in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, assist the body in ridding itself of free radicals. Over time, free radicals can lead to damage and illness since they are the result of processes that take place within the body.
- Broccoli: A substance called sulforaphane is found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as bok choy, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. This is supposed to target cancer cells and support a prostate that is healthy.
- Nuts: Nuts are a good source of trace mineral zinc. The prostate has significant levels of zinc, which may assist the balance of DHT and testosterone. Legumes and shellfish are also rich in zinc, in addition to nuts.
- Citrus: Vitamin C, which is abundant in oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, may help shield the prostate gland.
Additionally, some research on plant extract therapy has demonstrated beneficial effects on prostate size and urine flow. One such extract is saw palmetto, which is an extract from a species of palm tree. However, more research is required.
Foods to restrict or stay away from:
Eating well-balanced meals is not the only aspect of a healthy diet for an enlarged prostate. It also entails staying away from other food categories that are bad for the prostate. Foods to stay away from include:
Red meat: Rich in saturated fats, red meat has the potential to aggravate inflammation. As part of a balanced diet, cutting back on red meat consumption can be good for your muscle tone and prostate growth.
Coffee: Coffee has the potential to operate as a diuretic, which means that it increases the amount, frequency, and urgency of urination.
Alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake can be harmful to the prostate as well as other bodily systems. It also raises the risk of prostate cancer, according to research.
Sodium: BPH-related urinary tract symptoms may worsen if a person consumes a lot of salt. For some guys, it may be beneficial to follow a low-sodium diet that excludes processed foods and salt from meals.
Keep staying active to promote prostate health:
Consuming a balanced diet is only one aspect of staying active. Frequent exercise reduces the chances of heart disease, stroke, and several cancers, among other serious conditions. Additionally, the majority of studies that have been conducted have found that exercise is beneficial, despite the fact that very few have specifically examined the effect of exercise on prostate health. For instance:
In the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, more than 30,000 men answered questionnaires. The results showed a negative correlation between BPH symptoms and physical activity. Put simply, males who engaged in more physical activity had lower rates of BPH. Benefits were obtained even from low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking frequently at a moderate speed.
Utilizing information from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, scientists also looked at the connection between exercise and erectile dysfunction (ED). It was discovered that males who engaged in three hours of intense outdoor work or an hour and a half of running per week had a 20% lower risk of developing ED compared to those who did not exercise at all. A higher benefit was obtained with increased physical exercise. It’s interesting to note that men with an appropriate body mass index, or BMI, were less likely to develop ED than men who were overweight or obese, regardless of their degree of exercise.
Over the course of 18 weeks, 231 inactive males with chronic prostatitis were randomly allocated to one of two fitness regimens: nonaerobic exercise, which included leg lifts, sit-ups, and stretching, or aerobic activity, which included brisk walking. Every group went to the gym three times a week. Men in both groups felt better at the end of the study, but the aerobic exercise group reported much less discomfort, anxiety, and depression, as well as an improvement in quality of life.
Foods that contain essential compounds may help keep your prostate healthy and reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Still, researchers need to conduct many more studies to know precisely how diet affects prostate health.
It’s a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider before making dietary changes, especially if you’re receiving treatment for prostate cancer. This is because certain foods may interact with different drugs and therapies.
That said, most of the items on this list are nutritious. Eating these foods as part of a healthy lifestyle can help keep your whole body healthy.
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