Prostate health is a major concern for all men as we grow older. One out of every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and as many as half of all men will experience symptoms of enlarged prostate (BPH) by age 60.
No matter what your age is, you can make changes to your lifestyle that can positively impact the health of your prostate gland.
Diet is considered one of the major contributors to prostate cancer. It’s typically linked to over-consumption of red meat or diets high in fat, which can cause creation of excess testosterone.
However, you can also make smart choices with what you do eat to help maintain a healthy prostate and potentially improve your chances of staying well.
If you’re concerned about your prostate, or have a history of issues in your family, consider making sure these foods and the nutrients they provide are regularly on your plate.
- Find out more about Prostate Health when you get facts and advice here on our blog
Adding more tomatoes to your meals could be very beneficial for men’s health – especially when it comes to the prostate.
The reason is that the fruit provides a lot of the carotenoid – Lycopene.
You’ve probably heard that lycopene may have the potential to help your body prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute says lycopene has been shown to slow the growth of cancerous cells and a diet high in this nutrient seems to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
And that’s just one good reason to get more of it in your diet.
There’s also research indicating lycopene could be beneficial for symptoms of enlarged prostate. It could lower levels of antigen in your blood – a protein linked to prostate inflammation.
Some say that it’s easier for the body to absorb lycopene from processed tomatoes – (sauces, pastes and ketchup) rather than the raw food.
If you want to make sure you get bioavailable lycopene, you can also choose a Lycopene supplement – which is typically derived from tomatoes but provided in a concentrated form. One of the most popular lycopene supplements at Natural Healthy Concepts is Mega Lycopene from Life Extension.
2. Sesame Seeds
Those seeds on your burger’s bun or your bagel with cream cheese could be helping you out with your prostate health.
Sesame seeds are packed with the mineral zinc. Studies show that men with both BPH and prostate cancer tend to have low levels of zinc in their bodies – sometimes as much as 75% lower.
Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute said in 2005 that zinc “is especially important in the prostate and may protect it from early damage that could lead to cancer.”
Pumpkin seeds and almonds also provide a good amount of zinc. But you can always add a zinc supplement to help ensure your levels stay where they should be. Zinc also acts as an antioxidant and can help improve the strength of your immune system – those are both factors that could contribute to better prostate health too.
3. Bell Peppers
Vitamin C could be yet another important nutrient for prostate health.Â That’s because it is a potent antioxidant that may help fight BPH.
Most of us immediately think of oranges and citrus fruit when it comes to foods high in Vitamin C. But bell peppers actually have significantly higher Vitamin C content.
Peppers provide 183 mg per 100 grams while citrus fruits typically provide around 53 mg in 100 grams. Interestingly, some studies have also shown that Vitamin C from vegetables seems to do more to prevent prostate problems than getting the nutrient from fruits.
Other veggies with lots of vitamin C include broccoli and dark leafy greens – like kale.
You can also get more Vitamin C in your diet with smart supplementation. One of the best-selling supplements at Natural Healthy Concepts is Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C from LivOn Laboratories. It is considered the most powerful and highly bioavailable on the market. This product is actually a gel that you mix in to a drink, and it contains millions of ‘smart’ liposomal nano-spheres loaded with liquid vitamin C.
Avocado is a superfood that could help reduce symptoms in men already dealing with BPH or an enlarged prostate. That’s likely because of the plant sterol known as beta-sitosterol.
That nutrient may be able to improve urine flow. Plus, it is also an immune booster that could have an anti-inflammatory effect on the prostate.
But the benefits could go beyond BPH. A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association claims healthy fats – like those you’d get consuming avocado oil -Â could actually help fight early stage prostate cancer. An article on Harvard’s Medical blog quotes a specialist.
âItâs one of the first studies to look at dietary interventions after men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer,â says Dr. Marc B. Garnick, a prostate cancer specialist at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. âIt supports the idea that you can potentially modify the behavior of prostate cancer that is still confined to the prostate gland.â
Of course you can only eat so many avocadoes on a regular basis. But you can also enhance your diet with supplements containing beta-sitosterol. Natural Healthy Concepts offers Beta-sitosterol supplements from Pure Encapsulations, NOW Foods and many other trustworthy natural health brands.
5. Green Tea
Green tea contains a specific antioxidant known as EGCG, which may actually kill off cancer cells in the prostate. Another compound in the tea could block the actions of an enzyme that promotes cancer growth.
A 2012 study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting on cancer prevention found that men diagnosed with prostate cancer who also drank green tea had less cancerous tissue growth than men who did not drink green tea.
Green tea offers many health benefits besides prostate health – it’s an ideal beverage to drink regularly. You can find many different types of Green Tea at Natural Healthy Concepts. That includes – Green Tea Super Antioxidant from Yogi as well as Tulsi Green Tea from Organic India.
- Find out more about the benefits of drinking tea
What About Saw Palmetto for Prostate Health?
Another popular supplement for targeting prostate issues has been the herbal extract of Saw Palmetto. But now there are some concerns about using it.
Some health experts say that while research shows Saw Palmetto could reduce the size of an enlarged prostate and provide relief for symptoms of BPH – it may do this by killing off the good cells and unhealthy cells. Studies indicate the herb targets both healthy and cancerous cells in the prostate.
For that reason, Saw Palmetto may be helpful in men already diagnosed with prostate cancer, but may not be as beneficial for men with BPH only. Talk to your healthcare practitioner before you begin using Saw Palmetto for prostate health.
What About Omega-3s from Fish Oil & Flax Seed Oil?
Another controversial nutrient connected to prostate health is Omega-3s from fish oil or flaxseed.
A 2013 study claimed to find a link between Omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk for prostate cancer. However, this study and it’s findings have been disputed by many people in the worlds of both natural health and conventional medicine.
Dr. Gerald Chodak was highly critical of the study in a video for Medscape. Natural health proponent Dr. Joseph Mercola also shot down the study on his website. Even TV celebrity physician Dr. Oz questioned the study’s results.
As Dr. Mercola pointed out –
“Folks, this is some of the most absurd advice Iâve seen in a long time. How they could possibly come to the conclusion that omega-3 supplements might be dangerous based on this study is a mystery in and of itself. Correlation is not the same as causation, first of all.
Secondly, no omega-3 supplements were actually given in this study. In fact, most participants reportedly did not take them.”
Long story short – you do not need to remove foods like salmon and other fish from your diet. Supplementing with Omega 3s may be much more beneficial to your health when weighed against the possible disadvantages.
Find out more about the reaction to this study in our article – Omega 3 Fish Oil and the Prostate Cancer Controversy.
Image Credits via Flickr: