What is the Best Fruits For Prostate Health? Prostate Health is something that needs to be taken care of and the best way to look after your health is by choosing the right types of fruits for prostate health. This can help you avoid unnecessary stress that is caused by several factors that contribute to stress and anxiety levels.
What foods are good for an enlarged prostate?
The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped gland that sits behind the bladder in men. During sexual activity, the prostate gland helps produce semen, the nutrient-rich fluid that carries the sperm during ejaculation.
As some men get older, the prostate gland can become enlarged, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
In this article, learn what foods to eat to ease the symptoms of BPH.
Diet and an enlarged prostate
The prostate gland is controlled by powerful hormones known as the sex hormones, including testosterone.
In the prostate gland, testosterone is converted to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT cause the cells in the prostate to enlarge.
Certain foods and beverages are known to have an impact on prostate health because of their effects on testosterone and other hormones.
Research has found that a diet primarily consisting of meat or dairy products can increase the risk of prostate enlargement and cancer. This is especially true if a person does not incorporate enough vegetables into their diet.
Foods to eat
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is thought to protect the prostate.
Specific foods known to benefit the prostate include:
- Salmon: Salmon is rich in healthy fats that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent and reduce inflammation within the body. Other cold-water fish, such as sardines and trout, are also rich in these types of fats.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that may benefit prostate gland cells. Cooking tomatoes, such as in tomato sauce or soup, helps to release the lycopene and make it more readily available to the body.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are the byproducts of reactions that occur within the body and can cause damage and disease over time.
- Broccoli: Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, including bok choy, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, contain a chemical known as sulforaphane. This is thought to target cancer cells and promote a healthy prostate.
- Nuts: Nuts are rich in zinc, a trace mineral. Zinc is found in high concentrations in the prostate and is thought to help balance testosterone and DHT. Besides nuts, shellfish and legumes are also high in zinc.
- Citrus: Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are all high in vitamin C, which may help to protect the prostate gland.
- Onions and garlic: One study found that men with BPH tended to eat less garlic and onions that men without BPH. More research is needed to confirm these results, but onions and garlic are healthful additions to most diets.
Also, some studiesTrusted Source on plant extract therapies, such as an extract from a type of palm tree known as saw palmetto, have been shown to have a positive impact on the prostate size and urinary flow. More research is needed, however.
Foods to avoid
A healthful diet for an enlarged prostate is more than just eating good foods. It also means avoiding other types of foods that are not good for the prostate.
Some foods to avoid include:
- Red meat: Research suggests that going red meat-free may help improve prostate health. In fact, daily meat consumption is believed to triple the risk of prostate enlargement.
- Dairy: Similarly to meat, regular consumption of dairy has been linked to an increased risk of BPH. Cutting out or reducing butter, cheese, and milk may help reduce BPH symptoms.
- Caffeine: Caffeine may act as a diuretic, which means that it increases how much, how often, and how urgently a person has to urinate. Cutting back on coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate may improve urinary symptoms of BPH.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can also stimulate urine production. Men with BPH may find that their symptoms are improved by giving up alcohol.
- Sodium: A high salt intake may increase the urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH. Following a low-sodium diet by not adding salt to meals and avoiding processed foods may be helpful for some men.
Managing an enlarged prostate
Dietary changes can be quite effective in managing some of the symptoms of BPH, but other basic lifestyle changes can help as well.
Some strategies that may ease BPH symptoms include:
- managing stress
- quitting smoking
- avoiding fluids in the evening to reduce nighttime urination
- emptying the bladder completely when urinating
- doing pelvic floor exercises
- avoiding medications that can worsen symptoms, such as antihistamines, diuretics, and decongestants if possible
- trying bladder training exercises
- limiting fluid intake to 2 liters of liquids each day
If these lifestyle changes are not effective, medication or surgery may be recommended by a doctor.
Enlarged prostate symptoms
An enlarged prostate or BPH is fairly common. Over 14 million menTrusted Source in the United States experienced BPH symptoms in 2010.
Symptoms of BPH include:
- increased urinary frequency and urgency
- difficulty starting urination
- weak urine stream or dribble at the end of urination
- interrupted urination
- frequent urination at night
- pain after ejaculation
- painful urination
- urinary retention or inability to urinate
These symptoms occur when an enlarged prostate gland blocks the urethra, the tube that runs between the bladder and outside of the body. This blockage can make it difficult or even impossible to pass urine.
Treating BPH depends on the severity of the symptoms. Sometimes, only basic lifestyle changes are needed.
However, there are also medications or surgical procedures that can be effective in reducing the size of the prostate or the symptoms associated with BPH.
Foods to Boost Prostate Health
Your diet can significantly affect your health, including that of your prostate.
By adding healthy, prostate-friendly foods to your diet, you may be able to reduce your risk of prostate problems, including prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among males, affecting 1 in 8 males in the United States
Though the exact role of diet in prostate health isn’t clear, several theories exist. Some experts believe that the high fat, high sugar Western diet may contribute to increased rates of prostate cancer.
Some studies have associated both diets high in dairy products and high total calcium intake through food and supplements to a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm this link
When making dietary changes, you’ll still need to see your healthcare provider for regular prostate cancer screenings, but you can start supporting your prostate health by adding the following 6 foods to your diet.
Certain fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Some research suggests that a diet high in lycopene may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer
Further research is needed to confirm a benefit, but in a review of 24 studies, researchers suggested that males who ate more tomatoes were less likely to develop prostate cancer
Lycopene may decrease cell damage and slow cancer cell production. It’s an antioxidant, meaning it protects cells from damage
Because lycopene is tightly bound to the cell walls of raw tomatoes, your body has trouble extracting it. Cooked or puréed tomato products may be better options, such as the following products:
- tomato paste
- spaghetti sauce
- sun-dried tomatoes
- tomato juice
How to add more tomatoes to your diet
Incorporating more tomato-based recipes into your diet is simple.
There are many nutritious tomato dishes to try. For example, adding some sun-dried or fresh tomatoes to salads, eating your eggs with sliced tomatoes or salsa, and enjoying tomato-based soups are excellent ways to boost your lycopene intake.
In the summer months, you can buy fresh, local tomatoes to add to sandwiches and chop into salads.
Drinking plain tomato juice each morning is another good option. Just make sure to pick a low sodium variety.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene that may reduce prostate cancer risk.
Broccoli is a vegetable that contains many complex compounds that may help protect some people from cancer.
Some studies suggest there’s a link between the amount of cruciferous vegetables you eat — a group that includes broccoli — and a lower prostate cancer risk
The reasons are still unclear, but researchers propose that some phytochemicals in these vegetables — including sulforaphane, which broccoli sprouts contain concentrated amounts of — selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected
Other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
How to add more broccoli to your diet
You can add broccoli to stir-fries, soups, and salads, or simply eat it raw or steamed.
If you worry about fresh vegetables going bad, consider buying frozen broccoli so that you can cook it whenever you have the time.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane and other anticancer compounds that selectively target and kill cancer cells.
3. Green tea
People have been using green tea for its health benefits for thousands of years. Researchers have conducted many studies on its effects on cancer.
Evidence suggests that special compounds in green tea may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by influencing tumor growth, cell death, and hormone signaling
The following compounds could explain the health benefits of green tea
- xanthine derivatives
- epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
How to add more green tea to your diet
If you like the taste of green tea, start by drinking a cup each morning in place of your regular coffee.
If you prefer to skip caffeine, try a decaffeinated version. If you don’t like warm tea, try cooling it in your refrigerator and adding ice for a refreshing beverage.
If you aren’t a fan of the taste, try using cooled green tea as the liquid in homemade smoothies, or adding green tea powder.
Green tea contains a range of compounds, including powerful antioxidants, that could help fight cancer.
4. Legumes and soybeans
Legumes are a food group that includes beans, peanuts, and lentils. Legumes contain biologically active plant compounds known as phytoestrogens.
Isoflavones are one such phytoestrogen. One review found that people who ate the most phytoestrogens had a 20% reduced risk of prostate cancer than the group with the lowest intake (12Trusted Source).
The cancer-fighting effects of phytoestrogens may come from their antioxidant properties and effects on hormone regulation and cell death.
While there’s still a need for more conclusive research, some research has linked soybean isoflavones with reduced prostate cancer risk
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) shows a link between the consumption of soy and reduced levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. The PSA test, which measures the level of PSA in your blood, is used as a screening test for prostate cancer.
This research also seemed to indicate that soy was more effective when eaten along with other cancer-fighting foods.
How to add more legumes and soybeans to your diet
To add more legumes and soybeans to your diet, consider swapping meat for plant protein in at least some meals. This could mean trying Meatless Mondays or moving toward a plant-based diet.
Try making a black bean burger with lots of veggies. Alternatively, homemade hummus made with blended chickpeas makes a delicious dip for vegetables or whole grain bread.
Finally, tofu is an excellent source of soy. Try flavoring tofu with sauces and baking it or browning it on the stove, or adding it to stir-fries.
Legumes, including soybeans, contain compounds called phytoestrogens, which may help suppress tumor growth.
Superfoods for a Healthy Prostate
A balanced diet may reduce your risk for prostate problems.
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.
There’s no definitive evidence that good nutrition can prevent prostate problems, but eating a healthy balanced diet may reduce your risk. “Building a meal and snack around veggies and fruit is a smart idea for health in general, and particularly a healthy prostate,” says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, nutrition expert for New York Times bestseller LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout and advisory board member for Men’s Fitness magazine.
Here are six foods you can eat to boost your prostate health.
Berries like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in the body as they prevent damage from free radicals, molecules that attack healthy cells and can contribute to cancer risk. Vitamin C may also help ease benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms by promoting urination and reducing swelling.
So what’s a quick easy way to whip up a healthy vitamin-C rich snack? Dr. Mohr recommends blending a variety of berries and greens into a smoothie with milk and protein powder. “Blueberries, banana, milk, protein powder, peanut butter, and ice is a perfect smoothie with lots of flavor and nutrition but simple to make.”
There’s about 90 milligrams of vitamin C in one cup of strawberries and about 14 mg in one cup of blueberries. Other great sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli, and mangos. For most adult men, 90 milligrams of vitamin C is recommended daily.
There are plenty of reasons to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3s help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels, lower high blood pressure, help with weight loss, and can reduce the risk of heart attack. Although experts typically recommend cutting down on animal fat for prostate health, a diet high in omega-3s can help boost prostate health. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like lake trout and herring, may actually help lower prostate cancer risk.
“A review paper published last year discussed how omega-3 fats modulate prostate cancer development, likely because of their anti-inflammatory effects, and ultimately inhibiting tumor growth. So it’s important to suggest maybe replacing some other animal fats with that from fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, tuna, for the beneficial omega-3 fats,” says Mohr.
Most adults should aim to get two servings (one serving is 3.5 ounces) of omega-3 rich fish a week. Worried about mercury in your fish? Anchovies, herring, sardines, and freshwater trout are good sources of omega-3s with lower levels of mercury.
Healthy fats like those found in nuts can help lower your cholesterol and promote brain health. “Nuts are one of the best go-to snacks. They’re portable, convenient, and give you a lot of bang for your buck,” says Mohr.
Brazil nuts are not only a good source of vital nutrients like vitamin E and calcium, they’re also full of the mineral selenium. A 2010 study suggests that selenium along with soy may help fight prostate cancer, though more research is still needed.
One Brazil nut has more than 100 percent of the daily value of selenium, which can be harmful in high doses, so watch your portions. Other great nuts for men include pecans, almonds, and walnuts. Nuts can be pretty fatty, so remember more is less.
“For fat, it’s not as much about quantity as it is quality. If we could shift our focus to more omega-3s and monosaturated fats, we’d certainly improve [our] health significantly,” says Mohr.
Here’s one swap that will boost prostate health: Replace red or processed meats with plant protein. Beans, chia, and hemp seeds are chock-full of protein and other vital nutrients, says Mohr.
Black beans, for example, pack a lot of nutritional punch. Just one cup has about 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, which may promote prostate health. Hemp and chia seeds, on the other hand, have roughly 5 grams of protein per ounce. Hemp seeds also contain all essential amino acids, while chia seeds contain about 10 grams of fiber per ounce.
“Beans can be added to a salad or used to replace traditional meat on a burrito or wrap, and hemp and chia can be used on oatmeal, shakes, and Greek yogurt,” says Mohr. Most adult men should aim to get about 38 grams of fiber and 56 grams of protein per day.
Research suggests that green tea can help protect against prostate cancer. The benefits of consuming green tea doesn’t stop there though, it also helps lower cholesterol and even improves memory and attention spans.
Although the obvious way to consume green tea is to brew and enjoy it, there are other ways to get your fix. Try these recipes for iced mint green tea and green tea rice. Other ways to enjoy green tea include adding it to a smoothie or using it to create a marinade.
This staple of summertime eating is fat-free, sodium-free, and high in vitamins A and C. Watermelon is also an excellent source of lycopene, the antioxidant that gives whole foods like tomatoes and watermelons their color.
Research suggests that lycopene may help lower prostate cancer risk. Lycopene can be found in foods like tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, guava, and papaya. There’s about 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene in a cup and a half of watermelon.
Most adults should aim for about 10 mg of lycopene a day, which shouldn’t be tough considering a tablespoon of ketchup and a half cup of tomato puree contain about 2.5 mg and 25 mg, respectively.