If you are like most men looking for ways to shrink your prostate, you probably have symptoms of an enlarged prostate, otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Symptoms of BPH can include nocturia (nighttime urination), urinary hesitation, a urine stream that stops and goes, a weaker urine stream, and not being able to empty your bladder completely. While these symptoms do not threaten your health (besides risk of infection from not emptying your bladder), they do greatly affect your quality of life and can indicate that your prostate health is not optimized.
Before you run out in search of ways to shrink your prostate, be aware that size itself doesn’t necessarily matter. You can have an enlarged prostate without the symptoms of BPH, while another man with a normal size prostate may experience advanced urinary symptoms. Whatever your case, your goal should be to improve your prostate health through natural methods, and this in turn will help you to make positive changes in your prostate and urinary health.
The best plan for maximizing your prostate health involves eating the right foods, avoiding the wrong ones, losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising daily, and managing your hormones. It is also important to manage your stress level and take steps to fight inflammation. By following these 7 ways to shrink your prostate, you can improve your prostate health and prevent other prostate health problems (such as prostatitis or even prostate cancer) down the road.
Eat the right foods
You might not think of how what you put in your mouth affects your prostate, but diet plays a large role in prostate health. You can decrease inflammation and slow the growth of your prostate by eating some of the best foods for prostate health.
A Mediterranean style diet is one of the best diets for prostate health. It includes eating oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, tuna, herring, and anchovies). This diet also allows you to indulge in other healthy fats like the ones found in seeds, nuts, olives, and avocados. You should eat a lot of vegetables, because men who eat a lot of vegetables have a decreased risk for BPH. Look for cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage) as well as vegetables with a high vitamin C content (note you can get the active prostate health substance in Broccoli in a supplement).
Avoid or limit the worst foods that your prostate hates. These foods that hurt prostate health include spicy foods (which can exacerbate pain and other symptoms of prostatitis), fried foods, processed foods, white bread products, sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy foods, and red meat. Cut out salty foods and limit your alcohol intake. You also should limit caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soda, which can worsen your urinary symptoms.
Choose plant protein over animal protein
The best protein for prostate health is from plant sources rather than animal products. Animal protein is more strongly associated with symptoms of BPH than is plant protein, so incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet. Studies have also linked dairy and meat products to an increased risk for prostate cancer, so substituting plant protein in your diet provides many positive prostate health benefits. You can get some your daily protein from sources such as beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, tempeh, seitan, and some high-protein grains.
If you start exercising regularly, you may be surprised at the results. Studies have shown that exercise can prevent BPH and help manage BPH symptoms. The best exercises for prostate health include aerobic and resistance exercises. Just be sure to vary your workouts to get the most benefit.
One of the benefits of eating better and exercising more is weight loss, and that is good news for your prostate. Obesity is linked to several different prostate health issues from BPH to prostatitis and prostate cancer. If you have been putting on weight, lose the excess fat and you may find that you also shed some unwanted prostate symptoms as well. Weight gain is also linked to inflammation and the promotion of estrogen – both of which are bad for prostate health.
Managing your hormone production is an important step in managing your aging prostate health. Your hormone production changes as you get older. An enzyme and hormone called 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This can cause your testosterone levels to drop and create imbalance between your testosterone and estrogen, leading to an enlarged prostate. You can naturally manage your hormones through exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and by using supplements that reduce estrogen and boost testosterone.
There are also many well-researched prostate health supplements that support both your prostate and urinary health. Supplements can promote your body’s efforts to regulate your hormones and support a natural prostate size. Another benefit of taking supplements is that many of them are rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and can help manage inflammation naturally.
The best prostate supplements associated with encouraging your body’s efforts to manage natural prostate size include the following:
- Pollen extracts
- Vitamin D
The top prostate supplements for promoting better urinary health include the following:
- Pollen extracts
- Stinging nettle
Prostate supplements that help your body naturally manage your regulation of DHT include the following:
- Green tea
- Saw palmetto
Managing the stress in your life is good for your health in many ways. In terms of your prostate health, stress management can help you to decrease inflammation and pelvic tension (which can also lead to chronic prostatitis, a condition that causes chronic pain and urinary symptoms). In terms of BPH, stress can worsen symptoms like urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and painful urination. Stress can also lower your level of zinc, a mineral that is important for good prostate health. (see also: best rated zinc supplements)
There are several ways to reduce and manage stress. Some of the easy methods you can do on your own include meditation, breathing exercises, guided visualization, yoga, and exercise. You may also look into counseling or group therapy if you can’t seem to manage stress and anxiety on your own. Find a healthy way to handle your stress and you will find not just better prostate health but better all-over health.
Your lifestyle greatly affects your prostate health from the food you eat to the exercises you do to the supplements you take. Following all of the above ways to shrink your prostate can help you in preventing BPH symptoms from getting worse and help you get a better night’s sleep. Taking steps to improve your prostate health through these efforts can help you to naturally manage your prostate health, avoid taking medications with negative side effects, and prevent future health problems.