Food Choices to Maintain Good Prostate Health
The prostate gland is found below the bladder. It is shaped like a chestnut, and it surrounds the beginning of the urethra. However, when a man becomes older, his prostate tends to get larger and start to cause certain health problems such as cancer, urinary issues, problems with sexual performance, and benign enlargement. Having a well-balanced diet and taking the necessary vitamins and minerals can help prevent prostate problems and maintain good prostate health.
Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended to those who want to maintain good prostate health. Fresh fruits contain natural sugar and lycopene that makes them beneficial for the prostate gland. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is present in tomatoes, pink grapefruits, and watermelons. It gives these fruits their rich, red color. Other fruits that are good for the prostate are cantaloupe and blueberries.
Studies have shown that men who consumed many fruits rich in lycopene were found to be less susceptible to prostate cancer. In fact, according to a Harvard Medical Study in 2003, high fruit intake can lead to a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer. Forty-seven thousand men were observed and asked to consume ten servings of tomatoes each week. The result showed that these men were able to reduce their risk of having aggressive prostate cancer by fifty percent.
Aside from fruits, there are also plenty of vegetables that contain lycopene. Some of these are beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and artichokes. There are also vegetables that contain sulforaphane, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, removes carcinogens, and repairs oxidative damages. Some of these are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage. They are all good for the prostate.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that lycopene needs zinc to work. So, men should also consume food rich in zinc such as shellfish, lean meat, legumes, yogurt, and pumpkins. The best sources of zinc are actually beef, pork, lamb, crabmeat, chicken, turkey, clams, salmon, and lobster. Researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research stated that men who are diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer might survive the disease if they eat a diet rich in zinc.
Vitamin E is also helpful in reducing inflammation and protecting against prostate cancer. Excellent sources of this vitamin include wheat germ, egg yolks, seeds, and nuts. Certain seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds are especially recommended since they can regulate the hormones. Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios are also ideal because they are low in saturated fat but high in vitamin E.
Furthermore, men should add cranberry juice to their diet. According to a study published in Nutrition and Cancer, cranberries were tested and found to be really effective in fighting cancer cells, thanks to their caspase-8 and caspase-9 enzymes. Cranberry is also a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It is considered to be generally safe with no major side effects. However, it is still best to consult a physician prior to taking massive amounts of cranberry juice.