Foods and Supplements to Protect the Prostate

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. According to data from the American Cancer Society, it was predicted that 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed and over 33,720 men would die from prostate cancer last year alone.

Does diet and lifestyle play a role in prostate cancer prevention? Well, to start with, tobacco use and exposure to certain chemical and pesticides has also been linked to prostate cancer. There’s also a known link between prostate disorders and a diet that’s high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables. So, to start, load up on your fruits and veggies! The good news is that some foods have been associated with prostate cancer prevention and healing, including foods high in zinc such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, sunflower seeds, and whole grains. Additionally, lycopene, an antioxidant found in many tomatoes and tomato-based products may protect cells from oxidants associated with cancer.

On the supplement front, there’s more good news. Listed below are the leading supplements for prostate health.

  • Zinc is an essential mineral naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism and plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis and cell division. A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.[1] If you are not eating the zinc rich foods cited above, consider a zinc supplement.
  • Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States. Its fruit was used medicinally by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Saw palmetto is used mainly for urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate gland (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH).[2]
  • Stinging nettles’ root extracts have been extensively studied in human clinical trials as a treatment for symptoms of BPH.[3]
  • L-alinine is an amino acid needed for maintaining normal prostate function.
  • Pygeum is derived from the bark of the tree of the same name and its extracts are traditionally used to manage lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).[4]
  • Pepita or pumpkin seed oil has been shown to improve symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate due to benign prostatic hyperplasia.[5]

While prostate cancer impacts many men each year, taking steps toward a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and adding the right supplements for support can go a long way toward good prostate health.







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