what foods to avoid and foods you should eat more of as part of healthy prostate diet.
Proper nutrition cannot be underestimated when it comes to its importance of our overall health, since all the things we put into our bodies have an effect on our health and wellbeing. The results may not be immediate and it could be years before we actually see the benefits or negative impacts of our choices. But how we fuel and treat our body does undoubtedly have some bearing on its future health, and the prostate is no different.
Prostate health can be affected by our diet just as much as any other area of our body. With that in mind, here are some healthy prostate diet choices you should consider making if you’re at all concerned about your present or future prostate health.
Avoid Soda and Coffee
Not an easy thing to do! Right off the bat we’re alienating the majority of people out there by asking them to cut out (or at least cut back on) one of their favourite liquid refreshers and pick-me-ups. And there’s no doubt that soda and coffee are unrivalled in their popularity. Soda has been the most drank in the U.S for the last 35 years, and coffee isn’t far behind. We actually consume an average of 50 gallons of soda a year. That’s a lot!
Needless to say, soda is not healthy in any way shape or form and some believe its responsible for our growing waistlines. But it’s not just the calories or even the sugar that makes soda so terrible for our bodies. There’s also phosphoric acid, which actually weakens our bones, as well as artificial sweeteners. Diet sodas even contain the chemical additive aspartame, which is toxic to our bodies. Soda and coffee also come loaded with caffeine, which are detrimental to prostate health. Try and substitute it with drinking herbal decaffeinated tea, drink the entire pot throughout an afternoon at work. Take your time and prolong the pleasure of warm tasty liquid, this will help to fight coffee and soda cravings.
Drink More Water
Water is another great substitute for all the coffee and soda. A healthy prostate diet, and a healthy diet in general begins with water. It’s the source of all life as we know it, and makes up the majority of our composition. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is necessary to keep us properly hydrated, and our system properly flushed out. Water helps promote good digestion, and helps flush the lymphatic system. Stronger lymphatic system equals stronger immune system equals better defence against disease.
Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables are quite amazing when you think about it. The amount of nutrients packed into their tiny frames is incredible. Eating a diet loaded with veggies has been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer by over 40%. If you’re unsure of which veggies are the best choices, start with the cruciferous family, which includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. These cruciferous vegetables have even been shown to fight cancerous prostate cells, as detailed in a 2003 University of California, Berkeley report. Veggies also come packed with live enzymes and fibre, which aids in digestion.
Cut Back On Your Fruit Intake
This may seem like a surprising point, as most of us are led to believe that the more fruit we can manage to eat, the better. And for the most part, those claims are valid (though we’ll touch on pesticides in fruits and veggies below). But an unfortunate side effect of too much fruit intake is a possible yeast overgrowth in men suffering from Prostatitis. You should cut your fruit consumption back to just one serving a day ideally, and this includes fruit juices as well.
Buy Organic Produce
As touched on above, fruits (and veggies) come loaded with pesticides, and these pesticides are loaded with cancer causing agents and other toxins that can prove to be lethal to our bodies. Recent studies have emphatically backed up these claims, showing that farm workers who are exposed to pesticides regularly have a much greater risk of developing all forms of cancer, including prostate cancer. Sampled fruits and vegetables tested by the U.S Department of Agriculture were shown to have pesticide residue 71% of the time.
Buying organic can help protect you and your family from all these toxins and pesticides. While organic food is more expensive and more difficult to track down than regular food, it’s worth the extra effort to do so. It’s also becoming easier and easier to find organic food now, with many specialty stores popping up devoted to organic produce and food. Most supermarkets also have organic food sections now as well.
Buy Organic Meat
Like produce, meat often comes loaded with harmful toxins, hormones, and additives as well, all in an effort to speed up the growth of the animals and increase production and profit. Seek out grass-fed or organic meat instead. These animals are not given any hormones or antibiotics, nor does their feed contain any pesticides or toxins. Grass-fed beef even comes with additional benefits, in that it’s leaner, does not have as much saturated fat, and has more Omega-3 fat, which helps guards against heart disease and stroke. (see below)
Buy Organic Dairy Products
We’re not hopping off the organic angle just yet. In fact buying organic dairy may be even more important for your prostate than any of the other points mentioned thus far. That’s because dairy has been linked to an increase in prostate cancer in numerous studies and journals. Dairy also comes loaded with many of the same hormones and toxins that meat does. So if you love dairy, you should strongly consider switching over to organic.
Many of us have the tendency to overeat, whether it be to combat stress, because we’re bored, because we are watching TV, or simply because we love food and can’t get enough of it. But this practice can be detrimental to our health, even when we’re eating the right things. There are many reasons why this is the case. Firstly, our body requires energy to maintain its organs and tissues, and the digestive process saps our body of that energy (this is why we typically feel tired after eating, as our body’s energy is being diverted to the digestive process). As well, while some doctors aren’t sold on the calorie-limited diet in humans, we do know that calorie limiting in other mammals can drastically increase their lifespan, by as much as 40%.
If you’re interested in reducing your calorie intake, an easy method to figure out your ideal daily intake level is by using “The Rule of 10”. You begin by multiplying your weight by 10, which for most people will give them a number in the 1200-2500 range. You now multiply that number by 150% if you lead a very active life, 140% if you’re moderately active, or 130% if you’re mostly inactive. This should give you an ideal daily caloric intake of between 1500 and 3500. To help you track your daily intake of calories will probably require a food diary. Make note of everything you eat throughout the day in it, and figure out the amount of calories you’re taking in. Then make whatever necessary adjustments you must to get within your ideal range.
Eat at a Moderate Pace
We mentioned that digestion is a very difficult task for our system, one that requires it to expend a great deal of energy. The way we eat can often exacerbate that problem and make it that much harder on our system. First, you should avoid drinking liquids with a meal, these serve to dilute your stomach acids and make the digestion process more difficult. You should also slow down and take your time to fully chew and break down your food. This will have the dual effect of slowing down how much food you’re digesting, while also delivering it to your stomach in more manageable chunks. You should also avoid eating just before bed, as it’s harder for your system to digest food while you’re asleep.
Add Some Saw Palmetto to Your Diet
There is some strong correlation between saw palmetto and overall prostate health. Saw palmetto is very high in fatty acids. The specific fatty acids found in this plant can inhibit the growth of 5-alpha-reductase in the prostate gland, which converts testosterone into DHT, potentially leading to BPH and/or prostate cancer.
The easiest way to get a good daily dose of saw palmetto would be to hunt down some tablets or capsules, as you won’t find it in any food. There’s also plenty of it to be found in the PROSTACET supplement (read more here), which also contains zinc, lycopene, and beta sitosterol, among many other active ingredients.
Consume High Quality Protein
Men suffering from prostate conditions may be tempted to cut back on their intake of protein, but this should be avoided. Instead, you should be substituting some of your usual protein sources – meat, with higher quality protein that provides the same benefits as protein from other sources, but is lower in saturated fats and cholesterol. Some great sources of high quality protein include lentils, corn, peanuts, wheat, green beans, and tomatoes.
Avoid Food Additives
As more and more of our diet has become reliant on processed foods, our intake of harmful additives has increased tremendously. These additives are usually the long, unpronounceable names we find in the ingredients listings. While cutting out your intake of additives completely may be extremely difficult, you should at least attempt to remove as many known additive sources from your diet as possible.
Some of these additives include aspartame, nitrate, nitrite, olestra, MSG, and sulphites. MSG in particular is a tricky one to avoid, as it also comes disguised in other ingredients, including calcium caseinate, gelatin, sodium caseinate, glutamic acid, autolyzed yeast, and yeast extract. Chinese fast food in particular is full of MSG also.
Nutrients and Healthy Prostate Diet
As we mentioned before it is crucially important to receive specific nutrients with your diet, and often many foods we are accustomed to eating are not filled with the right kind of nutrients we need to address your specific health issue. In case with any prostate problems below are some great suggestions of nutrients you should be on a lookout for and foods which contain them.
Herb Saw Palmetto
There is some strong correlation between saw palmetto and overall prostate health. Saw palmetto is an extract of berries widely used in Germany and is very high in fatty acids. The specific fatty acids found in this plant can inhibit the growth of 5-alpha-reductase in the prostate gland, which converts testosterone into DHT, potentially leading to BPH and/or prostate cancer. In some cases it is also known to reduce pain and nocturnal urination.
The easiest way to get a good daily dose of saw palmetto would be to hunt down some tablets or capsules, as you won’t find it in any food. There’s also plenty of it to be found in the Super Prostate Formula supplement, which also contains zinc, lycopene, and beta sitosterol, among many other active ingredients. Another option is to lookout for saw palmetto herb and use it in cooking as a spice or add to tea.
Studies have shown that as little as 2 servings of tomatoes a week can help men reduce their risk of prostate cancer by 50%. Tomatoes are full of lycopene – an antioxidant that helps fight cancer. They don’t have to be fresh tomatoes, sauces are just as good. Try to eat spaghetti with tomato sauce or salads with tomato ingredients about twice a week.
Zinc is a vital mineral for the health of your prostate. Pumpkin seeds remedy comes from Germany and is used by Doctors there to treat difficulty in urination that comes with an enlarged prostate. The reason why is because they contain plenty of zinc and diuretic properties, which helps with the immune system. Add some pumpkin seeds to your tea or use sesame oil for cooking.
Zinc is also found in chocolate, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower oil. Oysters also are great – full of zinc and an aphrodisiac. (Aphrodisiacs are known to also enhance sexual performance). Meats such as veal liver, low fat roast beef and lamb are great sources as well.
High in Zinc meal suggestion: You can make meals like leafy green salads with sunflower seeds sprinkled on top and use sesame oil as a dressing or have a platter of oysters as an appetizer and have a rack of lamb for main. Have a peanut butter chocolate bar for desert!
It is found Omega 3 fatty acids help control cholesterol, which is a big enemy for healthy hormonal exchanges. Look for eggs that are enriched with Omega 3s. Among other products rich in Omega 3s are linseed oil, wheat germ and fish oil. Take fish oil capsules as a supplement.