What is the Prostate?
The prostate can play a direct role in the quality of life and overall health, which is why it is so important to maintain a healthy diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals. In this article we will discuss different ways a man can improve the quality of prostate health through the use of vitamins and mineral supplements.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found only in males. The gland surrounds the urethra and lies at the base of the urinary bladder, located directly between the pubic bone and rectum. The prostate gland secretes approximately 25% of the seminal fluid that is combined with sperm during ejaculation. Prostate fluid acts as a lubricant to prevent urethral infections and propels sperm.
Medical research studies have found a definitive link between stress and diet and the important role each plays in prostate health. There are many foods which should be incorporated in the diet of males to prevent some of the most common prostate problems such as infection, enlargement and cancer. The list of foods found on the next page is recommended for maintaining a healthy prostate and a healthy male body.
Healthy Prostate Diet
The list of foods below is recommended for maintaining a healthy prostate:
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Legumes (peas, beans and lentils)
- Fresh fish (cold ocean fish such as salmon, sardines, cod and mackerel)
- Whole grains
- Organic foods
Foods to avoid include the following:
- Fatty foods
- Red meats
- Excess salts
- Hydrogenated oils
- Canned or prepackaged foods
- Black teas
- Dairy foods
A man should also avoid cigarette and cigar smoking and forms of second hand smoke. In addition to the foods listed above, a male should get regular exercise, drink adequate fluids, get enough rest and avoid stressful situations whenever possible.
Which Vitamins and Supplements Help Maintain Prostate Health and Why?
While there are obvious food choices that will enhance overall prostate health, there are also a number of vitamins and supplements which have shown to improve prostate health as well. The following is a list of the known vitamins and supplements which play an important role in prostate health:
Lycopene: helps remove carcinogenic toxins from the body and has been shown to help prevent and decrease the risks of certain forms of cancer.
Zinc: involved in numerous processes of cellular metabolism, plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing and cell division. Is required in a steady state because the human body has no natural zinc stores.
Selenium: a natural antioxidant which prevents and repairs cellular damage from free radicals which can directly contribute to certain forms of cancer.
Vitamin B: important to metabolism, converts and carries oxygen to vital organs.
Saw palmetto: has been shown to shrink an enlarged prostate and lower prostate specific antigen levels (PSA).
Vitamin E: can protect against prostate cancer.
Green Tea: catechins found in green tea are shown to be medicinal to the prostate, though it is unknown how they prevent or combat prostate problems.
Nettle: rich in vitamin C, iron and other nutrients that help improve prostate health.
Kelp: seaweed contains iodine and other essential minerals which may help prevent and treat prostate cancer.
Pygenum: used for many years in the treatment of urinary tract and prostate diseases.
Golden flax oil: one of nature’s best sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acid. It has been traditionally recommended for men’s health to help regulate blood pressure and inflammation of the prostate.
Burdock Root: contains amino acids, polyacetylenes and inulin which restore natural body harmony. The supplement stimulates the production of bile, which cleans the liver and blood.
Cayenne: stimulates blood flow all over the body.
Goldenseal root: contains alkaloids which are a powerful tonic for mucous membranes
Juniper berries: help support blood pressure, nerve pain, gout and cystitis. The berries have an antiseptic property and act as a diuretic and for pain in conditions like prostatis.
Marshmallow root: increases urine flow and reduces inflammation of the prostate.
Pumpkin seed: good zinc source and essential fatty acids, contains nutrients which promote prostate health.
Parsley: a member of the carrot family used for the treatment of sluggish kidneys and bladder. Relieves bloating, gas, constipation and water retention, promotes prostate health.
More than 30 million males worldwide suffer from prostate conditions that result in negative health consequences and reduce quality of life. Prostate problems can hamper daily life and result in problems with urination, sleep disturbance from nighttime urination, painful lower back and sexual dysfunction.
Nutritionists and other medical professionals everywhere agree that certain vitamins and supplements can not only prevent certain types of prostate health conditions, but also improve overall prostate health. In addition, researchers also recommend men reduce dietary fat, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and commit to a regular exercise regimen, not only to maintain a healthy prostate but to live a happier and healthier life.