Looking after prostate health is usually something that is ignored by men, because it feels like an awkward topic to think about. But shying away from it, and ignoring it, doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it increases the risk of problems down the line. Our bodies involve a highly sophisticated mechanism which, when one part is out of sync, can start malfunctioning. So it goes without saying that it is important to look after all the different parts, including the ones that might feel a bit awkward to think about looking after, like our prostate.
But you do not have to go at blind. To help you get a better understanding of how to look after your prostate health (and reduce the risk of the various prostate health problems), we have researched and compiled a list of 15 prostate health tips, just for you. So read on to learn how you can look after your prostate health – it really isn’t difficult, as you will soon find out.
Prostate Health Tips
Below are 15 prostate health tips, to help you boost your prostate health, and reduce the risks of any future prostate health problems (including prostate cancer):
- Drink water: Dehydration is a big cause of prostate health problems, so the first prostate health tip for you is an easy way to boost your prostate health – drink enough water! If you are drinking less to reduce how many trips you need to take to the toilet, try not to do that, because if you feel the urge to drink water, it’s your body telling you it needs water. Keep ignoring that signal, and you will face problems. Drinking enough water is a great way to not just boost your prostate health, but your health overall.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is great for your health, and this includes your prostate health. Research has actually found that moderate to vigorous exercise (like a short HIIT session) helps with prostatitis, and also helps reduce the risk of urinary tract problems and BPH. Working out also improves your cardiovascular health, and helps prevent other prostate related issues like erectile dysfunction, impotence, and sexual problems.
- Reduce stress: It might seem unlikely that stress would have any impact on your physical health, but it actually does. In fact, it has been found that when stressed, some men tighten their pelvic muscles. This happens unconsciously, and overtime can cause problems with pelvic floor muscle, and even result in chronic prostatitis. Stress can also aggravate other prostate health issues, namely urinary problems. So knowing how to manage, and better reduce, your stress can be a great way to a healthier prostate.
- Limit red meat: How much red meat you eat can have a big impact on your prostate health. Among other things, red meat is high in uric acid, which isn’t very good for the health of your prostate, or kidneys, among other things. This is not to say you shouldn’t have any, but rather that having a lot of it, regularly, is bad for your prostate health. If you are eating red meat as your main source of protein, there are other (better) sources of protein you can opt for, like fish, chicken, eggs, and beans.
- Avoid trans fats: It’s not really as simple as saying fat is bad for you, because not all fat is. Healthy fats, like those from olive oil and nuts, can help improve your health. On the other hand, the unhealthy fats, namely trans fats (hydrogenated fats), cause more harm than good. They are, unfortunately, a big part of fast foods and canned/packaged food items, so limiting how much of those you have can help boost your overall health, including your prostate health.
- Limit sugar intake: Sugar is bad for you, it’s hardly news. Turns out having more than you need of this item is also bad for your prostate health. There are many reasons to be careful about how much sugar you have in your diet, now here is another one. This does not mean you should completely stop eating sweet things – just be responsible about them, and have them as occasional treats. Avoiding high sugar drinks, like many of the soft drinks and fruit juices available, is also a good tip for reducing your sugar intake.
- Limit salt intake: It’s not just trans fat and sugar that’s bad for your prostate health, too much salt (sodium) is not good either. In fact, having a lot of salt in your food can be quite bad for your prostate health, and urinary health. So it goes without saying that choosing food low in sodium, including limiting the use of processed, canned, and frozen food items, can be good for your prostate health. By the way, if you struggle to reduce the amount of salt you have in what you eat (salt is a key part of many cuisines, so it is perfectly understandable if you find it hard), opting for low-sodium salt can be a good option to consider.
- Green tea: Green tea is a good source of antioxidants which have been shown to have a preventative impact on cancer cells that cause prostate cancer. Not only that, it might slow down the progress of aggressive prostate cancer, and also help with other prostate health issues, like prostatitis and BPH.
- Avoid caffeine: Coffee is great, right? Well, it is, but in moderation. Caffeine can, unfortunately, increase the potential for prostate health problems as it irritates both the bladder and the prostate. As research has found, men who had 234 mg or more caffeine a day were 72 percent more likely to have urinary problems than men who drank small amounts of coffee. In case you are wondering how much caffeine is there in coffee, we have the answer for you. It’s 40g of caffeine in 100g of coffee, according to USDA. So if you are a coffee lover, keep that number in mind and try to moderate your daily caffeine intake. Or, if you find it really really hard to not have less coffee (trust us, we understand your plight), opt for decaffeinated coffee. That can be a good way to have coffee without the increasing the potential for prostate health problems. That said, if you are having urinary and/or prostate health problems already, try stopping your caffeine intake and see how that works.
- More fibre: Having a good amount of fibre in your diet is a good way to reduce the chances of any prostate health problems. Food like vegetables, wholewheat bread, and legumes are good sources.
- Lose weight: This, by the way, is not a universal suggestion meant for everyone, but only for people who are overweight. If you are overweight, it increases your chances of getting prostate cancer. Not just that, the high amount of abdominal fat also increases the chances of prostate health issues like urinary problems, BPH and prostatitis (according to the Journal of Urology). Losing weight can help you reduce the size of your prostate and help tackle and/or prevent prostate health issues. Losing weight (if you’re overweight), can also have lots of other health benefits. Definitely something worth looking into.
- Give up smoking: Smoking is a hell of a way to cause damage to your health. It’s not news that smoking kills. It has been found to cause a whole host of health problems. When it comes to prostate health, even though smoking doesn’t have a direct impact, what it does do is pave the way for prostate health problems as a result of the damage it causes to your blood vessels. So in case you are still stuck to this damaging habit, and want to reduce the chances of any future prostate health issues (including sexual dysfunction and erectile problems), try and give up smoking. Here is some useful information to help with that. Quitting smoking helps you have a much better health, and a longer life – great incentives won’t you say.
- Include Zinc: You might not hear much said about Zinc since its deficiency isn’t very common – but Zinc deficiency can cause several prostate health problems, and impotence. A balanced, healthy diet should nip this deficiency in the bud though, so make sure you have in your diet at least one (or more) food items that are good sources of Zinc, namely legumes (like beans and peas), whole grains, fish, and meat. By the way, do not rely on multivitamin tablets as your source of Zinc – they don’t really work, as research has found over and over. If you absolutely want to use supplements, you will be better off getting Zinc supplements. But it is recommended to consult your doctor first before you start on this, just in case you have any sort of intolerances that you might not know of.
- Get Vitamin D: Scientists have found that people in countries in the northerly latitudes experience more cases of prostate cancer. It is believed that the lack of sun, and Vitamin D, is a big cause of it. This makes sense, when you take into account just how important Vitamin D is for our overall health and it’s immune boosting properties. If you don’t get a lot of sun, taking Vitamin D in supplement form can be a good idea.
- Eat tomatoes: Lycopene, and antioxidant found in tomatoes, have been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Research has actually found that people who eat lots of tomatoes (and tomato based products) have a much lower risk of cancer than those who do not. The best way to get the most out of having tomatoes though is not to have them raw, but rather, cooked with a bit of oil – the oil helps the antioxidant lycopene release from the tomato skin, and makes it easier for us to absorb. So the next time you are making a pasta sauce, don’t hold back on the tomatoes!
When do you need a prostate checkup
If you are below 50, you don’t really need to worry too much about having a prostate checkup. But your risks for prostate health issues increase once you reach your 50th birthday. So if you are wondering when you need to get a prostate checkup, the answer is when you turn 50. After that age, it is smart to be on the safe side and get your prostate checked, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. A once a year checkup should be good.
Check out PCF’s website to learn more about prostate checkup.
Prostate health doesn’t need to be a taboo issue, or something to be shy about. It is a very important part of your health and overall wellbeing. Ignored, problems regarding your prostate will only get worse, and cause pain and discomfort that are just not worth the stigma. That stigma is a bit vain anyway, and needs to be overcome.
Look after your health, including the parts you might feel a bit awkward about, because your overall wellbeing depends on it.
What are your thoughts on these prostate health tips? Which one did you find most useful? Which of these do you practice now, and plan on adopting going forward? Do you have any tips of your own to share?
Share your thoughts and tips about prostate health in the comments section below.
Here is to a long, healthy, happy life!
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