4 Min Read
Tips for Improving Prostate Health
Most men will experience some sort of prostate problem in their lifetime, and about 1 in 9 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The good news? The disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes and early detection. Learn how to prioritize your prostate health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat can make a difference in your prostate health. Eating more anti-inflammatory foods and antioxidants can reduce the likelihood of prostate cancer and slow its progression. Eat more of these foods:
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, bok choy, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which help protect our DNA from ingested or environmental carcinogens.
- Berries like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are full of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which have antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects, according to the National Library of Medicine.
- Fish like salmon, sardines, and trout provide anti-inflammatory fats. This is a benefit because inflammation in the prostate can heighten prostate cancer risk.
- Cooked tomatoes are full of a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which helps protect against heart disease and prostate cancer, among others.
On the other hand, there are certain foods you should avoid – like red meat. When red meat is charred, a chemical compound called PhIP is released. This compound is linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Always talk with your doctor before starting a new diet.
Regular physical activity benefits not only your heart but your prostate health too! According to Harvard Medical School, a study of more than 1,400 men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer revealed men who walked briskly for at least three hours a week were 57% less likely to have their cancer progress than those who walked less often and less vigorously.
Try senior-friendly, low-impact exercises like:
- Swimming/aquatic exercises
It’s recommended that seniors get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Always talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Get More Vitamin D
You probably associate vitamin D with strong bones – not prostate health. However, many studies have shown there’s a link between vitamin D and prostate cancer. Men with the lowest levels of vitamin D have the highest risk of getting prostate cancer, and prostate cancer rates in the U.S. are highest in areas with the least amount of sun. Here are a few easy ways to increase your vitamin D:
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as mushrooms, salmon, egg yolks, and yogurt.
- Get outside and spend time in the sun – just don’t forget the sunblock!
- Take a vitamin D supplement. Consult your doctor before starting any new supplements.
Early detection is prevention! Prostate cancer screenings can be done through a rectal exam, as well as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This test measures the level of PSA in the blood, which may be increased in men with prostate cancer. Because some men have no symptoms, screenings can help find cancer at an early stage, which may make it easier to treat.
How Grand Oaks Can Help
Located on the campus of Sibley Memorial Hospital, Grand Oaks residents have the unique opportunity to access world-class care from the comfort of their homes. 24-hour nursing support is available for any questions or concerns residents have regarding their prostate health or screenings.