Top 4 Foods That
Can Save Your Prostate
Written by Owennie Lee, RD
Published in June 2010
(HealthCastle.com) Did you know that more than 50% of men suffer from an enlarged prostate by the time they turn 60, and the odds increase to 90% by age 85? Common symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, a weak urine stream, dribbling, and even pain during urination. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is estimated to affect more than 16 million men in the United States, making it the most common urological problem in men. Fortunately, studies have shown that dietary modifications may reduce the risk. Here is how you can increase your odds of being part of the 50% that is BPH-free at 60:
Top Foods that Can Help Save Your Prostate
Since they are such good sources of micronutrients and antioxidants, it is no surprise that vegetables may help ward off prostate problems. In a study published in 2008, Seattle researchers found that men who ate four or more servings of vegetables per day had a 32% reduction in risk for developing BPH, compared to men who ate less than one serving. For maximum benefits, focus on vegetables rich in lutein (e.g., spinach and kale) and beta carotene (e.g., carrots and yams). Researchers from John Hopkins and Harvard saw decreased risk of BPH symptoms and surgery for those who had high intake of lutein and beta carotene in a large trial in 2007.
- Vitamin C-rich foods
In the same 2007 trial, the researchers also discovered that those who have high dietary Vitamin C intake are 10% less likely to have symptoms of BPH. They also found that orange juice drinkers seem to be protected against BPH. However, Vitamin C supplements have not been shown to be effective. So opt for high-Vitamin C foods, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
- Tomatoes for lycopene
Yes, tomatoes again! The message really is loud and clear that tomatoes are the top prostate-friendly food. In addition to being a good source of Vitamin C, tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which has been shown to lower the risk of BPH and prostate cancer in many studies.
- Shellfish for zinc
Oysters are believed to have an aphrodisiac effect, but they are good for your reproductive system in more than one way. Oysters (and some other shellfish) are a remarkable source of zinc, which made it onto the Seattle researchers' list of prostate-friendly nutrients by cutting the risk of BPH by 32%.
||Zinc Content (mg/serving)
|Oysters (6 medium)
|Crab, Alaska King (cooked, 3 oz.)
|Scallops (cooked, 3 oz.)
|Lobster (cooked, 3 oz.)
|Shrimp (cooked, 3 oz.)
The Bottom Line
Since men are more than likely to be affected by an enlarged prostate at some point in life, it would be wise for every man to consume a variety of prostate-friendy foods to reduce risk. Help your prostate stay slim by eating plenty of vegetables - especially tomatoes - and zinc-abundant shellfish. But forget about taking supplements. Neither vitamin, mineral, or herbal supplements (such as saw palmetto) demonstrate any benefits, according to Canadian researchers in a review published in 2009.