In a previous article, Understanding Prostate Health Issues, we provided information about the prostate and how specific prostate issues may affect you. As you age, your risk for prostate issues increases. The three most common types of prostate issues are prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostatitis.
In this article, we discuss diet and lifestyle tips for men dealing with prostate issues.
Prostate Cancer Diet and Lifestyle Tips
- Eat less animal fat
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
- Exercise every day
- Lose excess weight
- Do not smoke
Eat Less Animal Fat
Some studies suggest that a diet high animal fat increases the risk for prostate cancer. Researchers do not fully understand the relationship between animal fat intake and the risk of prostate cancer. However, eating less fat, in general, may provide other benefits. For example, this change in diet may help with weight control, and help keep the heart healthy.
A couple of easy ways to reduce the amount of animal fat in your diet is to buy leaner cuts of meats such as chicken breasts, an eye of round steak or brisket, cutting off any fat you see on meats before cooking, and choosing low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products.
Also, use olive oil for cooking rather than butter, margarine, or lard. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on your salads instead of cheese. Use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar with a little olive oil as a healthier salad dressing. As you can see, just a few small changes can help reduce the amount of animal fats you eat.
Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that may help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, the exact mechanism as to how this happens is not entirely clear. Possibly, by eating more fruits and vegetables, you fill you up on healthy foods before you make unhealthy choices.
To get more vegetables and fruits into your diet, consider adding an extra serving of a fruit or vegetable to each meal. Also, eat a vegetable or fruit as a snack! A few cherry tomatoes or a few slices of yellow/red peppers with hummus can make a delicious and quick snack!
Exercise Every Day
Studies have shown that men who exercise have a reduced risk of prostate cancer. A healthy prostate is not all you have to gain from regular exercise. Exercise also reduces stress and tension, keeps hormone levels healthy, and improves immune function. Exercise can also help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which can also help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
If you do not already exercise, speak with a healthcare provider to determine what activities are best for you. You can slowly increase your physical activity level in some simple ways. For example, park your car further away from where you are going, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
A good goal is to aim for is 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity 5 days a week, for a total of 150 minutes each week.
Lose Excess Weight
The American Institute for Cancer Research has stated that 11% of advanced prostate cancers in the USA can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight.
Researchers believe there are two main theories about why excess weight may lead to prostate cancer. The first theory suggests that excess weight changes how hormones act in the body, resulting in abnormal cell development. The second theory is simple; it is more challenging to detect prostate cancer early in men who are obese.
If you are overweight or obese, work with your healthcare team to develop an effective weight loss plan.
Do Not Smoke
Studies have concluded that smoking increases the risk of prostate cancer by affecting circulating hormone levels and through exposure to the cancer-causing substances (also known as carcinogens).
The good news is if a man stops smoking before a diagnosis of prostate cancer, he can slow the development of the disease, and reduce the severity of the cancer diagnoses.
If you smoke, stop today. If you do not smoke, do not start!
While genetics and family history play a role in some prostate health concerns, there are several diet and lifestyle strategies you can use to help promote a healthy prostate. Eating a balanced diet and living an active lifestyle can reduce your risk for certain prostate issues. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking can also go a long way to promoting prostate health.
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