Updated: Sep 26
“What should I eat to lower the risk of prostate problems?” This is one of the most common questions doctors receive from men worried about their health. Many of them hope that their doctor will prescribe a list of foods that are guaranteed to protect them from disease. Although there are some foods associated with a lower risk of developing prostate problems, there is lack of evidence proving this is really the case, at least for now.
If you suspect any prostate problems, you can use the at-home test Prosta-Check, which provides information about the condition of the prostate by measuring the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level.
Make sure you’re eating healthy
Instead of focusing on specific foods, nutritionists, doctors, and researchers promote a general way of eating healthy. In short, here is what the experts recommend:
1. Eat fruits and vegetables every day. Choose those with a rich, vivid colour.
2. Replace white bread for wholegrain one and opt for wholegrain pasta and cereals.
3. Limit your consumption of red meat, including beef, pork, lamb, and goat. Avoid processed meat such as sausages and salami. Fish, chicken, beans, and eggs offer a healthier source of protein.
4. Choose healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) and avocado. Limit saturated fats from dairy or other animal products. Avoid partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats) found in many types of fast food and packaged foods.
5. Avoid beverages sweetened with sugar such as sodas and many of the fruit juices. Eat sweets only occasionally.
6. Reduce your salt intake. Choose foods with a lower sodium content by reading and comparing food labels. Limit the use of canned, processed and frozen foods.
7. Watch out for the size of your portions. Eat slowly and stop eating when you’re full.
Be active to maintain a healthy prostate
In addition to eating healthy, you should try to maintain an active lifestyle. Regular exercise lowers the risk of developing some life-threatening problems, including heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Although relatively few studies directly measure how physical exercise affects prostate health, those that exist have concluded that, for the most part, exercising is beneficial. For example:
8. Based on questionnaires completed by more than 30,000 men, researchers have found an inverse relationship between physical activity and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Simply put, men who are physically active are less likely to suffer from BPH. Even physical activity with low to moderate intensity, such as regular walks at a moderate pace, provides benefits.
9. Using data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, the researchers also studied the correlation between erectile disfunction (ED) and physical activity. They found that men who go running for an hour and a half or complete three hours of intense work outside per week are 20% less likely to develop ED than those who don’t do any sports. The interesting part is that regardless of the level of exercise, men who were overweight or obese were at a greater risk of ED than men with an ideal body mass index.
10. Italian researchers randomly assigned 231 sedentary men with chronic prostatitis to one of two exercise programmes for 18 weeks: aerobic exercise, including brisk walking, or non-aerobic exercise, including leg lifts, sit-ups, and stretching. Each group trained three times a week. At the end of the study, men in both groups felt better, but those in the aerobic exercise group experienced significantly less discomfort, anxiety, and depression and had significantly improved their quality of life.
Source: Harvard Health Publishing