SUPPLEMENT OF THE WEEK
PROSTATE FUNCTION SUPPORT
The prostate is a small gland (the size of a walnut) that produces seminal fluid which nourishes and transports sperm thereby making the gland very vital for fertility. It also helps regulate the flow of urine. However, as men get older, they may suffer from prostate problems.
Prostate problems or conditions include Prostatitis which is the inflammation of the prostate, Enlarged Prostate which causes difficulty in urinating and Prostate Cancer (the most common form of cancer in men). Enlarged prostate affects most men over age 50.
The causes of prostate issues are numerous. Changing diet and lifestyle are successful ways of relieving symptoms of prostate problems as a man’s lifestyle has tremendous impact on his prostate health. A healthy lifestyle must therefore be cultivated to prevent prostate conditions.
Lifestyle for a healthy prostate
- Eating healthy – Consuming balanced meals, including prostate-friendly foods or diet, help prevent prostate cancer and slows down the growth of prostate cells and cancerous cells. Prostate-friendly foods include oily fish (e.g. salmon, herrings, mackerel) which contain omega-3 fatty acid help with the proper functioning of the prostate gland. It also includes foods high in healthy fats (like avocados), vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables), olives, tomatoes, beans, nuts, seeds (like pumpkin seeds), wholegrains, fruits (like pomegranate, watermelon and berries) and foods high in zinc.
- Drinking of tea – Drinking of tea, especially green tea, contains antioxidants which prevents prostate cancer from forming, however, choose caffeine-free tea.
- Reducing stress – Stress affects prostate health negatively by tightening the pelvic floor muscle and this may be one of the causes of chronic prostatitis. Stress impairs the immune system thereby worsening prostate problems. Practice stress relieving techniques like good breathing, guided imagery (imagining soothing scenes , places or experiences in your mind to help you relax), connecting with loved ones, getting enough sleep and listening to music. Overconsuming caffeine and alcohol, smoking and overeating are unhealthy ways of dealing with stress.
- Exercising – Moderate or vigorous exercise helps reduce the risk of prostate problems. Being active throughout the day keeps the prostate gland and whole body healthy. Exercise also relieves stress.
- Losing weight – Losing weight, especially for overweight men with high abdominal fat helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer and also helps relieve prostatitis. The more overweight a man becomes, the more likely it is for him to develop prostate problems.
- Staying hydrated - Drinking enough water daily (about 6-8 glasses or more per day if very active) can help reduce prostate issues. However, it is advisable that water intake is limited before going to bed at night to avoid frequent waking up to urinate.
- Taking of supplement- Diet alone may not be adequate to provide enough of some of the vital nutrients the body needs in the required daily amount for a healthy prostate. The consumption of a daily prostate function support supplement can make a huge difference in managing prostate health. Examples of such supplements include Rye Grass Pollen Extract, Life Extension Ultra Prostate Formula, Now Food Prostate Support, Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettle, Zinc and Pumpkin Seed Powder. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking these supplements.
- Getting some sun – Insufficient exposure to sun may cause an increased risk of getting prostate cancer.
- Get the prostate examined – This can be done annually to check if the prostate is healthy, especially for men within the age bracket of 55 to 69.
Foods to cut down on or avoid for a healthy prostate include alcohol, processed foods like white flour, red meat, milk and milk products, sugary foods, highly salted foods and charred meat.