The prostate gland is an organ only found in men and is essential to the male reproductive system. This walnut-sized gland is located just beneath the bladder and secretes prostate fluid, a major component of which is male sperm. Inflammation and cancer of the prostate are all too common health concerns amongst men today. However, prostate cancer prevention and even reversal is possible through a healthy lifestyle.
Most men experience some level of prostate enlargement by the age of 45, but many do not have symptoms. But by the age of 60, about 80% of all men experience urinary problems as the result of prostate enlargement.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with the enlargement of the prostate include the following:
- Urgency to urinate
- Inability to urinate
- Difficulty starting
- Frequent urination
- Reduced force of urine stream
- Terminal dribbling
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
The Prostate Gland Filters Toxins
In order to produce the highest quality sperm for conception and the successful reproduction of a healthy species, the prostate gland was designed to detoxify impurities and toxins out of the semen. Synthetic or man-made estrogen mimicking compounds known as xenoestrogens are the most abundant toxins found in our bodies today.
Xenoestrogens interfere with the healthy and normal male estrogen-to-testosterone ratio and lead to unwanted prostatic growth. Oxidative stress is a key stimulator in any degenerative disease and the prostate gland does not go unaffected. Excessive free radicals and inflammation causing agents promote oxidative stress and encourage prostate cancer and prostatitis (swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland).
The Link Between a Sedentary Lifestyle and Prostate Health
The health of the prostate is dependent on oxygenation from the circulation of fresh blood to this region. Living a sedentary lifestyle promotes stagnation and congestion in the prostate. Specific population groups are affected by a higher risk than others.
People who spend long periods of time in a seated position and whom have increased pressure from automobile vibrations have a higher risk than others. Examples of some of these occupations and lifestyle settings include bus drivers, truck drivers, motorcyclists, pilots, and men who have long daily commutes. Bicyclists also experience increased pressure to the groin when they ride and are also at an increased risk for prostatic complications.
Which Foods Promote Prostate Health?
Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet including fruits and vegetables is critical to receiving cancer-fighting phytonutrients. A healthy diet consist of good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Eliminating all processed dairy products, meats, and grains is essential to optimal health.
It is important to choose products that are free-range and grass fed as such foods are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc and promote prostate function. Incorporate anti-inflammatory herbs into your diet every day including rosemary, oregano, turmeric, garlic, and cinnamon.
Super Nutrients for a Healthy Prostate
Specific nutritional compounds are especially critical to preventing inflammation of the prostate and reversing health problems. Foods such as broccoli sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, and kale are rich in super nutrients for supporting the prostate.
These cruciferous vegetables and others are contain high concentrations of sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and Indole-3-Carbonyl which promote the removal of excess toxins and estrogens from the body. Some of the best source of these vegetables are broccoli sprouts and kale sprouts.
Lycopene and Green Tea
Another nutrient that promotes prostate health is lycopene. Good sources of lycopene are raspberries, goji berries, tomatoes, watermelon, red pepper, and grapefruits. Notably, cooked tomatoes contain more lycopene than raw. Although these food sources are high in this powerful nutrient, be careful to not add too many of these foods into your diet as they are also highly concentrated in sugar.
Green tea is also an excellent nutrient for prostate health. Green tea contains polyphenolic antioxidants called EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate. Researchers have concluded from epidemiological studies that men who drink green tea regularly have a lower risk of prostate complications.
Zinc is a critical nutrient essential in supporting a healthy immune response, enzymatic processes, and reproductive health. Zinc deficiency is often reported in individuals with prostate problems. Zinc has been shown to inhibit the pathways that triggers prostate cell multiplication. Add foods high in zinc to your diet including organic and pasture-raised animal products as well as pumpkin seeds.
You may also consider taking a supplement containing a highly absorbable form of zinc glycinate chelate. Depending on your zinc deficiency, an additional 40-80 mg of zinc daily may improve your prostate health.
12 Steps to Improve Prostate Health
1. Good Sleep: Good quality sleep is essential for the health of the reproductive system and the production of sex hormones. Less than optimal sleeping habits will cause a decrease in testosterone levels and elevated stress hormone production. Poor sleep will also result in blood sugar disturbances and prostatic growth.
2. Increase Antioxidant Consumption: Phytochemicals act as antioxidants supporting detoxification pathways essential for a healthy prostate. Drink antioxidant-rich beverages such as saw palmetto tea, green tea, and ginger tea for an extra antioxidant boost.
3. Maximize Your Vitamin D Levels: Vitamin D levels of less than 60 ng/ml is associated with vitamin D deficiency. A deficiency of vitamin D impacts testosterone production and also increases prostatic growth. Regular sun exposure no less than three days a week without sunblock can significantly raise your vitamin D levels. Consume a high quality vitamin D3 supplement when you are unable to receive adequate sun exposure.
4. Use Natural Cleaning Products: Whether the product is for hygiene care or house cleaning, choose natural products that do not contain health hazards. Always avoid xenoestrogen containing substances found in plastics, deodorants, shampoos, and household cleaning agents.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Consume a diet rich in clean proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants. High quality fats such as avocados, grass-fed butter, olives, olive oil, fish, and coconut oil contain essential fatty acids required for optimal testosterone production and prostatic health.
6. Improve Your Gut Motility: One way to promote optimal detoxification in your body is to improve the frequency of bowel movements. You can improve your bowel motility by eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in fiber. Consider adding foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, fermented foods, probiotics, and bone broths into your diet for optimal gut health.
7. Intermittent Fasting: Fasting is one of the best ways to improve testosterone levels while reducing systemic inflammation and inhibiting cancer growth. Going 16 hours between dinner and breakfast is one of the easiest ways to practice intermittent fasting. Considering consuming all of your meals within an 8 hour duration such as 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
8. Low Intensity Movement: A sedentary lifestyle will reduce testosterone levels and cause prostatic inflammation. Move throughout the day receiving low-intensity exercise like playing, walking, or light cycling. Regular movement will limit inflammation in the body and improve prostate health.
9. Practice Deep Breathing: Practicing stress relaxation exercises is as easy as deep breathing. Deep breathing calms the heightened sympathetic nervous system responsible for fight or flight, and relaxes the body. This practice reduces stress hormones and lowers inflammation and cancerous cell growth in the body.
10. Zinc and Magnesium: Optimize your zinc and magnesium levels to promote healthy detoxification and provide immune support. Both of these super nutrients stimulate testosterone production and the detoxification of contaminants like xenoestrogens. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of both of these key nutrients. You may also choose to prepare green drinks or use super green powders and consume healthy organic meat products.
11. Use a High Quality Omega-3 Supplement: Consuming 2 to 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids can help limit inflammation in the prostate and improve testosterone production. Researchers have shown that high dose omega-3 fatty acids are powerful agents to reducing prostatic growth. Taking 200-500 mg of GLA with the omegas can also provide additional anti-inflammatory benefits.
12. Consider Other Supportive Supplements: Adding supplements into your diet can help reverse prostate health complications. Optimize your nutrient intake by adding a combination of high quality supplements, including Vitamin D3, K2, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory compounds such as curcumin, sulforaphane, resveratrol, and pterostilbene (also found in blueberries) and green tea extract (EGCG). These unique compounds synergize to boost up the anti-oxidant pathways.
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