5 Foods to improve your prostate health
This is a post I originally wrote in 2011 ! It’s still as relevant today as it was then.
Good prostate health is supported by a variety of foods rich in nutrients that are often considered to be “super foods”.
And it’s not just a trendy term, these really are super foods and doctors will often recommend diets based around these foods as they do such a good job of keeping your prostate healthy.
However, doctors generally only get to recommend things that help with prostate problems when you actually know (and admit) that there is a problem.
Ensuring that you include these following 5 types of food in your regular diet will help to keep that visit to the doctor (and the need for the dreaded Digital Rectal Examination!!) at bay.
Food with anti-inflammatory properties.
Many vegetables and fruits are rich in bioflavinoids and flavinols – these are the pigments that give them their colour.
The best way to explain these is with a quote from The University of Maryland Medical Centre…
“Flavonoids, are antioxidants — they scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. “
One flavinoid in particular – Quercetin – is being researched as being particularly beneficial to prosate health.
Foods rich in flavinoids include:
Apples Onions Pumpkin seeds
Ginger Berries Flax seeds
Also, herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon and oregano are powerful anti-inflammatories.
Foods rich in Lycopene
Water melons, pink grapefruit and, particularly tomatoes are a good source of Lycopene. Lycopene in tomatoes becomes particularly well absorbed when they have been cooked or heat treated.
Lycopene is a caretenoid that is responsible for the red colouring of these fruits (though not all red colouring is from Lycopene) and has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant that is thought to be crucial in the prevention of prostate cancer.
Brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and beetroots contain a chemical compound – sulforaphane – that activates you body’s production of antioxidants.
Once these native antioxidants have been activated, they help reduce inflammation, repair damage and remove carcinogenic material.
Whilst more research is needed, animal and laboratory tests have shown that sulforaphane actively reduces the frequency, size and number of tumours, and also reduces the levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in men who may have prostate problems.
A note of caution, though. Sulforaphane can interfere with liver medications, so if you’re on any medication for your liver, talk to your doctor before you start eating too much broccoli soup!
Foods rich in selenium.
Selenium has been thought to reduce prostate cancer growth for many years. However, current research seems to show that, unless you have low selenium levels already, high doses of selenium have no benefit and may even have the opposite effect.
The point here is that it is necessary to keep your selenium levels at a natural level. And that can be maintained from the food that you eat.
In particular, a diet that includes fish, shellfish, brazil nuts and garlic will help maintain the levels you need to maintain a healthy prostate.
In several tests of men with prostate cancer, it has been shown that soy foods may reduce the levels of PSA – the substance that increases as prostate cancer grows.
One study in the USA found a 70% reduction in the risk of prostate cancer in men who consumed more than one serving of soya milk per day.
Whilst there is no proven way to totally prevent prostate cancer, it has been proved that a healthy lifestyle – particularly a healthy diet – will go a long way towards it.
I’ll leave you with a quote from The Mayo Clinic:-
“There is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet that’s low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may contribute to a lower risk of prostate cancer, though this hasn’t been proved concretely.”
And a link to a site with useful recipes and information:-