Good nutrition can support healthy prostate function and overall health. But, there is more to a good diet than choosing nutrient-rich foods. It is also important to know which foods to avoid. There are compounds found in certain foods that can impact the maintenance of a healthy prostate. Making the right food choices and knowing which foods to limit will protect your health, vitality, and overall well-being.
1. Red Meat
A study shows that men with a higher intake of red meat were 2.64 times more likely to develop prostate concerns than men with the lowest intake among the study participants. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are formed when red meat is cooked at high temperatures, and these compounds can negatively impact cellular function. The World Health Organization suggests that red and processed meats may be associated with an increased risk of undesirable symptoms.
What to eat instead: Get your protein from lean poultry, fresh fish, and legumes.
2. High-Fat Dairy
Whole-milk and whole-milk products can be linked to an increased risk of poor prostate health. The associations between milk intake and poor prostate health could be due to milk’s saturated fat, calcium, and hormone levels. Increased dairy intake influences hormone levels and may result in higher concentrations of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), both of which can affect prostate cell growth.
What to try instead: Non-dairy alternatives like oat milk and almond milk and products made with these. Be cautious with soy milk and soy products. While soy is a beneficial alternative to dairy, too much soy can affect prostate health.
Sodium, informally known as salt, is a necessary mineral that plays several important roles in the body. Excessive salt intake may increase the frequency of urinary tract symptoms associated with age-related prostate concerns. For optimal prostate health and urinary tract function, it is recommended to limit the use of heavy sauces, canned and boxed foods, and restaurant food, which is often very high in salt, no matter what you decide to order.
What to try instead: Choose minimally processed foods and always check the label for sodium content. You can also use herbs and spices to season foods.
4. Processed Snacks
Processed snack foods, including chips, cookies, pretzels, and deli meats, are high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats. Individually, sodium, excess sugar, and saturated fats can increase symptoms associated with age-related prostate concerns. Foods that contain all of these are not ideal for supporting overall health, including prostate function.
What to try instead: Reach for fresh fruits and vegetables instead or healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds.
Excessive alcohol consumption is not ideal for prostate function or overall health. The typical oxidative stress associated with drinking large amounts of alcohol may disrupt healthy cellular function. Limiting alcohol consumption reduces the unwelcome common oxidative stress in prostate cells to better support healthy prostate cell growth and function.
What to try instead: Reserve alcohol consumption for special occasions and drink in moderation.
By age 50, half of all men will show signs of normal prostate enlargement associated with aging. Making some healthy changes to your diet can help you manage symptoms and maintain a healthy prostate. For something extra, you can add doctor-formulated supplements like ProstateMD® to your routine for optimal prostate support.
This doctor-formulated formula includes unadulterated USPlus® saw palmetto, which is one of the highest-quality saw palmetto extracts for healthy prostate function and urinary tract health. The addition of pumpkin seed oil helps support healthy prostate cell growth and function. Along with other essential antioxidants, pygeum extract works to promote healthy urinary tract function and relieve occasional urinary symptoms associated with normal prostate enlargement.
Prostate health is influenced by several factors, including diet. A balanced diet that includes vitamins and minerals combined with healthy lifestyle factors like adequate sleep and exercise is an effective way to support the health of your prostate. Make a choice to limit or avoid these five foods, and instead, grab fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins, and the targeted prostate benefits of 1MD Nutrition’s ProstateMD®.
Dr. Daniel Brison
Dr. Daniel Brison is a board certified urologist who completed medical school at the State University of New York, and residency at the prestigious Endourology fellowship program at UCLA.