Plenty of wonders springs forth from the small, walnut-sized gland that is the prostate.
In fact, we can argue that the prostate serves as one of the powerhouse glands of the reproductive system.
And why not? The prostate is, after all, in charge of putting together a complex concoction of seminal fluid, bulbourethral secretions, sperm cells, and its own prostate juices to create semen.
This formula is all combined in your urethra. Moreover, prostate secretions are a vital component of male fertility because sperm cells need them so they can move to the ultimate goal–fertilizing a partner’s egg.
Nevertheless, some men feel apprehensive about seeing a doctor for potential prostate issues because of jumping to conclusions about the outcome.
The truth is, 80% of stage 1-2 prostate cancer patients have a good survival outlook, especially when it is nipped in the bud–but survival rates decrease as the condition worsens.
Top 3 Most Common Prostate Issues in Men
The top three most common prostate problems men run into are the following:
- Prostate inflammation (prostatitis). Swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland affect men of all ages. However, it is most often seen in men between 30 to 50 years old. This type of prostate condition usually stems from bacterial infections.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Prostate enlargement is common in men as they age, and in most cases, this condition is harmless. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause for concern. Prostate enlargement applies pressure on the urethra, making the bladder work harder to empty itself. Excessive pressure on the bladder may also lead to kidney damage over time. Worse, the resulting damage may require men to use catheters for relief.
- Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer generally affects men in their 50s. While it is treatable when caught early, metastasis towards the bones may be life-threatening.
That said, how can we keep our prostates in tip-top shape naturally? Let’s count the ways.
- Load up on the fruits and veggies
Fruit and veg contain oodles and oodles of essential vitamins and trace minerals, apart from a healthy serving of dietary fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients combined may play a significant role in keeping your prostate in optimal working condition.
Try to shoot for five servings of colorful fruit and veg every day to get the fullest spectrum of prostate-boosting phytochemicals.
Lycopene-rich tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, particularly in the skin–make sure to eat your tomatoes with the skin to ensure you get ample lycopene.
On the other hand, green cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and kale are rich in sulfur, which may help improve prostate and general overall health.
- Consume more whole grains and get your share of legumes
Legumes aren’t only delicious, nutritious, and versatile. They’re also rich in a wide array of prostate-healthy nutrients like potassium, folate, magnesium, and iron. Best of all, you can enjoy them in a variety of preparations, from casseroles to soups, and from main courses to side dishes.
Soybeans are also classified as legumes, and they have a track record for promoting prostate health. Soy contains phytoestrogens known as isoflavones, which have shown the potential to inhibit prostate cancer cell growth in some studies.
Tofu, edamame, tempeh, and soy milk are excellent sources of phytoestrogens. Opt to eat unprocessed whole grains and reduce consumption of refined grains, as they lack fiber and B vitamins lost during the process of refining. Opt to consume whole grains than refined grains for that natural prostate health boost.
- Reduce red meat and dairy consumption
While the research is inconclusive, preliminary studies show that heavy red meat or dairy consumption isn’t necessarily prostate-friendly. The same can be said about eating processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, sausages, and luncheon meats.
In addition, consuming too much calcium may be unhealthy for the prostate. While ample amounts of calcium are needed for bone health, anything in excess is bad. 1,000 mg of calcium from dietary sources and/or supplements is just right. Cut down your dairy consumption to no more than two servings a day.
- Incorporate omega-3 rich fatty fish into your diet
Don’t take fish for granted as an alternative protein source. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring aren’t just good for your prostate–it’s also good for your ticker.
Try to eat at least a serving of omega-3 rich fatty fish twice a week.
- Make the switch to green tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants. In particular, green tea contains catechins, which are polyphenols that might benefit prostate health. Green tea has 80%-90% less caffeine than regular coffee does, and 3-4 cups of green tea per day are thought to be the most beneficial to promote prostate health.
- Keep a healthy weight at all times
Most health issues stem from not keeping a healthy body weight, and the same can be said for your prostate health. Therefore, instead of binging on junk food and carbonated drinks, opt for healthier options. Control your portions by setting a ⅔ portion size of veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and ⅓ of your animal protein for more efficient weight loss.
- Incorporate regular exercise into your routine
Keeping a healthy weight is inseparably tied to regular exercise, which is critical for maintaining good prostate health. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, keep hormone levels balanced, and promote a better immune response.
Weight training is also beneficial for improving stamina, muscular strength, and quality of life, apart from boosting testosterone levels. Try to shoot for at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity every day for 5 days a week. Consult your doctor to see which activities are most appropriate for your circumstances.
- Cut down on the salt
While more studies need to be conducted on the link between salt consumption and prostate cancer risk, the preliminary evidence shows that it may worsen existing BPH, as it can exacerbate the latter’s symptoms.
Salt makes your kidney work hard to expel the excess sodium, leading to more frequency. But suppose an enlarged prostate gets in the way of excretion. In that case, you may be at a higher risk of contracting a urinary tract infection.
That wraps up our eight natural methods to protect your prostate health throughout adulthood. Don’t forget to get tested–early detection can save a life.