As men age, most eventually experience prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While it isn't cancerous, nor does it raise risks for prostate cancer, BPH can cause bladder and urination problems. Often overlooked as a factor that greatly influences health, a nutritious diet can help prevent prostate disease and manage symptoms of BPH. When it comes to making out the grocery list for the week, many men can benefit from three foods for prostate health.
To help prevent prostate cancer, men should eat raw apples on a daily basis. Abundant in the peels of apples, the bioflavonoid quercetin offers very potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Studies have found that prostate cancer cells treated with quercetin in the laboratory showed slower growth and viability than prostate cancer cells not receiving treatment, and quercetin has no measurable effect on normal prostate cells.
Tomatoes contain a potent antioxidant called lycopene that offers a host of health benefits including reduced cholesterol and blood pressure. The January 2010 issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer reported that lycopene may prevent or slow the progression of prostate cancer in rodents and human males. Another review of 11 studies concluded that men who consume raw and cooked tomatoes and tomato-based products are less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who do not eat tomatoes and tomato products. Because the body has a hard time extracting lycopene from raw tomatoes, cooked or pureed tomato products like tomato paste, tomato sauce, and tomato juice make a better shopping choice.
Pumpkin seeds offer powerful nutrition wrapped up in a tiny package. Healthy nutrients inside pumpkin seeds may boost heart and liver health and help fight diabetes. Because zinc is found in the highest concentrations in the male prostate, zinc-rich pumpkin seeds also make a valued food for prostate health. Studies show that pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil and the herb saw palmetto may be a potent combination for promoting prostate health.
Foods to Limit or Avoid
While doctors recommend the consumption of certain foods for prostate health, they suggest leaving other foods and beverages on the grocery shelves or limiting their consumption:
- High-fat dairy products
- Processed foods and baked goods
- Red meats
- Spicy foods with the exception of garlic and cayenne pepper
When it comes to managing or preventing disease, some people believe the more natural, the better. Numerous studies have shown the benefit of nutritious foods for prostate health. Adding apples, tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds to the grocery list can help keep the prostate healthy and a whole lot more.