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A Guy’s Guide to Prostate Health

Understanding The Prostate

The prostate gland, a crucial part of the male reproductive system, is about the size of a walnut and located just below the bladder surrounding the urethra. Its primary function is to produce seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm during ejaculation. The health of the prostate is influenced by various factors, including age, genetics, hormones, nutrition, and lifestyle.

Prostate Health Challenges

Prostate issues become more prevalent as men age, with conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer being common concerns. BPH, also called enlarged prostate, is common in middle aged men and older. It’s so common about half of all men over 45 suffer from some degree of enlargement!

The walnut-size gland becomes enlarged and inflamed. At first there are no symptoms, but as the prostate becomes bigger it puts pressure on the urethra and causes problems. BPH/ enlarged prostate can cause urinary symptoms like frequent urination, increased nighttime urination, urgency, weak urine stream, burning pain with urination, reoccurring bladder infections, or incomplete bladder emptying. In very severe cases, the prostate becomes so enlarged it puts pressure on the kidneys and can even lead to kidney failure if gone untreated.  

Prostate cancer is another serious condition concerning men’s prostate health. This cancer involves the abnormal growth of cells in the prostate and can also lead to urinary problems, as well as other symptoms like pelvic pain, blood in urine, or erectile dysfunction.

Root Causes

BPH or enlarged prostate is caused by hormone changes with aging and our environment. Testosterone levels drop and levels of estrogens increase. Testosterone gets converted to DHT (a metabolite of testosterone) and estradiol (a type of estrogen). Estradiol causes cells of the prostate to grow and multiply, causing prostate enlargement and even prostate cancer. 

Why are these hormonal changes of less testosterone and more estrogen happening? In our modern world, there are many estrogen-mimicking compounds that increase estrogen and decrease the ratio testosterone in the body. These substances include pesticides, herbicides, and other environmental toxins like BPA, and phthalates found in plastics. 

Nutritional deficiencies are another root cause of why prostate conditions are much more common today than for our ancestors. Our ancestors were eating much more fiber than typically is consumed today on the standard American diet. Our hunter gatherer ancestors consumed about 100 g of fiber daily, while typical Americans often consume less than 10 grams daily! We need fiber in our diets for proper detoxification, and elimination of toxins and excess hormones; like estrogens. Other nutrients are especially important including: omega  3 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and antioxidants. 

“The key to a healthy prostate is restoring hormones testosterone and estrogen to balance with nutrition, personalized supplementation, the body’s natural detoxification”

Lifestyle Shifts

  • Regular physical activity is beneficial for prostate health as it promotes circulation, reduces inflammation, and helps maintain a healthy weight

  • Stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can lower stress hormones which play a role in estrogen testosterone balance to support prostate function.

  • Reducing environmental estrogens is essential to maintain the proper balance of testosterone to estrogens:

  • Do not use pesticides or herbicides 

  • Use glass or ceramic food storage containers

  • Never heat food in plastic containers

  • Cook with ceramic or stainless-steel pots and pans, instead of non-stick

  • Opt for clean household products and body care products, like aluminum-free deodorant and products without phthalates which are often labeled as simply “fragrance”

  • Regular sun exposure without protection for absorption of vitamin D

Prostate Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in vegetables, healthy fat, protein, and antioxidants is essential for prostate health.

  • Eat 3 meals daily:

    • Half your plate colorful vegetables

    • Fist-sized portion of protein at each meal (fish, meat, poultry, eggs)

      • Certain amino acids like l-glycine are important for prostate health, so quality meat including red meat is part of a prostate protective diet

    • Healthy fats (avocado, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil for cooking)

    • Quarter of your plate whole food carbohydrates (quinoa, rice, potato, sweet potato, beans, lentils).

  • Eat fish at least 2 times weekly.

  • Stay well hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily. This aids in detoxification and keeps things moving in the urinary tract.

  • Reduce or eliminate:

    • Refined carbohydrates (bread, chips, cookies, crackers, etc.)

    • Sugar

    • Processed foods

    • Seed oils (vegetable, canola, corn, soy, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed)

    • Fried foods and fast foods

    • Alcohol

    • Caffeine

  • Try tracking your fiber intake on Cronometer. Vegetables, nut, seeds, and legumes are optimal fiber sources. Gradually increase your fiber intake by no more than 5 grams each day to allow your body time to adjust.

  • Focus on quality: wild-caught fish, pasture-raised meats and eggs, organic produce.

Choosing quality means less environmental estrogens, and better hormonal balance for optimal prostate health. 

Prostate Superfoods

  1. Tomatoes

A rich source of the phytochemical and antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to be successful in preventing the enlargement of the prostate. Antioxidants are especially important as we age and with exposure to environmental toxins. Lycopene is even richer when tomatoes are cooked versus raw.

2. Salmon

Full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are also important for brain, heart, and skin health. Countries of high dietary omega 3 intake have lower incidences of prostate cancer. Other rich sources of omega 3s include: sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel. Other types of fish and shellfish are sources as well. Opt for wild-caught fish as these fish have higher levels of omega 3 fats and have lower levels of estrogen-mimicking toxins. 

3. Pumpkin seeds

These super seeds contain phytochemicals which block the conversion of testosterone to DHT, allowing for optimal testosterone to estrogen ratio. They also contain zinc, an essential mineral for prostate health. 

4. Organic berries

Berries are packed full of antioxidants that protect your cells from damage. They also contain fiber. Be sure to get organic berries, because berries always test highest for pesticide residue among all produce.

5. Oysters

These mollusks contain some of the highest levels of zinc found in nature. Just 2 oysters will get you to 100% of your recommended intake of zinc. No worries if you like to eat more oysters than this- eating beyond this amount is encouraged. Shellfish, including oysters, are high in selenium which is another crucial mineral for prostate health. 

6. Cruciferous vegetables

Vegetables in the cabbage family (kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage) contain sulforaphane which aids in the body’s natural detoxification. Intake of sulforaphane has been linked to lower incidence of prostate cancer.

Our favorite supplements

  • Saw palmetto, derived from the berries of a small palm tree, is commonly used to alleviate symptoms of BPH, such as urinary urgency and frequency. It works by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT and reducing estrogen’s effects on the prostate.

  • Stinging nettle root is believed to reduce prostate inflammation and promote urinary health

  • Pygeum africanum, derived from the bark of an African tree, has anti-inflammatory properties that may help improve urinary flow in men with BPH. 

  • Beta-sitosterol is a phytonutrient that has been shown to improve the symptoms of BPH or enlarged prostate.

  • Zinc and selenium. These two essential minerals are obtained through the diet, but often can be beneficial to take a supplemental dose for therapeutic effect on the prostate.

  • DIM, Diindolylmethane, is a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables that aids in the detoxification of excess estrogen

  • Designs for Health Prostate Supreme is one of our favorite supplement blends as it combines many of these prostate super nutrients and herbs in only 2 capsules.

Always check with your nutritionist and qualified health care provider about your supplements before starting. To have a personalized diet and supplement plan, get on our schedule!

Prostate enlargement is common, especially in today's world where we're exposed to estrogen-mimicking compounds in our toxic environment. However, BPH doesn't need to be a life sentence of frequent urgent urination. With nutrition, lifestyle, and supplement interventions men can reduce their urinary symptoms and improve their quality of life.


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