The Best Foods to Eat for Prostate Health

February 08,2023 |
Man preparing food in his kitchen.

The prostate is a small gland in men that is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. The prostate’s main function is to produce and secrete a fluid that is added to semen during ejaculation. It’s an integral part of reproduction, but is subject to a variety of conditions as a man ages. Therefore, it's important for men to be aware of their prostate health and to consult with their healthcare provider if they have any concerns. To help keep your prostate in good health, we’ll discuss the best foods to eat and some options to avoid.


Potential Prostate Issues

As men age, the prostate continues to grow. If it gets too large and begins to cause issues, it’s referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH, also known as enlarged prostate, is noncancerous, but can still lead to bothersome symptoms that interfere with your everyday life.

BPH is a common condition that occurs as men age. It's estimated that about 50% of men in their 60s and as many as 90% in their 70s and 80s have BPH. Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia include difficulty starting urination, a weak urine stream, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, frequent urination, nocturia, and a sense of urgency when the need to urinate arises. These symptoms can be treated by medications or surgery.

Although BPH is generally harmless (aside from the annoying symptoms), prostate cancer is a more serious concern. It’s the second most common type of cancer among men globally, but does have a fairly high rate of remission when caught early. Although prostate cancer is typically slow growing, it can be asymptomatic during early stages. This is why it’s so important for men over 40 to see a urologist regularly. As the cancer progresses, symptoms such as difficulty starting urination, a weak urine stream, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, frequent urination, nocturia, and blood in the urine (hematuria) or semen, may appear.

Prostae cancer can be diagnosed through a physical examination, PSA testing, and biopsy. The treatment options can vary depending on the stage of the cancer, the patient's age, overall health, and personal preferences. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and androgen deprivation therapy, among others. If untreated, prostate cancer cells can eventually spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, and lymph nodes.


Foods That May Help Protect Your Prostate

There are several lifestyle habits that can help you reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer and alleviate symptoms associated with enlarged prostate. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you’re eating a healthy diet filled with plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables, as this improves weight management and reduces inflammation. Some of the foods that may help protect your prostate include the following:

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables have several benefits to a healthy diet. They contain certain substances that may help protect against various types of cancer, including prostate cancer. They’re high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and certain phytochemicals that promote overall health, longevity, and may even slow the growth of cancer cells. Some different types of cruciferous vegetables to incorporate into your diet include broccoli, brussels sprouts collard greens, cabbage, turnips, kale, and cauliflower.


Berries, particularly blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, are high in antioxidants that may help protect against prostate cancer. They can help remove and neutralize free radicals within the body that build up over the years. You can eat berries as a snack, incorporate them in a salad, or make a daily smoothie to reap their benefits.


Cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of prostate cancer. These types of fats don’t produce the same inflammatory response as fat from red meat, which can help reduce the risk of cancer and improve overall prostate health. However, be careful about the type and number of fish you consume, as certain ones may be high in mercury (tuna) or produce a higher inflammatory response (shrimp, lobster, etc.).


Another surprising food that can help with prostate health is tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. However, lycopene is found within the walls (skin) of the tomato, so to get the biggest benefits it’s recommended to cook them to help loosen the bonds and increase the accessibility of this antioxidant.


Legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, and black beans are also high in fiber, zinc, and iron, which may help promote prostate health. They contain plant compounds known as phytoestrogens. When consumed regularly, phytoestrogens have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 20%. You can add legumes to soups, salads, or eat them plain as a side dish.

Some foods can also have a negative impact on your prostate health. These include things like dairy, red meat, caffeine, sodium, and alcohol. Although fine in moderation, try to focus more on the foods above and keep consumption of these to a minimum throughout the week.

It's worth noting that although diet may play a role in prostate cancer, risk is also determined by various other factors such as genetics and age. Therefore, it’s still important to talk to your doctor and get further information regarding how to best maintain your prostate health. If you’re struggling to create a healthy meal plan for prostate health, consider working with a registered dietitian for personalized advice.


Other Tips to Protect the Prostate

In addition to adding specific fruits and vegetables to your diet, there are a few other tips to strengthen prostate protection. However, always consult with your doctor before adopting a new eating plan or exercise regimen, especially if you carry risk factors for, or are living with, certain underlying conditions. Some general tips for prostate protection include:

Get Enough Fiber

Fiber plays an essential role in a healthy diet. It helps with digestion and improves the mineral absorption of your food. Luckily, many fruits and vegetables are naturally high in fiber, so you should be able to get enough from your diet alone. You can try tracking your food with an app for your phone for a better understanding of your fiber intake. If you find that you’re not getting enough, consider adding a fiber supplement to your diet. Fiber has been shown to bind to toxic particles and carcinogens within your digestive system, which can help lower your risk of prostate cancer. The toxins are then eliminated out of your body as waste products. Fiber may also help with hormone regulation and even help slow or reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Incorporate Healthy Fats

Another thing to do is incorporate a variety of healthy fats into your diet. Although society makes it seem like fats are bad, healthy fats have several benefits such as testosterone stabilization, which can help slow the spread of prostate cancer. However, low-fat diets are beneficial in improving prostate health, so limit your consumption of healthy fats to 20% of your daily caloric intake. Try to get omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, trout, and flaxseeds, which may help induce cellular death in cancer cells.

Be Diligent About Hydration

Finally, make sure that you’re getting enough water every day. Hydration is important to overall cellular health, but drinking soda is not the same as drinking water. Water can help facilitate nutrient transfer, lubricate joints, and enhance certain chemical reactions within your body. Aim to drink enough water so your urine is a translucent yellow color. Green tea is also a good hydrator, as the antioxidants may have a beneficial impact on prostate cancer growth and the rate of metastasis.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you support prostate health and reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer. Since many of the most common urologic conditions are directly related to age, activity level, diet, and other controllable risk factors, there are plenty of ways to stay proactive about your health and reduce your risk of prostate cancer or other conditions.

To help support a healthy urologic system, Byram Healthcare offers a wide range of urologic products to help you take control of your life. Browse our product catalog today and enjoy fast, discreet delivery directly to your doorstep.

Byram Healthcare is a member of the National Association for Continence’s Trusted Partners Program, whose mission is to provide quality continence care through education, collaboration and advocacy. We continue to build partnerships in the clinical community to ensure we focus on what’s best for the patient.