Eating for Good Prostate Health
All men should be concerned about prostate health, regardless of age. Prostate disorders such as prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer generally don’t affect men until they are in their 40s or older. However, taking care of ourselves before that is preventative health care, which means we can reduce these risks.
Men tend to believe it’s only women who need to maintain hormone balance. But the threat of prostate cancer generally comes from an imbalance of hormones, and not from one hormone acting alone.
Hormones are also reactive to the foods we consume or don’t consume. This means we must pay attention to what we eat, and how much we eat. Whole, natural foods are typically high in fiber, a component linked to two indicators for prostate health: lower levels of testosterone and lower PSA scores.
Eat more selenium-rich foods such as wheat germ; tuna, herring and other seafood and shellfish; beef liver; kidney; eggs; sunflower and sesame seeds; cashews; mushrooms; garlic and onions. Omega 3 fats (found in fish) fight inflammation, a process that destroys the body’s natural antioxidants and weakens the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to disease. Selenium reduces risk of prostate cancer.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are excellent sources of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds such as antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and fiber. These foods can help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Other good ones are tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava and papaya, which contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale also are good choices. Vitamin D, folic acid, turmeric and curcumin are important for the same reasons.
Eat healthy fats. People who live in countries where high-fat diets are the norm (like the U.S.) are more likely to develop prostate cancer than people who live in countries where less fat is consumed. Also, men who averaged more than 600mg calcium daily had a 32 percent higher risk of prostate cancer than those who regularly consumed 150mg or less.
Drink green tea. This contains catechins, antioxidants that can slow the cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death. Men who drink green tea can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 70 percent when compared with men who don’t drink green tea.
Water is the Fountain of Youth. For those who don’t enjoy the taste, do something to make it tastier like adding citrus juice, mint, electrolytes… the possibilities are endless, but drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese is associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer, lower long-term survival rate and more aggressive forms of the disease.
We can’t guarantee we’ll never have physical problems, but we can certainly influence our aging process and minimize health issues by practicing preventative measures now. And remember, ejaculation really helps, so spend more time destressing instead of being so focused on that which makes you stressed. There are obvious rewards.
Zachary Saber is a Licensed Massage Therapist at WellnessFirst. He specializes in myofascial release, structural integration and neuromuscular re-education, with nearly 20 years of hands-on experience. Connect at 520-232-4585, SaberLMP@aol.com or 3861WellnessFirst.com. See ad, page 3.