All the Best and Worst Foods for Prostate Health
Surprisingly, 50 percent of men over 50 will have problems due to an enlarged prostate — known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As we age, our prostate naturally gets bigger. But, if your prostate grows too large, you can have issues with frequent urination, difficulty emptying your bladder, and pain while urinating.
The good news: what you eat matters, and healthy eating habits can keep your prostate in better shape as you get older. So, whether 50 is right around the corner, or still down the road — trust us, it’s not that far away — check out these top foods to eat and avoid for your prostate health.
BEST FOODS TO EAT FOR YOUR PROSTATE
Tomatoes are a great option for keeping your prostate healthy. Lycopene is a pigment found in tomatoes that helps give them their bright red color. Lycopene isn’t just for show though — it’s a strong antioxidant that can help prevent cell damage.
While all tomatoes have lycopene, some research indicates that eating cooked tomatoes provides more benefits than eating them raw. Heating the lycopene makes it easier for your body to absorb. So, fire up the stove, channel your inner Italian, and try that new marina recipe you’ve been eying.
Tomatoes aren’t the only vegetables on the block with lycopene. Bell peppers also carry the pigment, along with its cousin beta-carotene, and they contain more vitamin C than an orange. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties, which are key for staying healthy. Roasted peppers are a great addition to any meal, so think about throwing some on the grill the next time you have a cookout.
Freshwater fish — trout, salmon, mackerel — have long been touted as healthy food options due to their omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3s are considered good fats and have a lot of anti-inflammatory properties. They have a range of benefits and may help reduce the size of your prostate. Feel free to swap some of your red meat protein with some cold-water fish to up your omega-3 intake.
If you don’t have a taste for fish, you can also get a healthy dose of omega-3 from nuts and seeds. Beyond omega-3 fatty acids, many nuts also contain vitamin E and zinc. Vitamin E can help reduce inflammation, while low zinc levels can be potentially unhealthy.
GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES
Grab the broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Eating just three daily servings of these types of vegetables can drop your risk of a major prostate health issue by 50 percent. There likely isn’t one single compound in these vegetables that delivers all the benefits, but several nutrients working together.
FOODS THAT COULD SPELL TROUBLE
To keep your prostate healthy, you may want to reduce dairy products like eggs and milk. Studies have found that eating just a couple of eggs a week may increase your risk of prostate health issues.
Calcium deposits on the prostate have also been associated with prostate inflammation and BPH. For this reason, you may want to reduce milk and other calcium-rich foods.
Although red meat has a lot of protein, it also comes at a cost. Eating red meat can elevate your levels of arachidonic acid, which promotes inflammation. Since inflammation of the prostate causes a lot of health problems, avoiding sources of inflammation is for the best. If possible, consider changing out some of your red meat for other protein options like fish or plant-based proteins.
CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL
If you’re worried about prostate problems, you may want to cut back on your caffeine and alcohol intake. Most prostate problems are accompanied by a frequent urge to urinate and both caffeine and coffee can also kick this urge into overdrive. You likely don’t need to cut them out of your diet entirely but avoiding them can help reduce your urge to urinate.
Although delicious, spicy foods can irritate your urinary tract. This irritation can cause increased urination and aggravate any other prostate problems you may have.
Not all spicy foods are necessarily bad. For example, spicy peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which has been shown to have some incredible benefits for your prostate. The problem is that the benefits of capsaicin may not outweigh the negatives here, so when in doubt, skip the heat.
Many processed foods, like canned, frozen, and fast food, contain huge amounts of sodium. Consuming high amounts of sodium can trigger prostate symptoms like getting up at night to pee or feeling like you can’t fully empty your bladder. Beyond having to urinate more frequently, eating processed foods may also be bad news for your prostate.
Eating right is a great way to protect yourself from prostate problems. However, if you’re not satisfied with these steps alone, then consider adding a supplement to the mix.
We've been working for months to formulate a new prostate health supplement specifically designed to keep your prostate in top shape. At the end of the day, you only have one prostate. You’ve got to take care of it!