For such a small gland – about the size and shape of a walnut – the prostate comes with its fair share of health issues. Whether it’s prostatitis (about 8.2% of men will have this at some point in their lives), benign prostatic hyperplasia (affects about 50% of men ages 51-60 and up to 90% of men older than 80), or prostate cancer (almost 250,000 men in 2021 will be diagnosed), there’s a good chance that men who live long enough will be diagnosed with one of these prostate problems.
Now’s the time to embrace good health habits enhancing prostate health. The earlier in life you start the better chance of avoiding these potential prostate issues.
Here are your quick and easy tips on achieving good prostate health:
Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly
One of the best things you can do to promote prostate health is to exercise often and maintain healthy body weight. Studies have shown that moderate to vigorous exercise reduces the risk of BPH and prostatitis. Exercise also enhances your heart health helping prevent sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction.
Losing weight is a strong determinant of prostate health. A study published in the Journal of Urology showed that overweight men, especially with excess abdominal obesity, have a higher risk of BPH. The act of losing weight helps reduce prostate size relieving annoying urinary symptoms. Weight loss also reduces prostate cancer risk and prostatitis.
Drink green tea and water
One of the best beverages for prostate health is green tea thanks to its potent antioxidant content. Green tea may prevent prostate cancer and may slow aggressive prostate cancer’s growth rate. Sipping on green tea has also been found beneficial for BPH and prostatitis.
Water is another important healthy beverage for men for several reasons. It maintains hydration, makes the urine less concentrated, and allows the bladder to store more urine. This last point is important since a full bladder means there will be a greater force to push the urine out resulting in a better stream and a better chance of completely emptying the bladder.
Follow a prostate-friendly diet
Men are what they eat so might as well choose healthy foods. And one of the best is eating plenty of leafy green vegetables full of vitamins and antioxidants supporting prostate health. Begin eating more spinach, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and Swiss chard. Fill at least half of a dinner plate with veggies along with small portions of fatty fish, poultry, or lean protein and healthy whole grains or nuts, all prostate-healthy foods to enjoy.
Get some sun or take a vitamin D supplement
Many studies have suggested that vitamin D is helpful for protecting against prostate cancer by regulating the growth of tumor cells. The very best source of this fat-soluble vitamin is safe exposure to sunlight. Other sources include foods containing vitamin D such as milk fortified with it, fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, and egg yolks. Men can also take a vitamin D supplement with their doctor’s approval and recommendation of the amount to take daily.
Get screened for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer screening will be a man’s best bet for catching and treating prostate cancer early. A baseline screening at age 40 is recommended and then, depending on if a man’s in a high-risk group (family history or African-American), will determine at what frequency prostate screening should be done. Prostate cancer screenings include a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Both of these are quickly and easily done in a doctor’s office.