We are all defined by what we eat. Depending on the nutrients we take in, the organism will have one chemical or the other.
Food can bring back the balance we need, but we could also create a disruption in several body systems at the same time. It all depends on what we decide to eat.
Prostate health issues are very common in men. Some of us may even think that it will irremediably grow and cause problems one day.
While it is true that prostate enlargement is a normal part of aging, not everyone experiences its symptoms.
Even in a family with a propensity toward prostate gland issues, you’re not doomed.
You can follow a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of BPH and prostate cancer.
And even if you experience prostate symptoms, what you eat could make you feel better or worse.
That’s why it is so important to know what foods to take and which ones to avoid to promote prostate health.
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Ten Worst Foods For Prostate Health
If you have any type of prostate disease, avoiding these ten foods may help your prostate health and relieve your symptoms.
In many cases, not consuming them may also prevent prostate disease in the first place.
The ten worst foods for prostate health you want to avoid are:
Heavy alcohol consumption has many health consequences, and one of them includes prostate health problems.
Studies show that alcohol increases the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. They include weak urinary stream, incomplete bladder emptying, and difficulty to start urinating.
The diuretic properties of alcohol make this type of beverage even worse for patients with prostate problems.
Thus, it is wise to avoid heavy drinking or quit alcohol consumption.
Some studies suggest that light to moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial for prostate health.
However, it is not because alcohol is healthy. This happens because red wine and other spirits increase HDL levels.
It is high HDL which improves cardiovascular function and prostate health, not alcohol by itself (1).
For many years, we thought that cholesterol in eggs was terrible for our health.
New scientific evidence showed that dietary cholesterol does not affect serum cholesterol that much. However, other components of eggs may affect the prostate in the long term.
Recent findings suggest that choline in eggs and its metabolite betaine increase the risk of lethal prostate cancer. Higher choline intake could increase prostate cancer risk by up to 70%.
Indeed, choline is not only abundant in eggs. Milk and meat are both rich sources, too. Thus, it is not a single food but a pattern of eating that we want to avoid.
In general, a diet based on fruits and vegetables would prevent this problem.
For example, the Mediterranean diet. This eating pattern positively affects prostate and heart disease, especially when cruciferous vegetables are included (2).
The problem with caffeine is similar to that of alcohol. They both have diuretic properties and increase the urinary volume.
Moreover, caffeine is an irritant of the urinary tract and causes additional symptoms that alcohol does not trigger.
Thus, patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) should ideally avoid consuming beverages and foods with caffeine.
Such beverages include coffee, certain types of herbal tea, sports drinks, and more.
Preliminary studies also suggest that caffeine increases testosterone and DHT levels in the ventral and dorsolateral regions of the prostate.
If that is true, caffeine may also contribute to benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer (3,4)
4) Spicy Foods
Anyone with urinary problems should also stay away from spicy food for the prostate.
While caffeine is diuretic and mildly irritant of the urinary tract, chili and spicy foods are strong irritants. They can potentially worsen any urinary symptoms you may have, especially urgency and urinary incontinence.
Certain components of spicy foods can be beneficial for the prostate, especially capsaicin.
However, it is not recommended to eat the whole food with the rest of the irritant substances.
Instead, you can try using prostate supplements and avoiding spicy foods to reduce hypersensitivity in your bladder (5).
5) Saturated Fat
In general, it is a bad idea to consume foods with a high proportion of saturated fat. Prostate health is not an option in this particular.
Saturated fat has a very high inflammatory potential. It does not only favor inflammation but creates the most aggressive type of inflammatory cytokines.
We know that cancer feeds off inflammation, and that’s a fact. It uses inflammation to keep growing and feeding new prostate cancer cells. Thus, it is only natural that saturated fat increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Studies suggest that a diet rich in saturated fat increases the aggressiveness of prostate cancer.
In other words, these patients have a more dangerous disease with rapid prostate cancer progression.
The prostate grows faster and is more likely to spread. Thus, avoid foods such as bacon and cold meat cuts, biscuits, cakes, butter, and cream (6).
People who prefer eating high-sodium foods for better taste are at increased risk of prostate-related symptoms.
According to a recent study, they increase voiding symptoms such as low urinary stream and incomplete voiding.
Storage symptoms may also worsen, increasing your urinary frequency and causing nocturia.
Ideally, we should avoid sodium and use spices instead. These are safer and provide extra benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances that sodium does not have (7).
It is bad news for dairy lovers because we have at least two components of dairy products that will affect your prostate in the long run. It applies to milk and cheese, too.
Consuming cheese increases our calcium and choline intake at the same time. In addition to these two components, most types of cheese are made with whole milk. Thus, they will also have saturated fats.
Moreover, we all know that salty cheese tastes better, so they often have a great deal of sodium.
In theory, cheese has many of the components listed above in a small package and should increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Many studies appear to indicate that it does, but apparently only affects some people.
Thus, if you really want to make sure that your prostate gland is safe, avoid cheese as one of the ten worst foods for prostate health (8).
8) Red Meat
Unprocessed and processed meat has raised concerns as the incidence of cancer is increasing around the globe. High red meat consumption is considered a risk factor for prostate cancer.
Many studies talk about carcinogens in red meat that activate or are generated depending on the cooking method.
Red meat cooked at high temperatures, cooked until well-done, and by pan-frying causes the highest risk of prostate cancer.
The reason is not apparent, but it is probably due to heterocyclic amines present in red meat under these cooking methods.
Unlike this type of meat, poultry does not appear to have the same effect, and fish has a protective effect because it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids (9).
9) Processed Foods
It is a fact that processed foods increase the risk of many types of cancer. One of them is prostate cancer.
Based on information gathered in Montreal, Canada, from 2005 to 2012, the PROTEUS study evaluated the incidence of prostate cancer and other types of cancer and the consumption of processed foods, mainly processed red meat.
In short, the more processed foods people consumed, the more likely it was to suffer from prostate cancer.
Processed foods include fast food, convenience food, canned foods, microwave-ready dinners, commercial beverages, ham, sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits, pastries, breakfast cereals, and much more (10).
10) Salad Dressings
In many cases, salad dressings are anything but healthy. Most of them fall into the category of processed foods because they are packed and filled with chemicals.
Additionally, they are often salty and rich in saturated fats. There’s nothing healthy in commercial salad dressings, then.
Instead, we could use spices and olive oil. They provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances that will be beneficial for our prostate and overall health.
The prostate tissue naturally gets bigger as we grow older. However, not all of us experience BPH symptoms. Thus, keeping a healthy prostate does not only depend on genetics or your age. It also depends on what you eat.
This article reviewed ten of the worst foods you should avoid if you want a lower your health risk of advanced prostate cancer and BPH. Along with medical recommendations, avoiding these foods may also reduce prostate cancer recurrence.
The list starts with diuretic foods and bladder irritants that worsen urinary symptoms, such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
We now know that choline in eggs, saturated fatty acids, and sodium in salty foods are not beneficial for the prostate.
Dairy foods, especially cheese, could increase the risk of prostate problems, and we should reduce the consumption of red meat.
Packed and processed foods should be avoided at all costs, including salad dressing.
Dietary habits and lifestyle play a significant role in preventing prostate issues and controlling the symptoms if we already have them.
Thus, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and follow recommendations from your doctor.
If you take care of yourself starting today, you may not need to go through prostate cancer treatment or annoying BPH symptoms in the future.