The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that’s an important part of the male reproductive and urological system. Men 50 and over, in particular, are more likely to experience frequent urination and other issues if this gland becomes large enough to place pressure on the bladder or its adjacent urethra. There is a general consensus within the health community that making smart food choices, like the five ones suggested below, may reduce the risk of developing prostate issues later in life.
Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, in particular, are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. A boost in antioxidants can fend off the free radicals (unstable atoms) that can affect healthy cells in the prostate. Vitamin C may reduce the risk of prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
2. Broccoli and Other Cruciferous Veggies
Cruciferous vegetables are ones that come from a certain plant species. These veggies are good for prostate health because they have natural anticancer properties referred to as phytonutrients sulforaphane and indoles. While cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards all have these properties, broccoli may reduce stage III and IV prostate cancer risk by nearly 50 percent, according to recent research.
3. Fatty Fish
The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, and other “fatty fish” can help with prostate health by helping with weight loss. There’s also research suggesting omega-3 fatty acids may minimize prostate inflammation and lower prostate cancer risk. Herring, sardines, and freshwater trout can provide similar benefits without excessive amounts of mercury. The general recommendation is to strive for two servings of fish per week.
4. Green Tea
A nearly endless list of positive health attributes have been linked with green tea, including the ability to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Catechins compounds like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea may also lower levels of two biomarkers for prostate cancer and levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen). Green tea can be served brewed, iced, or as a tasty addition to a smoothie.
5. Plant-Based Proteins
According to the World Health Organization, red or processed meats may increase the risk of prostate cancer. One possible way to reduce this risk is to replace red or processed meats with plant proteins. Black beans are especially beneficial since they are high in both protein and fiber. Results from one study suggest that a high-fiber diet may slow the progression of prostate cancer in the early stages of disease. Plant-based protein sources include beans, chia, hemp seeds, soy products, and lentils.
In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, men looking to keep their prostate as healthy as possible may also benefit from getting regular exercise. Kegel exercises sometimes help to improve urination control. Walking, swimming, and jogging may be helpful as well. Exercise also plays a role in maintaining a proper hormone balance in the body, which can be a good thing for the prostate gland.