Prevention Diet: 7 Foods for an Enlarged Prostate
Playing Diet Defense
Playing Diet Defense
Fifty percent of men over the age of 60 suffer from an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), according to Mayo Clinic. By the age of 85, over 95 percent of men will live with BPH.
The good news is that a diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals can keep your prostate healthy and lower your risk of BPH. And because being overweight is another risk factor for BPH, making nutritious food choices is a great way to lower both your weight and your risk.
Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral essential to the health of the prostate, according to a study in the Indian Journal of Urology. Men with either BPH or prostate cancer have lower levels of zinc in their bodies -- sometimes up to 75 percent lower than healthy prostates.
Zinc that comes from food is easier to absorb than zinc supplements. Help your body by snacking on sesame seeds. Or try oysters, adzuki beans, pumpkin seeds, and almonds, which are all high in zinc.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy fats that can protect you from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Fatty acids also help in the synthesis of prostaglandin. Fatty acids deficiency may lead to prostate problems, according to a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review.
If you’re not a fan of fish, you can get your omega-3s from walnuts, ground flax seeds, canola oil, and kidney beans.
A study published in The Journal of Urology showed that Asian men have a lower risk of developing BPH than Western men. One possible reason is that Asian men eat more soy. Soybean isoflavones have been linked to a lower risk for an enlarged prostate, according to a study published in The Prostate. Eating more soy might even reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
For other sources of soybean isoflavones, try low-fat soymilk, tempeh, roasted soybeans, soy yogurt, and meat substitutes made with soy.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that might play a role in fighting BPH. Not all vitamin C is the same, however. According to Mayo Clinic, only vitamin C obtained from vegetables lowers your risk of an enlarged prostate. Fruits don’t offer the same benefit.
Bell peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable. One cup of raw bell peppers contains 195 percent of your daily requirement intake of vitamin C. Other vegetables to try include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the bright carotenoid that gives tomatoes its red color. Lycopene may lower the risk of developing prostate cancer. It can also help men with BPH, according to the National Cancer Institute. Lycopene also helps lower the blood level of antigen, a protein connected to prostate inflammation and BPH.
Tomatoes and tomato products (such as tomato sauce and tomato juice) are the best source of lycopene. You can also get this carotenoid from watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit, and papaya.
Avocadoes are rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol. According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, beta-sitosterol can help reduce symptoms associated with BPH. Men taking beta-sitosterol supplements have better urinary flow and less residual urine volume.
Beta-sitosterol can help strengthen the immune system. It can reduce inflammation and pain, as well.
Besides avocadoes, other foods rich in beta-sitosterol include pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, soybeans, and pecans.
Eating more vegetables can help lower your risk of BPH. Green leafy vegetables are especially important because they are rich in antioxidants. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli also reduce the risk of prostate problems, including BPH and prostate cancer.
People who eat onion and garlic regularly might also have a lower risk of BPH, according to research published in Urology. Onions and garlic are often used in natural medicine to fight infection and help strengthen the immune system.
- Beta-Sitosterol (2013). NYU Langone Medical Center. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21555
- Christudoss Pamela et al. (2011). Zinc status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinoma. Indian Journal of Urology, 27(1): 14-18. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114577/
- Enlarged Prostate – Does Diet Play a Role (2010, January 15). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/enlarged-prostate/MY01151
- Galeone Carlotta et al. Onion and garlic intake and the odds of benign prostatic hyperplasia (2006). Urology, 70: 672–676. Retrieved October 13, 2013 from http://www.goldjournal.net/article/PIIS0090429507017785/abstract
- Geller J et al. (1998). Genistein inhibits the growth of human-patient BPH and prostate cancer in histoculture. The Prostate, 1;34(2):75-9. Retrieved October 13, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10796740
- Miller Alan L., ND. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: nutritional and botanical therapeutic options (1996). Alternative Medicine Review, 1:18-25. Retrieved October 13, 2013 from http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/1/1/18.pdf
- Preventing prostate cancer and BPH (2008, May 9). Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/540125/
- Questions and Answers About Lycopene (2013, June 10). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/prostatesupplements/Patient/page4
- Wilt T et al. (2000). Beta-sitosterols for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2):CD001043. Retrieved October 13, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10796740