As men age, almost all will begin to experience prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While not everyone experiences symptoms, a large majority do, resulting in about one in three men over 50 facing urinary flow problems.
While surgery and medication are viable treatment options for BPH, there are also dietary changes that you can make to help manage symptoms and promote better prostate health.
Here are some tips on what to eat for an enlarged prostate diet and how it can help you better manage your BPH.
We all know fresh fruit and vegetables are good for you, but did you know they’re also good for your prostate? Many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help protect against prostate cancer but can also help to reduce prostate inflammation caused by BPH.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy contain a chemical known as sulforaphane. This natural plant compound is known to possess anti-cancer properties while inhibiting the activity of histone deacetylase (HDI), a contributor to benign prostate hyperplasia.
Fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to remove the free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are linked to the effects of aging and a host of other diseases, including enlarged prostate problems.
Finally, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes are all high in vitamin C. Vitamin C limits the expansion of a molecule known as HIF 1 Alpha which can, in turn, influence prostate growth.
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are not only good for your overall health but also for your prostate health. Like egg yolks, red meat and liver, oily fish contains plentiful supplies of vitamin D.
When ingested, vitamin D clings to the various receptors in the bladder and prostate. From there, its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the risk of inflammation and prostate growth.
Perhaps more importantly, there’s a ton of evidence to suggest that Vitamin D also inhibits prostate cancer growth
Soy products like tofu, soybeans and soy milk contain compounds known as isoflavones. Isoflavones play a crucial role in steroidal balance and will inhibit DHT activity. DHT is the male hormone like testosterone that can build up in the prostate, causing it to grow. When DHT is inhibited or blocked, it can stall the growth of the prostate and may even make it shrink.
Need more proof?
Aside from being a healthy food alternative, there is evidence that men in China, where 64% more soy products are consumed than elsewhere, experienced 56% fewer cases of BPH than in the US or Europe.
If you’re unsure about soy products, try introducing soy products into your enlarged prostate diet by substituting meat for tofu, particularly in stir-fries or adding edamame to salads. Also, consider swapping conventional milk for a soy alternative.
The US National Coffee Association found that 60% of coffee drinkers drank coffee daily - the highest level in 20 years.
Yet, we also know that caffeine, along with alcohol, can irritate the bladder and worsen BPH symptoms like urinary frequency and urgency.
So, if you do like your daily cup of Joe, try limiting your caffeine intake by switching one or two drinks out for caffeine-free alternatives.
Also, where possible, try and avoid caffeine in the evenings before bed. Caffeine inhibits sleep, but as a diuretic, it also stimulates the bladder. This, in turn, can cause the need to urinate more frequently.
Water is essential for overall health but should also be incorporated into an enlarged prostate diet. Water helps flush out toxins or bacteria that may otherwise lead to prostate inflammation.
So, how much water should you drink every day?
Some experts recommend 8 x 8oz glasses per day, equivalent to around 2 liters. At the same time, others suggest up to 3.7 liters (15 cups) per day.
While that sounds a lot, this includes water from drinks like tea and those contained in our foods. On average, we receive 20% of our water intake from the foods we eat.
Also, if you reside in hot, humid or dry areas or areas at a higher altitude, you should aim to consume more water.
While an enlarged prostate diet is essential, some may also benefit from supplements like saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol and pygeum. All have been shown to aid prostate health and are readily available online or through your local pharmacy.
As a side note - If you are considering supplements to improve prostate health, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first to ensure any supplements you do take won’t interfere with other medications.
Making slight dietary changes can help better manage BPH symptoms and promote overall prostate health. So incorporate more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, soy products and water into your diet while limiting caffeine intake.
Following an enlarged prostate diet will not only help you to feel great, but you’ll also notice improved prostate health too.
What to do when dietary changes aren’t enough?
If you don’t feel that changing your diet is sufficient and you’re still concerned about your prostate symptoms, talk to Dr Akinwande at The Midwest Institute of Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT).
As a vascular and endovascular specialist, Dr A uses the latest non-surgical chairside techniques to shrink an enlarged prostate and quickly reduce symptoms.
Want to know more? Call him on 314 -255-2204 or book a consultation online.