The prostate is the small walnut-shaped gland in men, located at the neck of the bladder. It secretes a fluid called semen that nourishes sperm and provides mobility during ejaculation. The most common condition affecting the prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlargement of the prostate within the urethral lumen, causing urinary obstruction and the associated symptoms. Prostate cancer is also one of the most common cancers affecting men worldwide.
There are certain foods that are associated with a healthy prostate and are shown to prevent prostatic conditions or reduce symptoms associated with prostate pathology. There are also certain diets, such as those high in fats, sugar, dairy products, and calcium, that increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, the relationship between prostate health and diet is not conclusive and requires further study. But it is better to include certain foods in your diet that are nutritionally beneficial and might also be good for the prostate.
Considering all these factors, we have included the 10 best foods for prostate health that are nutritious enough to improve overall health.
Best Foods For Prostate Health
Due to their effect on testosterone and other hormones responsible for prostate pathology, there are certain best foods for prostate health, which are mentioned as follows.
Fish such as salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, and sardines are rich in essential fatty acids including omega-3 and omega -6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are not synthesized in our body and must be obtained from the diet. There are several reviews reporting that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids lowers the risk of prostate cancer and mortality due to cancer. There must be a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for better overall health, and these fatty acids also have several other health benefits.
You can get omega-3 fatty acids simply from a can of sardines or tuna. You can also cook fish or add fish to salads, soups, pasta, and sandwiches. You can also add other prostate-friendly foods such as tomato sauce or lemon sauce to add flavor to the fish. You can try different varieties of fish to change your taste. If you do not eat fish you can take fish oil supplements like salmon oil or non-fish alternatives like algal oil. However, it is better to consult your healthcare provider or dietician before taking these supplements.
Tomatoes contain a pigment called lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant and protects the body from inflammation and cell damage. Studies have shown that tomato consumption reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
However, lycopene is attached to its cell wall and is difficult to extract. So, to get the full benefits of tomatoes, you must use tomatoes in cooked or pureed forms. You can try many nutritious tomato dishes like tomato salads, eggs with tomatoes or salsa, and tomato-based soups. You can also add fresh chopped tomatoes to your sandwich. Drinking tomato juice is another way of consuming tomatoes. So, tomato is considered one of the best foods for prostate health as it is tasty as well as nutritious.
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. Free radicals are the byproducts of chemical reactions in the body and can cause tissue damage and disease. They can be associated with cancers including prostate cancer. Therefore, taking berries in your diet reduces your risk of getting prostate cancer.
You can treat yourself to sweet berries and also enjoy their health benefits. It can be eaten raw or added to salads or yogurt for further benefits. Also, you can enjoy a different variety of berries for a change and enjoy their health benefits.
Broccoli is a group of cruciferous vegetable which contains various complex compounds and minerals that has anti-cancer properties and protects the body from cancer.
Studies also have an association between cruciferous vegetable consumption and reduced risk of prostate cancer.
It is thought that some phytochemicals in these vegetables like sulforaphane selectively kill cancer cells without affecting normal healthy cells resulting in the remission of cancer. However, the findings are not yet conclusive. Nevertheless, including broccoli in your diet has multiple health benefits.
You can simply eat broccoli raw or steamed. You can also make soup, stir-fries, and salads.
5. Green tea
People have been consuming green tea for its multiple health benefits. Studies suggest that some compounds in green tea such as xanthine derivatives, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and epicatechin affects tumor cell growth, cell death, and hormonal signaling, reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
You can consume green tea by replacing it with your morning regular tea or coffee. If you do not want to consume caffeine, you can take decaffeinated green tea as well. It can be consumed cold as an iced green tea for refreshment, or you can add other flavors to make a smoothie.
Turmeric has multiple health benefits through its anti-inflammatory effects. These anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric also help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Turmeric and other foods with anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by both normal and diseased cells in the prostate that can be measured in the blood. The PSA level in the blood is an important indicator of prostate pathology. PSA levels rise rapidly in prostate cancer and other inflammatory conditions of the prostate. So, by reducing the PSA level in the blood, turmeric prevents prostate pathology.
Turmeric can be consumed by adding turmeric powder to vegetables, soups, milk, and other cooked foods.
Legumes include foods such as beans, peanuts, and lentils. These foods contain a special plant hormone called phytoestrogen, which has anti-cancer properties and has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Phytoestrogens regulate hormones, prevent cell death, and have antioxidant properties. So, it reduces the risk of prostate hyperplasia and cancer through these mechanisms.
Legumes can be consumed as soups or as alternatives to meat protein. You can add beans to your burger with other vegetables or consume lentil soup by soaking them in rice. So, legumes can be a good source of plant protein and a healthy alternative to animal protein.
Soybeans contain bioactive compounds called isoflavones. Evidence has suggested a link between isoflavones and a reduced risk of prostate cancer, but further study is required. Consumption of soy protein has been associated with a reduction in prostate-specific antigen (PSA). PSA levels are screening tools for prostate cancer and their rapid rise suggests a risk of prostate cancer. So, the reduction of PSA levels has been associated with a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer.
You can replace meat-based meals with ones that include soybeans, and tofu is a fantastic source of soy. Tofu can be flavored with sauces and prepared in stir-fries, baked, or browned on the stove.
Like other best foods for prostate health, pomegranate contains a good amount of antioxidants, which regulate inflammation and cellular proliferation, resulting in a reduced risk of prostate pathology. Furthermore, evidence suggests that pomegranates contain specific bioactive compounds that help to reduce abnormal proliferation of cells and protect against prostate pathology.
The benefits of a pomegranate can be obtained by consuming it in the form of juice or by adding pomegranate seeds to salads.
Zinc is a trace micronutrient that is beneficial for health and also helps to regulate cellular proliferation. Nuts contain a good amount of zinc and protect the prostate from inflammation and cancer. Zinc is also present in the prostate and helps to regulate the balance between testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This balance between testosterone and DHT helps to reduce the growth of the prostate and reduce the risk of benign prostate hyperplasia. Thus, zinc present in nuts helps to reduce the risk of BPH, prostate cancer, and inflammation.
Nuts can be rich in calories and cause weight gain. So, they must be consumed in moderation to prevent excessive weight gain and enjoy the health benefits.
Although further study is required to concretely establish that there is an association between diet and prostate health, studies conducted till now have shown promising results about certain foods that might prevent prostate conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer.
So, we have listed here some foods which are worth considering adding to your diet for an overall improvement in health. Some such foods are fish, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, green tea, turmeric, legumes, soybeans, pomegranates, and nuts. You may be allergic to certain foods. So, to find out your allergic status, you can order home-based tests such as AFIL kits.
You also need to avoid foods rich in fats and sugar to prevent prostate diseases and maintain overall balance in the diet to include all the important nutrients required for good health. If you are suffering from any type of prostate condition, you need to consult your doctor for treatment and dietary advice.
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