These days, prostate health is one of the biggest areas of concern among middle aged men.
Interestingly, it also one of the biggest "treatment hubs" of the health care industry, with many invasive procedures being administered that can often be avoided with some simple adjustments to diet and lifestyle.
It is generally recommended that men over the age of 40 go in for a prostate checkup, regardless of any symptoms they may be experiencing.
However, avoiding prostate problems can be fairly straight forward when you know what to look for and when you become conscious of the simple dietary and lifestyle adjustments you can make to help ensure good prostate health as you age.
Here, we outline the most common signs of prostate health problems and reveal some simple diet and lifestyle tips that can help minimise risk of prostate dis-ease and dysfunction.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland at the base of the bladder that encircles the urethra. The prostatic fluid, which makes up the bulk of the male ejaculate and nourishes and transports the sperm is produced by the prostate.
What are the symptoms of prostate problems?
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in the semen
- Chronic lower back and/or pelvic discomfort
Common Diagnosis Methods
The top geographical regions of the world for prostate diagnosis are, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Although there are many genuine cases of prostate cancer, one of the big problems these days is that millions of men go in for PSA tests, without any symptoms at all.
PSA refers to a Prostate Specific Antigen test, which is a substance produced by the prostate gland. And it is this test, that in many cases can lead to a false diagnosis, often leading to unnecessary procedures that could be avoided.
If Prostate Cancer is diagnosed, it is usually a slow-growing cancer which can be turned around by making some healthy changes.
The other Prostate ailment that is commonly diagnosed is Prostatitis, which is an inflammation of the prostate gland, typically caused by a bacterial infection spread from elsewhere in the body.
Prostate Health Dietary Tips
Foods To Avoid
It is commonly recommended to avoid or minimise chemical and processed foods to reduce prostate health risk. These food groups include:
- Processed Meat - The Heterocyclic Amines (HCA's) in meat products like salami, sausages, ham, corned beef and bacon are known carcinogens
- Industrial Dairy - pasteurised dairy products from factory-farmed, hormone injected animals are highly inflammatory and should be substituted with organic, locally sourced varieties
- Refined Sugars - processed and refined sugars lead to obesity, diabetes and feed cancers including prostate cancer
- Hydrogenated Oils - Vegetable seed oils like canola, safflower and corn oils are chemically modified oils that disrupt the gut microbiome and cause inflammation in the body.
Foods To Eat
What you eat plays a key role in protecting a healthy prostate. The following foods can support ongoing prostate health:
- Leafy Green Vegetables (Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, Silver Beet)
- Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy, Cabbage)
- Onions, Leeks & Garlic
- Raw Nuts and Seeds (Macadamias, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Brazil Nuts which are loaded with Selenium - a vital nutrient for the prostate)
- Raw Peanut Butter
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flax Seed Oil and Macadamia Oil
- Raw Coconut Oil
- Organic Grass-Fed Butter and Yogurt
- Beans, Legumes, Lentils and Chick Peas
- Whole grains (unrefined)
- Organic Soy & Tofu (Non-GMO)
- Organic Wild Rice
- Wheat Germ
- Rolled Oats
- Nut Milks (Almond and Coconut Milk)
- Organic Free Range Eggs
- Organic Coffee - Recent research involving over 1 million men, found an association between increased coffee consumption and decreased risk of prostate cancer. The polyphenols and flavonoids are potent anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation and thwart cancer development.
Many of these foods are also rich in Zinc which is vital for proper immune function and nourishes the prostate gland.
Additional Lifestyle Tips
1. Rise, Hydrate & Walk - When you rise, drink 500ml-1 litre of pure chilled water with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.
Then go outside and walk for 30-45 minutes.
2. Oatmeal Breakfast - Oatmeal and rolled oats help to nourish and target the health of the prostate. Try this breakfast recipe on a regular basis:
- Add 1 cup of Organic Rolled Oats or Oatmeal to a bowl and cover with almond milk, cover and allow to soak in the fridge overnight
- Before eating for breakfast, add 1-2 tablespoons of Flaxseed Oil, a handful of chopped raw Brazil Nuts and a tablespoon of Organic Raw Honey or Organic Maple Syrup to taste. Lightly mix together, add more almond milk as desired and enjoy.
- Optional Extra: Add slices of ripe banana.
3. Smoothie A Day - Adding a smoothie a day to your diet is a great way to get nutrients into your body, keeping you satiated without placing additional burden on your digestive system.
Into a vitamix or blender, add slices of frozen banana to almond or coconut milk with 1-2 pitted medjool dates or raw honey to sweeten. Blend together and enjoy or prepare in advance and pour into a glass bottle or mason jar and store in the fridge for when you're ready.
Optional Extra: Add a Tablespoon of raw cacao powder for a chocolatey boost! Cacao is an anti-oxidant rich nutrient that is beneficial to the prostate also.
4. Get Sunshine - Moderate exposure to sunlight helps lower the risk of many cancers including prostate cancer, thanks to the way it nourished the liver with Vitamin D which supports the immune system.
At least 3-4 days per week, get your body into natural morning sunlight for 20-30 minutes. Learn more in our blog, The Healing Powers of Sunlight
5. Movement - Walking is the number one exercise that you should practice daily, no matter your age to support all round health and to help prevent cancer.
A recent study of 1,400 men with early stage Prostate Cancer, found that those who walked a minimum of 3 hours per week, were 57% less likely to have their prostate cancer progress.
6. Use Essential Oils - Just as "food" is medicine, so are pure plant essential oils. Essential oils are mother nature's true gifts that offer powerful medicinal benefits, without the side-effects of synthetic prescription drugs.
Essential oils that can be particularly effective for promoting prostate health include:
- Rosemary Oil has wonderful antioxidant properties that can help to inhibit prostate cancer. It can be taken both internally or applied topically to the area below the genitals with Fractionated Coconut Oil (Carrier Oil)
- Frankincense Oil - in addition to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, research has also demonstrated that the 'King of Oils' may benefit prostatitis as well as suppressing cancer cell growth;
- Myrrh Oil can help to relax muscles which can be beneficial for those suffering from an enlarged prostate.
The Main Takeaway
Despite big marketing campaigns that can cause unnecessary fear among men, prostate health can generally be managed with smart dietary and lifestyle choices over the long term.
Whilst medical intervention may be required in certain cases, unless there are clear signs of prostate problems, by playing close attention to your diet, lifestyle and everyday self care habits, you'll go a long way to reducing your risk of prostate health problems.
Tolman Self Care.