The prostate gland, found in men is located between the penis and the bladder. The main function of this gland is to help with the production of semen, which is the fluid that transports sperm. As men age, a number of medical conditions may affect the prostate gland. These include enlargement, inflammation and cancer of the prostate, as well as urinary problems. Here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy prostate, and prevent medical issues with the prostate arising.

Maintain A Healthy Weight: Studies suggest that excess calorie consumption may increase issues with the prostate such as enlargement of the prostate. Prevention is better than cure, therefore weight control methods via regular exercise and healthy eating may be beneficial. So cut out junk food such as cakes, biscuits, donuts, candies and crisps. These food items often contain high quantities of refined sugars, preservatives, additives and artificial colourings. Instead opt for whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes (e.g. beans and lentils), lean meats (e.g. chicken and fish) and unrefined carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice and wholemeal bread).

Cruciferous Vegetables: Research suggests that a clear link exists between the intake of cruciferous vegetables and prevention of prostate cancer. Cruciferous vegetables contain

phytonutrients which act as powerful antioxidants. Some of these vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, bok choy, watercress and broccoli. Broccoli in particular has been studied in detail, scientists suggest that this vegetable may help to prevent prostate cancer.

Lycopene: This powerful antioxidant is the red pigment found in tomatoes, watermelons, guava, grapefruits and papaya. Studies suggest that regular consumption of lycopene food items may play a role in preventing prostate cancer. So consume tomatoes and tomato sauces at least 2-3 times per week in the form of a tomato and basil salad or an Italian bolognaise sauce.

Zinc: The benefits of zinc for optimum prostate health has been well documented. In nutritional therapy consultations, zinc taste tests may be carried out to test for a zinc deficiency. Zinc containing foods include oysters and pumpkin seeds. Try pumpkin seed butter on 2-3 oat or rice cakes as a mid morning or afternoon snack.

Selenium: Deficiencies of the mineral selenium may occur in areas where soil content of selenium is low. This important mineral is also often destroyed by food processing. Researchers suggest that increased intake of this mineral may be linked with decreased prostate cancer risk. So increasing selenium intake through supplements or selenium rich foods (e.g. brazil nuts and sunflower seeds) may be beneficial for prostate health.

Vitamin D: With age, vitamin D levels may reduce. Researchers suggest that a deficiency in vitamin D may lead to increased risk of prostate cancer. Several studies suggest that this sunshine vitamin may inhibit prostate cancer growth. Foods containing vitamin D include eggs, fish (e.g. mackerel, herring and sardines) and some mushrooms (e.g. Shiitake).

Consume Pomegranates: Many studies suggest that drinking pomegranate juice and eating the whole fruit may promote good prostate health. Further, research suggests that the pomegranate fruit is loaded with powerful antioxidants, and may even have chemoprevention-like properties. So enjoy the fruit sprinkled on top of a salad or stir fry, or simply drink the juice with a small handful of unsalted nuts or seeds of your choice to keep blood glucose levels even.

Ms Salma S. Khan

Ms Salma S. Khan

Nutrition Consultant & Health Writer

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