5 Steps to Better Prostate Health
Step 1: Exercise
Exercising is one of the best ways you can enhance your prostate health. Research has found that physical activity can reduce risks of urinary symptoms, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH, which can lead to an enlarged prostate), or prostatitis (swelling of the prostate gland). Physical activity can also improve your cardiovascular health, and prevent sexual health issues such as erectile dysfunction.
Step 2: Eat a Nutritious Diet
It is always a good idea to speak to a dietitian before making changes to your diet. Some of the best foods to enhance prostate health include vegetables, fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and foods high in healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and oils. A diet that is lower in processed food, sugar, and saturated fats can enhance your overall health and well being. Learn more about the importance of eating a variety of healthy foods here.
Step 3: Try to Manage Your Stress
Stress can negatively affect prostate health in a few ways. For example, some men may tighten their pelvic muscles when feeling stressed. Chronic tightening can lead to prostatitis by creating pelvic floor muscle problems. Stress can also negatively affect men with BPH by worsening symptoms such as urinary urgency, frequency, and pain. Lastly, having a prostate problem may increase stress and anxiety, which can then worsen your condition (talk about a vicious cycle!). Therefore, managing stress through things like therapy, meditation, breathing exercises, or physical activity can enhance your prostate health. Don’t forget to seek out support so you can discuss your concerns, pain, or worries with a friend or health professional.
Step 4: Stop Smoking
If you smoke, consider talking to your doctor about a plan to quit, or make a quit plan here. Smoking contributes to the leading causes of death in men and can negatively affect your health in numerous ways. Specifically, the carbon monoxide in tobacco attaches to red blood cells and causes cells to die. As a result, smoking, and the poor lifestyle choices that often accompany smoking, can negatively affect your prostate health.
Step 5: Get Screened
Cancer screening recommendations depend on whether you are in a high-risk group, but it is important to start thinking about if/when you should get a screening and discuss this with your doctor. Men who are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer include: African-Americans, people of Scandinavian descent, anyone with two or more family members who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. If you are high-risk, consider getting screened for prostate cancer beginning at age 40. If you are considered to be at a normal risk, screenings generally begin at age 55 – but again, this is something you should discuss with your doctor.
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https://prostate.org.nz. (2014, December 18). 5 steps to better prostate health. Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand. https://prostate.org.nz/2014/12/5-steps-better-prostate-health/
Canada, Government of. (n.d.). Welcome to Canada’s food guide. Retrieved January 20, 2021, from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
Schmidt, C. (2018, November 26). Smoking tied to more aggressive prostate cancer. Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/smoking-tied-to-more-aggressive-prostate-cancer-2018112615452
Tips for Keeping a Healthy Prostate. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/tips-for-keeping-a-healthy-prostate