The prostate is a small gland that is instrumental in reproductive functioning in men. When healthy, it is doughnut shaped and wrapped around the urethra, the tube through which men urinate. (This is why an enlarged prostate makes urination difficult.)
There are three primary ways in which men suffer poor prostate health.
- Inflammation (prostatitis)
- Prostate cancer
- Non-cancerous enlargement (“enlarged prostate”, benign prostatic hyperplasia or BHP
And there is no doubt that diet plays a crucial role in both prostate health and minimization of symptoms in those with prostate disease. In this article, we take a look at some of the foods to avoid and some new ones with which to replace them.
Which Foods Can Worsen Prostate Disease?
1. Non-Grass-Fed Beef
The connection between prostate cancer and the consumption of mass-produced beef was established by the American Institute for Cancer Research more than twenty years ago.
Beef that is produced for mass marketing is raised on foods cows are not meant to eat, like corn, grain, and soy. These foods invoke chemical responses in the cow’s digestive tract to fight what is perceived as a foreign substance. The presence of these unnatural elements may be part of why men who eat non-grass-fed beef are 12% more likely to suffer prostate cancer than men who eat organic, grass-fed beef free of additives or hormones. This is also true of lamb and pork raised with feed not suited to their metabolism to a slightly lesser degree.
2. Non-Organic Chicken
Factory-farmed chickens are tainted with hormones, antibiotics, and steroids that affect the growth of the animal and the substance of its meat. When birds ingest foods they are not evolved to digest, digestion creates toxins as tissue is grown to 200-300% of their normal size. Chicken contains heterocyclic amines, which have been shown to induce prostate cancer in rats and damage DNA in cultured human prostate tissue.
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The saturated fats in most dairy make it problematic to prostate health. Dairy tends to undermine the overall low-fat diet that is best for prostate health. So get your calcium from salmon, greens, and almonds instead of dairy.
Caffeine acts as a diuretic, meaning that it dehydrates you by increasing your urge to urinate. It can be challenging for enlarged prostate sufferers to empty the bladder, resulting in discomfort. To relieve this symptom, reduce your caffeine intake, including coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
5. Spicy And Acidic Foods
Because they tend to inflame the bladder and prostate, spicy and acidic foods increase primary urinary symptoms in men with diminished prostate health. Thus, aim to eat less curry, chili, and hot sauce.
Alcohol is another substance that increases the urge to urinate, resulting in a frequent and urgent need to urinate. This dehydrating effect can irritate both the bladder and the prostate.
7. Sweet Baked Goods
The sweeter the baked goods, the higher the likelihood it contains saturated fat, which is a problem for prostate health. Baked goods use saturated fats to bind ingredients together and provide a smooth, finished texture. Like all saturated fats, those found in baked goods can worsen the symptoms of prostate disease.
8. Some Salad Dressings
Again, the culprit is saturated fat. But salad dressing recipes often rely on saturated fats as the body and texture of the dressing – the part that makes it stick to the salad.
9. Saturated Fats In Any Food
Saturated fats have very few advantages and are already highly correlated with heart disease. But emerging research shows that they’re not very good for your prostate either. These studies have shown a connection between saturated fat intake and the risk of prostate cancer.
Saturated fat is primarily present in:
- Coconut oil or palm oil
- Sausages, bacon, fatty meat
10. Excess Calcium
Calcium is good for you, as we know. But as with many ingredients, too much of a good thing is not good. Excessive calcium intake has been associated with catalyzing the growth of tumor tissue in patients already suffering from prostate cancer.
To cut back on calcium intake, try limiting or stopping consuming milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, pudding, and ice cream.
What Foods Are Good for Shrinking the Prostate?
The food mentioned above isn’t all bad news. Some foods actually support prostate health and can also serve to relieve some of the symptoms of prostate disease in its sufferers. Here are some foods to explore and expand in your diet:
Consuming fatty fish helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer by about 70% and the risk of mortality from the condition by around 50%. Fish high in healthy fats and calcium, plus omega-3’s, contribute to reducing inflammation.
Cooked tomatoes play a crucial role in lowering the risk of developing prostate cancer. According to a study, guys who ate cooked tomatoes regularly had a 28% lower risk of prostate cancer than those who never ate them. Tomatoes packed with lycopene are an antioxidant that acts on prostate tissue.
Resveratrol present in berries was found to help prostate cancer cells become more sensitive to radiation therapy. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are high in antioxidants, which assist the body in fighting sickness and inflammation.
One study has shown that broccoli sprout consumption was linked to reducing prostate cancer incidence. Sulforaphane, found in all cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, is a cancer-fighting compound.
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and other essential minerals like vitamin E and calcium. A study indicated that selenium in nuts combined with soy might help fight against prostate cancer.
There is a lot to think about – we understand. If you have questions about prostate health or any of the conditions discussed here, connecting with a doctor in a discrete setting has never been easier.
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For questions, inquiries, or appointments, don’t hesitate to contact us. Get personalized support and insight from top-tier physicians available 24/7.
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