Prostate: Eating Your Way to a Healthier Prostate
As most men reach middle age, their prostate gland begins to expand. Often, this will lead to a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH typically begins in a man's 30s, slowly evolves, and usually only causes symptoms after he turns 50. In most men, it doesn't ever become a problem, but for many men this condition causes much discomfort and needs to be treated.
Symptoms include difficulty urinating, increased urination and weak urination streams. There can be other symptoms such as pain during urination, depending on the individual.
The prostate, which is part of the male reproductive system, is a gland that surrounds the bladder and urethra. It is about the size of a walnut and grows throughout a man’s life. As you age, it’s important to maintain a healthy prostate. The gland can become enlarged, and prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men.
Eating better foods can help. Many different foods have different ways of helping you beat the odds of having issues later.
Although there’s no definitive evidence that good nutrition can prevent prostate problems, but eating a healthy balanced diet may reduce your risk.
Foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as ginger, onions, berries, pumpkin seeds and apples are excellent support for prostate health.
Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment, a phytochemical that gives fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors, especially red. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Eating lycopene rich foods with healthy fats, such as olive oil or avocado dramatically increases absorption rates.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the bright carotenoid that gives tomatoes its red color. It can also help men with BPH and other prostate issues. Lycopene also helps lower the blood level of antigen, a protein connected to prostate inflammation and BPH.
Tomatoes and tomato products, like tomato sauce and tomato juice, are the best source of lycopene. You can also get this carotenoid from watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit, and papaya.
Pumpkin seeds offer some unique health benefits for the prostate, especially for those who have BPH. The pumpkin seeds’ oil help prevent the hormones from triggering multiplication of prostate cells. This oil also contains carotenoids and omega fatty acids. Studies show that men who have high levels of carotenoids in the diet have a reduced risk of prostate enlargement. Another nutrient found in pumpkin seeds is zinc, which is also associated with prostate health.
Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral essential to the health of the prostate, according to a study in the Indian Journal of Urology. Men with either BPH or other prostate problems have lower levels of zinc I n their bodies -- sometimes up to 75 percent lower than healthy prostates.
Zinc that comes from food is easy to absorb. Help your body by snacking on sesame seeds. Or try oysters, adzuki beans, pumpkin seeds, and almonds, which are all high in zinc.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy fats that can protect you from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Fatty acids also help in the synthesis of prostaglandin. Fatty acids deficiency may lead to prostate problems, according to a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review.
If you’re not a fan of fish, you can get your omega-3s from walnuts, ground flax seeds, canola oil, and kidney beans.
Bell peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable. One cup of raw bell peppers contains 195 percent of your daily requirement intake of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that might play a role in fighting BPH. Not all vitamin C is the same, however. According to Mayo Clinic, only vitamin C obtained from vegetables lowers your risk of an enlarged prostate. Fruits don’t offer the same benefit. You can also consider eating more vegetables containing vitamin C to help with an enlarged prostate. Good choices include bell peppers, snow peas, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts
Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol. According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, beta-sitosterol can help reduce symptoms associated with BPH. Men taking beta-sitosterol supplements have better urinary flow and less residual urine volume.
Beta-sitosterol can help strengthen the immune system. It can reduce inflammation and pain, as well.
Besides avocados, other foods rich in beta-sitosterol include pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, soybeans, and pecans.
Some men with minimally enlarged prostate glands may experience symptoms while other men with much larger glands may have few symptoms. BPH is very common among older men, affecting about 60% of men over age 60 and 80% of men over age 80.
Early symptoms of BPH may take many years to become bigger problems. In most cases, these symptoms may point to an enlarged prostate, but they may also be a sign that other, more serious conditions that require prompt attention. If you are experiencing these early symptoms, it is a good time to see your doctor.
Fortunately, there are exciting new treatment options that can help you reclaim your life from the symptoms of BPH. A comprehensive product that does work at supporting prostate health is Prostate Health Essentials (click here to view). It contains 30+ natural ingredients, including beta-sitosterol, lycopene and zinc that have been shown to support prostate health. This easy-to-take daily supplement provides excellent all-around prostate health.