The time-tested adage that “You are what you eat” may sound trite, but it really is true, particularly as it relates to prostate health. The stereotypical guy loves his steaks, his burgers, and his Buffalo wings, especially during tailgating season. Cheering on your favorite team just doesn’t seem right without a hot dog in one hand and a cold brew in the other. And while the occasional indulgence won’t kill you, eating a high-fat diet that leaves little room for fruits and veggies can jeopardize your prostate health (not to mention your waistline). If you’re not particularly enamored of Brussels sprouts, think of your diet as an investment toward better prostate health. The best food for prostate health can be found in the Prostate Health Diet which can lower your risk of prostate cancer, BPH, and inflammatory conditions like prostatitis.
Lowering saturated fat intake
Studies have shown that regularly consuming high amounts of red meat can increase your risk of dying from many causes, including cancer. The Mayo Clinic supports this research, noting that men who eat a great deal of fat on a daily basis increase their risk of developing prostate cancer. Red meat and other animal products (including butter and other dairy products) are typically high in saturated fats. Saturated and trans fats not only clog your arteries, they’re also bad for prostate health. Try to eat more of your protein from plant-based sources, such as soy, nuts, and beans.
Increasing unsaturated fat intake
Increasing your intake of healthy monounsaturated fats is just as important for preventing inflammatory conditions as decreasing your intake of saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) like omega-3 fatty acids support your immune system, enable your body to absorb certain vitamins, and decrease the risk of inflammation. Some good sources of MUFAs and PUFAs include avocados, olive oil, flaxseed, soy, salmon, trout, and various nuts, such as walnuts.
More fruits and veggies
The impact of fruits and veggies on prostate health cannot be overstated. They are potent prostate cancer fighters. They contain antioxidants and polyphenols to combat inflammation and reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Components of common fruits and veggies that are particularly helpful in fighting prostate cancer include lycopene, pectin, lignans, and folate.
Try to eat at least four to five servings of veggies every day, and two to three servings of fruit. If you find fruits and veggies to be boring or bland, experiment with exotic ingredients that you’ve never tried before, like daikon or Buddha’s Hand. You could also try cooking them in different ways to bring out the flavor. Try roasting carrots and onions with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil.
If you’re fond of potato chips, try replacing them with homemade veggie chips. Slice carrots or other veggies with a mandolin slicer, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until crispy. This technique also works well with kale leaves – a good way to get more dark green veggies in your diet.
Choosing the best food for prostate health is vital, but always consult your doctor before you change your diet or workout program. This is particularly important if you have a medical condition that requires a certain diet.
Pan A et al. Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Archives of Internal Medicine 2012 Apr 9; 172(7): 555-63