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.
Let’s start with which foods can worsen prostate disease and should be avoided.
1. Non-Grass-Fed Beef
The connection between prostate cancer and 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 unnatural 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. To a slightly lesser degree, this is also true of lamb and pork raised with feed not suited to their metabolism.
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 normal size. Chicken contains heterocyclic amines, which have been shown to induce prostate cancer in rats and to damage DNA in cultured human prostate tissue.
The saturated fats in most dairy makes 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. For sufferers of enlarged prostate, it can be difficult to fully empty the bladder, resulting in discomfort. To relieve this symptom, reduce your intake of caffeine 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.
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 to baked goods. 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 connection between saturated fat intake and risk of prostate cancer.
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 prostate cancer.
But it isn’t all bad news. There are foods that 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:
- Salmon – rich in healthy fats and calcium, plus omega-3’s to reduce inflammation
- Tomatoes – packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that acts on prostate tissue
- Berries – more antioxidants to remove free radicals from the body
- Broccoli – all cruciferous veggies contain sulforaphane which targets cancer cells
- Nuts – contains zinc which you want in high concentrations in the prostate
- Citrus – it is believed that the Vitamin C protects the prostate in general
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.