As men get older, the prostate gland can become enlarged, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. An enlarged prostate can put too much pressure on the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder. The pressure often disrupts muscle function that regulates urine flow.

Human prostate gland is a small,walnut-shaped gland that sits behind the bladder. During sexual activity, the prostate gland helps produce semen, the nutrient-rich fluid that carries the sperm during ejaculation.


As men get older, the prostate gland can become enlarged, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.


In their seventies and eighties, at least 90% of men are afflicted, and at least half over 60 are tormented by symptoms. But did you know that you can help support a healthy prostate through the foods you choose to eat?

              

Prostate In this article, you will learn the symptoms of BPH and what foods to eat to ease the symptoms.

This article includes the following topics :

• Causes for an enlarged prostate
• Enlarged prostate symptoms
• Diet and an enlarged prostate
• Foods to eat for the prevention
• Foods to avoid for the prevention
• Managing an enlarged prostate

Causes for an enlarged prostate

The prostate gland, which is normally about the size and shape of a walnut,wraps around the urethra between the pubic bone and the rectum, below the bladder. In the early stage of prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and forces urine through the narrowed urethra by contracting more powerfully. As a result, the bladder muscle may become more sensitive, causing a need to urinate more often and more suddenly.

           

Enlarged prostate The prostate grows larger due to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). However, the precise reason for this increase is unknown. A variety of factors may be involved, including androgens (male hormones), estrogens, and growth factors and other cell signaling pathways means cell-to-cell communication.

Treatment of BPH depends on the severity of the symptoms. Sometimes, only basic lifestyles like food habit changes are needed.


Enlarged prostate symptoms

An enlarged prostate can put too much pressure on the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder. The pressure often disrupts muscle function that regulates urine flow.


An enlarged prostate or BPH is fairly common. Over 14 million men in the United States experienced BPH symptoms in 2010. Men over 50 years of age should have their prostate checked annually by their physician even if they have no symptoms.

            

Enlarged Prostate Symptom Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) include:
• increased urinary frequency and urgency
• difficulty starting urination
• weak urine stream or dribble at the end of urination
• interrupted urination
• frequent urination at night
• incontinence
• pain after ejaculation
• painful urination
• urinary retention or inability to urinate


Generally, those symptoms occur when an enlarged prostate gland blocks the urethra, the tube that runs between the bladder and outside of the body. This blockage can make it difficult or even impossible to pass urine.


Treatment of BPH depends on the severity of the symptoms. Sometimes, only basic lifestyles like food habit changes are needed.


However,there are also medications or surgical procedures that can be effective in reducing the size of the prostate or the symptoms associated with BPH.

Diet and an enlarged prostate

The prostate gland is controlled by powerful hormones known as the sex hormones,including testosterone.


In the prostate gland, testosterone is converted to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT cause the cells in the prostate to enlarge.

            

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are recommended as part of an enlarged prostate diet.

          

Some of the foods and beverages are known to have an impact on prostate health because of their effects on testosterone and other hormones.


Some research has found that a diet primarily consisting of meat or dairy products can increase the risk of prostate enlargement and cancer. This is especially true if a person does not incorporate enough vegetables into their diet.

Foods to eat for the prevention

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is thought to protect the prostate.Specific foods known to benefit the prostate includes :

           

Salmon Salmon/Oily fish: There are many good reasons to eat fish. Whether you have prostate cancer, enlarged prostate due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or are trying to preserve your good prostate health, fish, especially oily fish, are among the best foods for prostate health.

One study found that a component in fish may stop prostate cancer from spreading if the cancer is localized to the prostate.

Salmon is rich in healthy fats that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent and reduce inflammation within the body. Other cold-water fish, such as sardines and trout, are also rich in these types of fats.


Avocados: Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol thought to reduce symptoms associated with BPH. Some men taking beta-sitosterol supplements say they have better urinary flow and less residual urine volume. However, the Mayo Clinic warns that the safety and effectiveness of beta-sitosterol supplements have not been proved.


Besides avocados, other foods rich in beta-sitosterol include: pumpkin seeds, wheatgerm, soybeans and pecans.


Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are the byproducts of reactions that occur within the body and can cause damage and disease over time.


Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that may benefit prostate gland cells. Cooking tomatoes, such as in tomato sauce or soup, helps to release the lycopene and make it more readily available to the body.


You can also get lycopene in:watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit and papaya.

           

Bell peppers Bell peppers: Vitamin C could be yet another important nutrient for prostate health. That’s because it is a potent antioxidant that may help fight BPH.

Most of us immediately think of oranges and citrus fruit when it comes to foods high in Vitamin C. But bell peppers actually have significantly higher Vitamin C content.

Peppers provide 183 mg per 100 grams while citrus fruits typically provide around 53 mg in 100 grams. Interestingly, some studies have also shown that Vitamin C from vegetables seems to do more to prevent prostate problems than getting the nutrient from fruits.


Broccoli: Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, including bok choy, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, contain a chemical known as sulforaphane. This is thought to target cancer cells and promote a healthy prostate.


Citrus: Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are all high in vitamin C, which may help to protect the prostate gland. Data shows that taking some amount of lemon or lime juice for prostate can be beneficial, as it boosts immunity and keeps the digestive tract healthy. Antioxidants in citrus fruits reduce inflammation and support your body's ability to resist and overcome infections and disease. 

                    

Nuts Nuts:  Nuts are rich in zinc, a trace mineral. Zinc is found in high concentrations in the prostate and is thought to help balance testosterone and DHT. Besides nuts, shellfish and legumes are also high in zinc.

A new study has shed light on the possible link between men who consume high amounts of tree nuts and the decreased risk of prostate cancer death. The study, "Nut consumption and prostate cancer risk and mortality," was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

A growing field of research has analyzed the benefits of nut consumption on health in recent decades.


Onions and garlic: One study found that men with BPH tended to eat less garlic and onions those men without BPH. More research is needed to confirm these results, but onions and garlic are healthful additions to most diets.


Mushrooms: Asian mushrooms contain a potent antioxidant called L-ergothioneine. Studies show that ergothioneine is present in very high concentrations in shiitake, oyster,king oyster, reishi, and maitake mushrooms. Ergothioneine’s forte is exerting its potent antioxidant properties to protect the cells throughout the body,including the prostate. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine research recently found that ergothioneine provided protection to cells from damage associated with toxins and other substances.

           

Saw palmetto berries Saw palmetto berries:  Saw palmetto is a palm-like shrub that originated in North America and has a long history of use in the treatment of BPH. It produces a fruit rich in fatty acids and phytosterols, which is believed to reduce the body’s conversion of testosterone to DHT and ease symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as the urge to urinate frequently.

Simply steep a teaspoon of the dark berries in hot water for five minutes and drink twice daily. Alternatively, some men find saw palmetto supplements provide an easier and cost-effective means of consuming a consistent dose.


Note: Moreover, exercise of any kind can help balance the body’s hormones, and since hormones affect the prostate, enjoying any favorite physical activity is a plus. Experts also suggest that maintaining a healthy weight will help those who are experiencing bladder issues as a result of enlarged prostate. Exercises for prostate gland include Kegels. This is a pelvic-strengthening movement that can ease the discomfort of the enlarged prostate as it tightens pelvic muscles and helps control urination.

Foods to avoid for the prevention

A healthful diet for an enlarged prostate is more than just eating good foods. It also means avoiding other types of foods that are not good for the prostate.Whilst these don’t need to be avoided completely, they are best eaten in moderation. Some foods to avoid include:


Red meat: Research suggests that going red meat-free may help improve prostate health. In fact, daily meat consumption is believed to triple the risk of prostate enlargement.

            

Dairy Dairy:  Similarly to meat, regular consumption of dairy has been linked to an increased risk of BPH. Cutting out or reducing butter, cheese, and milk may help reduce BPH symptoms.

As milk load of calcium depletes the body's vitamin D, which, in turn, may add to cancer risk. ... Yogurt, cheese, “lactose-free” milk, and other dairy products contain substantial amounts of galactose.


Caffeine: Caffeine may act as a diuretic, which means that it increases how much, how often, and how urgently a person has to urinate.Cutting back on coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate may improve urinary symptoms of BPH.


Alcohol: Alcohol can also stimulate urine production. Men with BPH may find that their symptoms are improved by giving up alcohol.


Sodium: A high salt intake may increase the urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH. Following a low-sodium diet by not adding salt to meals and avoiding processed foods may be helpful for some men.

Managing an enlarged prostate

Dietary changes can be quite effective in managing some of the symptoms of BPH, but other basic lifestyle changes can help as well.


Some strategies that may ease BPH symptoms include:

  • managing stress
  • quitting smoking
  • avoiding fluids in the evening to reduce nighttime urination
  • emptying the bladder completely when urinating
  • doing pelvic floor exercises
  • avoiding medications that can worsen symptoms, such as antihistamines, diuretics, and decongestants if possible
  • trying bladder training exercises
  • limiting fluid intake to 2 liters of liquids each day


If these lifestyle changes are not effective, medication or surgery may be recommended by a doctor.

           

It is important to stay in communication with a doctor about symptoms, particularly if the doctor suggested a "watch and wait" approach.

Conclusion

Treating BPH can range from making simple lifestyle and dietary changes at home to medication and surgery. Reducing red meat consumption and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help manage symptoms.


It is important to stay in communication with a doctor about symptoms, particularly if the doctor suggested a "watch and wait" approach.


If the suggested lifestyle changes are not effective in reducing the symptoms, more aggressive treatment may be needed.

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