For those of you who do not actually know what Prostate is and what it does, it is a small gland resting at the base of the male genitals wrapped around the urethra (the urinary tract). It is one of the major organs involved in the male reproductive system as in it creates the semen fluid and is also connected to sexual urge among males. Prostate diseases often lead to the patient turning sterile or other urinary problems. Nowadays, prostate cancer and other prostate related problems are among the major diseases plaguing men around the world.
The most common prostate problems include BPH or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia, Prostate Cancer and Prostaitis or Inflammation of the Prostate. The risk for BPH and Prostate Cancer increases with age while Prostaitis is more common among young and middle aged males. BPH is basically enlarged prostate which starts to apply pressure on the urethra. Symptoms vary from low amount of urine, frequent urination, weak urination control to a noticeably weaker urine stream. Only 50% cases of BPH requires medical attention and only the most severe cases require surgery. The main culprit, however, is Prostate Cancer and the cases of men suffering from prostate cancer is increasing rapidly every year. After skin cancer, it is the most commonly occurring malignant disease in the world today and the numbers are pretty scary if you are a man. About 1 in 6 men is susceptible to prostate cancer and the numbers increase to 2 in 3 for men over the age of 65.
Race and family-history (much like breast and ovarian cancer) often play a major role in deciding whether a person will develop prostate cancer or not. It has been observed that African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than their Caucasian counterparts. According to this report, 15% of all new recorded cancer cases in 2012 were prostate cancers while it made up 8% of all the cancer cases. That is a significant number if you consider that the total number of prostate cancer cases that year was over 1 million. Now, the objective of this article is not to scare you, rather to help you understand the risks and how to combat them in an easy and efficient way. It has been proven that lifestyle changes have a major impact on prostate health and a major part of your lifestyle is the food you eat on a regular basis. So following are some of the foods you should include in your diet and some to avoid in order to have a healthy prostate in a natural way.
Foods To Take: Watermelon:
You might be shocked to find this extremely popular summertime fruit on this list but it is here for a solid reason. Watermelons contain a healthy amount of Lycopene, an antioxidant behind the red colour of watermelons which also might lower prostate cancer risks according to some studies. Papaya, Guava and Tomatoes contain Lycopene as well. So if these fruits are in your regular diet, you are well on track for a healthy prostate.
Fill up your diet with as many types of beans as possible. Beans have a lot of nutritional value, contain all the essential amino acids a human body needs and are also chalk full of fibre. Soy Bean is especially recommended to improve prostate health. It is believed that Asian men are less susceptible to prostate diseases due to their high consumption of Soy Beans. If you cannot get your hands on Soy Beans for a regular diet, Soy milk and Tofu might do just as well. Chia and Hemp seeds are also good options as they provide the same health benefits as beans.
Considering all the health benefits green tea provides, it would have been surprising to not see it on this list. According to research, green tea is among the few superfoods that can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Thanks to modern culinary advancements, there are many green tea recipes available today apart from the standard beverage form. Omega3 Fatty Acids:
Eat foods that are high in Omega3 content. Salmons, Trouts, Sardines and Cods are excellent sources of Omega3 fatty acids. These acids improve good cholesterol while cutting down bad cholesterol, improve heart health and lower blood pressure. They are also linked to improving prostate health over the long run. If you would prefer a more vegetarian diet, nuts, especially, Almonds, Walnuts, Brazil nuts and Pecans are also enriched with Omega3 fatty acids.
Yes, all that time when your mom was persuading you to eat your Broccoli, she might have been onto something. Research shows that Cauliflower and Broccoli can reduce the risk of and even contain prostate cancer effectively. While the jury is still out on how these vegetables accomplish this, many believe that the phytochemical called Sulforaphane which is present in these vegetables might be the knight in shining armour.
Fruits And Vegetables Rich In Antioxidants:
Antioxidant laden fruits and vegetables can work wonders not only for your prostate but also your overall health. According to a study, regular consumption of Orange, lemons, Pomegranate, Avocado, Pineapple, Bell Peppers, different types of berries and tomato showed noticeable improvement among patients suffering from prostate cancer. Vitamins A and C are believed to be the major contributors towards prostate health.
Sesame seeds provide us with Zinc, a mineral not commonly found in the food that we eat. According to medical studies, people suffering from prostate cancer usually have very low levels of zinc in their bodies. Eating Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, Oysters or Adzuki beans provide them with the requisite Zinc which in turn helps battle prostate cancer. In nature, where there is Yin, there is Yang. Meaning, if there are foods that can grant you a healthy prostate, there are foods that can actually increase your chances of incurring prostate diseases. Following are some foods that you should cut down from your regular diet in order to get a healthy prostate.
Foods To Avoid: Red Meat:
For many people, red meats such as pork, beef, veal and sausages are an integral part of daily diet. The problem is that processed red meats consist of a number of Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and other known carcinogens that are linked to several types of cancers. With more and more evidence racking up each day, researchers have started to believe that red meats might be the major culprits in the occurrence of prostate cancer as well. So by cutting down on your intake of red meat, you might be doing your prostate a favour.
Many readers might stop reading once they see their most favourite beverage come up on this list but if you have prostate issues or are worried about your prostate health, please read on. According to a study conducted on 10,000 men, heavy alcohol drinkers were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer or aggravate it as compared to moderate drinkers. Now this poses a critical question, what would you prefer to have more, beer or sex.
It is no secret that saturated fat is bad for your health but they might be detrimental for the prostate too. Eating high amounts of saturated fat via foods like French fries, burgers, deep fried meats, chips and onion rings can increase prostate specific antigen or PSA levels which can ultimately lead to prostate cancer. Replacing these foods with fruits and salads is the way to go if you would like to have a healthy prostate. Taking or avoiding any one of these foods mentioned above may not do the trick but balancing your diet keeping all of these points in mind can surely make a difference. Ensure that your diet contains more antioxidants, fruits, beans, nuts, vegetables and Omega3 fatty acids and less red meat, alcohol and saturated fat. Following this diet on a regular basis will surely improve your prostate health and might even prevent prostate cancer.