Let me see if I can paint this picture for you. I’m a 46-year-old father to a beautiful daughter, who spends his days working his ass off to provide her with amazing opportunities. I try to get as much exercise as possible, so as a result, I can be in the best shape possible. But with all my hustling, I often don’t pay as much attention to my nutrition. Sure, I drink protein shakes, watch my caloric intake, and take supplements, but a friend of mine recently had a health scare that made me rethink my habits. He told me that he got a prostate exam and that his PSA levels were a little elevated.
So this got me thinking: how can I improve my prostate health? I did some research, and it turns out that making some modifications to your diet goes a long way. Simply adopting six foods into your diet can improve your prostate’s health. These foods are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and can make all the difference in your PSA levels.
Berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, which are important for protecting your cells from damage and inflammation. There are some studies that suggest that a diet high in antioxidants can lower the risk of prostate cancer, or slow down its progression. Berries also are high in vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and fights infections. It doesn’t matter whether you eat them fresh or frozen, and they can be incorporated into your favorite breakfast meals, such as yogurt or smoothies.
Fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, or trout, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Omega-3s may also help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells, as well as improve the effectiveness of some treatments. You should try to aim for at least two servings of fatty fish per week, and aim for wild-caught or organic varieties. And if fish isn’t your thing– omega-3 supplements work also.
Nuts are another great source of healthy fats that can improve prostate health. Nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol and improve blood flow. Nuts are also rich in protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E, all of which are important for overall prostate health. Some nuts also have beta-sitosterol in them, which is a plant compound that may help shrink the prostate. Nuts can be incorporated as a great snack, or be added into salads, granola, or baked goods.
Beans are another excellent source of protein and fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. There are some studies that link elevated blood sugar levels to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Beans also contain phytoestrogens, which may balance the effects of testosterone and estrogen in your body, as well as lower the risk of prostate cancer. Beans are also great sources of folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium, which are all integral to overall health.
Green tea contains catechins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Catechins may also inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Green tea also has something everyone loves– caffeine. Caffeine is great for increasing your energy levels as well as stimulating your metabolism.
Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits out there. It’s revered for its health properties because it contains lycopene, a carotenoid. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. Some research suggests that lycopene may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, as well as keeping your PSA levels in check.
These are some examples of foods that can help maintain a healthy prostate as well as keep those pesky PSA levels in check. Of course, if you want to completely overhaul your diet to maintain prostate health, there are some food and beverages that you should avoid.
Some examples of processed meats include hot dogs, bologna, bacon, and ham. These meats are high in sodium, nitrates, and preservatives, which can increase your blood pressure and damage your blood vessels. Processed meats also contain heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known carcinogens formed when the meat is smoked, cured, or cooked at high temperatures.
Alcohol dehydrates you and can irritate your bladder. While some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may have some health benefits, heavy drinking can increase your risk of various cancers, including prostate cancer.
Unless otherwise stated, fruit juices, energy drinks, sports, drinks, and soda, all contain added sugar. Added sugars can not only contribute to weight gain and diabetes but can also spike your blood sugar levels– causing inflammation. There are studies that suggest that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages leads to a higher risk of heightened PSA levels as well as prostate cancer.
Adapting your diet to a more prostate-conscious is not difficult. Simply add in some or all of the recommended foods, and you can decrease your risk of prostate cancer and heightened PSA levels. If you are interested in finding out your PSA levels from the comfort of your home, you should check out our PSA Test, which offers a painless, less intrusive alternative to the classic prostate exam. If you #FearTheFinger, we have the alternative you need.