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Eating for a healthy prostate

Foods to look out for to keep your prostate healthy

Prostate problems in different parts of the world

The highest rates of prostate disease are observed in Western countries such as the USA and United Kingdom, whereas the lowest rates are seen in Asian countries such as Singapore.

When men move from Asian to Western countries, consumption of the typical high-fat Western diet appears to increase their chances of acquiring the symptoms of prostate problems. Hence, it is worth considering the possibility that diet may have a role in contributing to prostate enlargement.

Vegetables and the Enlarged Prostate

There is some evidence to support the hypothesis that a diet poor in vegetables and pulses may have an unfavourable effect4.

An American study has shown that men who regularly consume a high intake of vegetables have a reduced risk of BPH.

This must be an encouragement to eat all the green, leafy vegetables, as well as yellow and orange-coloured vegetables such as sweetcorn, peppers, kiwi fruit and grapes, to get the nutrients present.

Another study showed that eating four or more servings of vegetables daily, reduced the risk of developing an enlarged prostate gland by 32% and eating more fatty foods increased the risk. On the other hand, a diet containing red meat daily increased the risk of BPH - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (or Hypertrophy) by 38%6.

The foods to eat

According to the Healthy Eating: Prostate Care Cookbook by Professor Margaret Rayman, Kay Gibbs and Kay Dilley, a diet focussed on vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and cabbage, as well as kale, kohlrabi, watercress, and radishes, along with leeks, onions and garlic is worthwhile. There appears to be plenty there to spice up your meals.

Eat zinc-rich foods. There is plenty of scientific back-up for the role of zinc to support prostate health. Shellfish, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pecan nuts, fish and eggs can help you out here. Alcohol interferes with zinc uptake, so keep this to a minimum.

Saturated fats aren’t good for any aspect of health and certainly not for the prostate7, so get your healthy fats from nuts, seeds and fish.

If you want more specific recipes and ideas for delicious and healthful meals for your prostate, The Prostate Care Cookbook is a good read.

[1] Zhu Y-P et al. Asian Journal of Andrology 2009; 11: 104-108.

[2] Cheng I et al. Cancer Epidemiology 2005; 14: 1692-1696.

[3] Tymchuk CN et al. Journal of Urology 2001; 166: 1185-9.

[4] Bravi BF et al. Food groups and risk of benign prostatic hypertrophy Urology, 2006, vol. 67, pp. 73—79.

[5] Rohrmann S et al. American J Clin Nutr 2007; 85: 523-529.

[6] Kristal AR et al. American Journal of Epidemiology 2008; doi: 10. 1093/aje/kwn389.

[7] The Prostate Care Cookbook, Professor Margaret Rayman, published by Kyle Cathie.[8] Leake A et al. J Steroid Biochem 1984; 20: 651-5, and Acta Endocrinol 1984; 105: 281-8.



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