Many people snack at least once during the course of a day. What you eat matters to prostate function and overall health. This means your snack choice is important. To help navigate the world of snacking, this list of what to eat and what not to eat will keep you satiated and your prostate in optimal health.
The International Food Information Council’s 2020 Food & Health Survey reported that the most common snack choices in the United States are cookies, chips, ice cream, candy, popcorn, soft drinks, and crackers. This research also found that 25% of American adults report snacking multiple times daily.
While snacking does have several benefits, such as supporting healthy blood sugar and energy levels and helping to curb your appetite so you don’t overeat at meal time, the choice of snack is the difference between promoting optimal health and not reaching your health goals.
Although snacks can be a regular and important part of a healthy diet, they can also work against long-term health goals. It is important to make smart choices when planning your snacks for the day ahead. Here's my list of snacks to avoid and the nutritious alternatives you should grab instead.
Eat Fruit, Not Cookies
Cookies are a common snack, especially when people are craving something sweet. The refined flour, sugar, and fats are not doing your health any favors. In fact, too many cookies and too much sugar work against healthy blood sugar level goals and healthy circulation.
Instead, pack some of your favorite fruits for the day to take care of your sweet tooth. Fruit is just as convenient, and you get a ton of essential nutrients your body needs. Some of the best fruits for prostate health include pomegranate, berries, and tomatoes.
So, EAT a pomegranate and berry salad or sliced tomatoes sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, NOT cookies.
Eat Veggies, Not Chips
Chips may be made from potatoes, but the frying process strips the potato of any proteins and nutrients. Chips, both potato and otherwise, also contain large amounts of sodium and fat. Many think veggie chips are a healthy alternative, but these are fried, have added sodium, and offer little to no nutritional value.
When you’re looking for a crunchy snack, grab fresh vegetables instead. With your choice of dips and seasonings, you can get as many flavors as there are with potato chips, and you get a ton of essential nutrients. Some of the best vegetables for prostate health are broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens, which are a great source of lutein for healthy prostate cell growth.
So, EAT a simple spinach salad with vinaigrette or some broccoli florets with hummus, NOT potato chips.
Eat Nuts, Not Crackers
Crackers make another handy snack with a variety of options and flavors. But, these have a lot of added salt, sugar, and fats and very little fiber. Additionally, the high-salt content leads to the body retaining water, which can disrupt a healthy urination schedule.
Instead, grab a handful of nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc to support prostate tissue health.
So, EAT your own homemade trail mix with walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, NOT crackers.
Eat Yogurt, Not Candy
Candy is a snack of opportunity, as you can find a vending machine almost anywhere. Not to mention, candy is always the last thing you see at the checkout stand. Candy is full of refined sugar, and except for the antioxidants found in dark chocolate, there is no nutritional value to candy.
You can get less sugar and more protein and nutrients with yogurt. Plain yogurt with no added flavors is the best option to avoid sugar, and it leaves you with a blank canvas to create your own flavors.
So, EAT plain Greek or homemade yogurt with pomegranate, granola, or honey and chia seeds, NOT candy.
Your prostate is an important part of the male reproductive system and essential to vitality and well-being. Even with a balanced diet, it can be beneficial to get additional support. In addition to packing healthy snacks for your day, keep 1MD Nutrition’s ProstateMD® on hand to ensure your prostate has everything it needs.
One of the most essential nutrients for prostate health is saw palmetto, and ProstateMD® is formulated with USPlus® saw palmetto extract, which contains three times the beta-carotene, ten times the amount of lutein, and 30 times the zeaxanthin of typical saw palmetto extracts. The addition of pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, and a potent plant sterol blend provides, makes ProstateMD® a comprehensive formula for prostate and urinary tract health.
Your food choices matter not just to prostate health but to overall health too. Adding nutritious snacks to a balanced diet, regular exercise, and ProstateMD® creates a powerful men’s health routine. So, eat these snacks, not processed foods, for optimal prostate and urinary tract function and whole-body health.
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.