By Karen Langston
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, with an estimated 174,650 new cases and 31,620 deaths this year, according to cancer.org.
How do we prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis from progressing to prostate cancer? The good news is there are numerous natural ways to better prostate health.
1. Get Your Move On!
You have got to move it to lose it—and to keep your crown jewels. A study published in the Journal of Urology found that overweight men, especially men with a high amount of abdominal fat, had an increased risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the medical term for an enlarged prostate. Losing weight can help reduce prostate size and reduce urinary symptoms. Furthermore, weight loss can help relieve prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
2. Watch What You Eat
Diet is key. Tomatoes, especially when cooked, boost the antioxidant lycopene. Studies, including at NCBI, show this can protect against prostate problems. Other foods high in lycopene include sundried tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava, asparagus and red cabbage. Eat fish: Wild caught fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid
(DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) decrease overall inflammation, and have been associated with the prevention of cancer. Japanese men consume approximately eight times more fish than American men—and studies, including from Mayo Clinic, show their prostate cancer mortality rate many times lower than that of Western nations. Foods with the highest EPA/DHA include salmon, mackerel, sardines, and plant-based flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Drink green tea: Swap out coffee for green tea. Green tea benefits men with BPH and prostatitis, may prevent prostate cancer from forming and slow the growth of aggressive prostate cancer. According to a Japanese study published in NCBI involving just under 50,000 men, drinking green tea could decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Boost Your Veggie Intake
Boost your veggie intake and decrease red meat and dairy. Studies have shown that a high consumption of dairy products and meat have been linked to a greater risk of prostate cancer. The problem with the studies is that, typically, they are using conventionally raised beef full of antibiotics and hormones, and fed an unnatural diet full of glyphosate. You do not have to give up your meat and dairy. Instead, choose pasture-raised beef and
dairy, which studies have proven are loaded with heart-healthy vitamin K2 and prostate-friendly omega 3 fatty acids. Check out Green Living’s blog Eat Sustainable Humanely Raised Beef for local ranchers across Arizona.
3. Make Sure to Intake Zinc
Did you know the prostate requires more zinc than any other organ in the body? Studies show prostate cancer and BPH have low levels of plasma, tissue and urine levels of zinc, suggesting these conditions may be associated with a zinc deficiency. Zinc is easily depleted through infections, stress and diet. Although foods rich in zinc are important, a zinc supplementation is recommended. According to Naturopathic physician Russell Marz, author of Medical Nutrition From Marz, 60 mg of zinc picolinate inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone by the testes and prostate, which inhibits prostate growth. Zinc also inhibits prolactin secretion, reducing the symptoms of BPH. A word of caution—check in with a qualified health care professional to ensure you have a good ratio of copper and zinc in your supplement. Foods rich in zinc include
pastured raised beef, lamb, turkey, oysters, shellfish, shrimp, raw sesame and pumpkin seeds.
When it comes to prostate health, tune in and shape up. Get a test done to know your zinc levels, start eating health-protecting foods, and let your prostate live a long healthy life.
Karen Langston is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist working with clients on how to have three healthy poops a day. Poop well, be well. www.healthygutadvisor.com