An enlarged prostate currently hinders the livelihood of more than 30 million men in the United States. The prostate is part of men’s reproductive system; it sits just below the bladder and is responsible for producing the fluid for semen. When healthy, it’s about the size of a walnut, but as a man ages, the prostate continues to grow, and by the time a man turns 60, his prostate could be as large as a lemon.
An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), presses against the urethra and makes it difficult to pass urine. An enlarged prostate is hereditary and is also very common, affecting half of the men in America over the age of 50. Though an enlarged prostate may cause some discomfort, such as frequently needing to urinate, it doesn’t necessarily lead to prostate cancer. However, prostate cancer is still a common and dangerous disease that is diagnosed in nearly 200,000 men in the U.S. annually, and 29,000 men die because of it each year.
However, research shows that an individual’s diet can slow the growth of the prostate and reduce the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. This concept is most evident when looking at global prostate cancer rates, which show that regions such as North America, Western and Northern Europe, and the Caribbean have the highest rates of the disease, while Eastern Asia, Northern Africa, and South Central Asia have the lowest rates. Scientists have directed their attention towards deciphering whether distinct regional cuisines play any role in the reduced instances of prostate cancer, and they have found that some foods actually do help. Western diets are typically higher in red meat, saturated fats, and animal products, while Eastern diets are more focused on fish, soy, and unsaturated fats.
Here are nine foods that men should and shouldn’t eat for prostate health.