And while prostate cancer is most common in older men, an infected or inflamed prostate is actually quite common among men of all age groups – making it a vital part of the body to keep happy and healthy. In this article we'll cover some of the common issues experienced among men and some actionable ways to support a healthy prostate.
What are common issues with the prostate?
While the focus is often heavily placed on prostate cancer, it’s important to be aware of other, less communicated issues that can arise with the prostate, particularly Enlarged Prostate or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
Enlarged prostate / BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
As the most common prostate disease, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is the enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH is a non-cancerous disease, and is not directly linked to cancer, however the growth of the prostate can narrow the urethra and put subsequent pressure on the bladder. It is also possible for urine to stagnate in the bladder, where it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. While it may not be as serious as cancer, BPH can still have a significant impact on quality of life, giving us another reason to adequately care for the prostate.
BPH risk factors
It is not yet clear what causes BPH, although it does appear more frequently in older males with 50% of men in their 50’s experiencing it and nearly all men having some complications by the age of 80. One of the primary facts we do know about BPH is that testosterone must be present in order for it to occur.
Supporting a healthy prostate
There are a number of natural foods, remedies and lifestyle choices that can have a big impact on the health of your prostate. Let’s take a look at some of these now.
Things to eat more of
Fruits and vegetables
Food consumption has a massive influence on the development of cancer and is therefore vital for supporting a healthy prostate. Try consuming a well-rounded diet that includes a large variety of fruits and veg, particularly those containing anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and fibre. Some of our favourites include:
- Berries – especially blueberries
- Citrus fruits
- Brazil nuts
- Asian mushrooms
- Pumpkin seeds
Keeping a healthy weight with regular exercise
Aside from being linked to slowing the spread of cancer, keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly can also help to prevent things such as BPH, prostatitis, and other forms of inflammation.
Green tea is a powerhouse for health as it contains high levels of antioxidants and catechins which can help to kill off cancer cells. For men who drink it regularly, the risk of developing cancer can be reduced by up to 70%.
As red meat and other animal products (such as dairy and fat) have been suggested to promote cancer development, swapping these out for some delicious plant proteins can be a great way to make sure you’re still getting adequate levels of protein in a prostate-friendly way. Some great plant proteins to add to your diet include:
- Split peas
Fibre has been associated with lower levels of testosterone and PSA scores, so including fibre-rich wholefoods in your diet is a great way to promote prostate health.
Omega-3 works to fight inflammation which can weaken the immune system by attacking the body’s natural antioxidants. As such, Omega-3 is not only great for prostate health but for general wellbeing as well.
There are a range of natural foods and components that may help to reduce the risk of developing cancer and help to slow its progression where cancer is already present. Some of these cancer-fighting super foods include:
- Lycopene – watermelon, grapefruit, tomatoes, asparagus
- Folic acid – citrus fruits, beans, green leafy vegetables
- Vitamin D – fatty fish, eggs, sunlight
Drink more water!
Not only is drinking lots of water essential for overall health but is vital for the health of your prostate too. As urine will be less concentrated for those who drink adequate levels of water, the bladder will become less irritated and can therefore hold more urine. It will also prevent constipation which can help to avoid added pressure on your prostate. Learn more about the benefits of drinking water for BPH sufferers here.
Things to reduce / avoid
Harmful foods + additives
There are a variety of foods that are known to harm the prostate, so it’s important to be aware of these and make conscious decisions about how much of these you consume. Foods to limit or avoid in order to support prostate health include:
- Red meat
- Processed meats
- Saturated fats
- Dairy foods
- Artificial sweeteners
Unhealthy lifestyle choices
Lifestyle choices also play a big part in prostate health and should be considered just as important as the foods we consume. Some of the most detrimental lifestyle choices or habits for your prostate include:
- Certain medications
- Alcohol consumption
- Insufficient or broken sleep
We all know that eating a balanced diet for specific health concerns can be difficult at the best of times, so sometimes it pays to get a little help along the way. Have a read of some of our favourite natural remedies to help support a healthy prostate:
Prostasan® Prostate Support
For men experiencing BPH, uncomfortable symptoms such as frequent / nocturnal urination, delayed urination, weak or interrupted stream, inability to empty the bladder and leaking are quite common. Developed for the symptomatic relief of BPH, Protasasn® is licensed for the relief of enlarged prostate without the negative side effects that often ensue. So how does it work? Prostasan® contains Saw Palmetto – a berry that has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years to treat a variety of conditions. It is also considered to be the herb of choice when it comes to treating the symptoms of BPH. For men that are advised by their doctors to “watch and wait” to see how their condition progresses, Saw Palmetto can be an ideal way to help ease symptoms.
Effectiveness of A.Vogel Prostasan®
A study investigating the effectiveness of A. Vogel Prostasan® recruited 364 men with an average age of 65 who were suffering from BPH but had not yet been treated. Improvements were noticeable within 4 weeks of treatment and symptoms improved by an average of 35% regardless of severity. Those with the mildest symptoms improved by 42%, those with moderate symptoms by 38% and those with severe symptoms by 30%. Quality of life also improved with patients going from feeling ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ with their urinary problems to overwhelmingly ‘satisfied’ after eight weeks (Riedi E, et al. Natural treatment for BPH. Ars Medici, 2005, 2:3).
BioSnacky® Broccoli sprouting seeds
Broccoli and Broccoli sprouts pack a powerful punch for your health, containing vitamins A, B, C, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc & chlorophyll. These tiny sprouts also contain a chemical known as sulforaphane which is thought to reduce incidence of prostate cancer as well as it’s progression into more serious stages of the disease. To help support a prostate-friendly lifestyle, A. Vogel offer a complete cultivation system known as BioSnacky® that allows you to plant and grow sprouts and shoots in the comfort of your kitchen.