(With Easy and Locally Sourced Food in Nigeria)
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It’s a common habit with most men, once they find themselves facing any kind of prostate health issue, whether it
is prostate cancer, enlarged prostate due to benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), or prostatitis, they immediately
want to know what they can do.
While the best plan is to prevent prostate problems through a healthy lifestyle, the good news is that there are
actually many natural ways that a man can promote better prostate health even if he already has symptoms or a
diagnosis of a problem.
It’s obvious that a man’s lifestyle, exercise habits, and diet have a tremendous impact on his prostate health.
It is a given that good habits can help prevent and lower risk factors for prostate disease and conditions just like it
can for other areas of the body.
Just as there are foods that can hurt the prostate – foods you might want to avoid, or at least not eat very often –
there are also “prostate-friendly” foods that protect the prostate in various ways.
A healthy prostate diet looks a lot like a healthy heart diet…
If you had to put a name to it, we would call it the Mediterranean Diet. That includes plenty of fruits
and vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Do you know that in areas of the world where men have lower prostate malfunction (Enlarged or
Cancerous) rates, they all have something in common? elements of their diet…
They eat fish and plant-based sources of protein.
They do not eat a lot of the sugar or processed foods, which are so easily found in an American diet and
now also becoming common in our Nigerian diet.
There are many prostate-friendly foods that can help prevent cancer and slow the growth of prostate cells and
Some of the best foods for prostate health include oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids,
vegetables, and foods high in healthy fats like avocados, nuts and olives.
The best diet for prostate health is one that is low in sugar, processed foods and saturated fats.
The Mediterranean diet is one diet worth looking into because it is also a lifestyle and healthy way of eating that you can follow for the
rest of your life.
But we are in Nigeria, so let’s see how to manage your Prostate Health with our Local Diet.
1. Fatty Fish
There are plenty of reasons to include omega -3 fatty acids in your diet.
Omega-3s help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels, a diet high in omega-3s can help boost Prostate Health.
Omega-3 fats modulate prostate cells from developing into cancerous cells, likely because of their anti-inflammatory effects, and ultimately inhibiting tumor
So it’s important to suggest maybe replacing some other animal fats with that from fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, tuna, croaker fish, for the beneficial omega-3 fats.
Recommendation: Most adults should aim to get two servings (one serving is 3.5 ounces) of omega-3 rich fish a week.
Here’s one swap that will boost prostate health: Replace red or processed meats with plant protein.
Beans, chia, and hemp seeds are chock-full of protein and other vital nutrients.
Black beans, for example, pack a lot of nutritional punch. Just one cup has about 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, which promotes prostate health, Chia seeds, on the other hand, have roughly 5 grams of protein per ounce and also contains about 10 grams of fiber per ounce.
Suggestion: Beans can be added to a salad or used to replace traditional meat on a burrito or wrap, and chia can be used on oatmeal, shakes, and Greek yogurt.
Recommendation: Most adult men should aim to get about 38 grams of fiber and 56 grams of protein per day.
See the image below for inspiration 😋
3. Brown Rice (Ofada Rice)
In general, whole grains have the ability to reduce overall prostate cancer risk. Brown rice is no joke when it comes to antioxidant properties.
Brown rice is a whole grain with many health benefits. When brown rice is stripped of its outer core, the hull and bran that keeps the rice grain intact, all that’s left is the starchy middle, called the endosperm.
This kind of starch doesn’t have as many nutrients. It lacks B vitamins, minerals, fiber, and probably thousands of the phytochemicals compared to whole grain brown rice.
Adding vegetables like onions and garlic to rice dishes helps boost the absorbability of iron and zinc (these are minerals needed by the Prostate Gland and Testis).
Do you know that Foods work in combination with each other? For example, adding vitamin C-rich foods (oranges) to iron containing foods (pumpkin seeds) helps the body absorb more of the iron.
Suggestion: For any recipe that calls for white rice, swap in brown.
4. Sweet Potato
Thought carrots were healthy? Well, they are, but sweet potatoes have 3 times more beta-carotene than carrots! The way they’re cooked matters.
Men eating more sweet potatoes and orange vegetables have been associated with less prostate cancer risk.
The carotenoids – a class of antioxidants — in these foods may be one of the main reasons why they’re so powerful.
Men filling their plates with carotenoid-rich foods like sweet potatoes may experience far more benefits than just reducing prostate malfunction or cancer risk.
Sweet potatoes are one of those “superfoods” that just so happens to be the cheapest food packed with the most nutrition.
Others on the list are white potatoes, tomato juice and soups, carrots, and broccoli.
Suggestion: The best way to cook sweet potatoes would be to boil them with their skin on because there are like 10 times more antioxidants in the skin, compared with the flesh.
+ Roast, boil, or grill in a foil.
+ Cut potatoes like fries and bake until desired texture. Try blanching them first putting them in boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes before baking to really bring out the flavors.
+ Sauté diced potatoes with other veggies, such as onions, asparagus, peppers, and zucchini.
+ Add chopped sweet potatoes to chili sauce and stews.
+ Mash cooked sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes.
5. Green Plantain Flour
Everybody knows that plantain is an energy given food, but what is unknown to most people is that it carries some unbelievable health benefits.
Cooked plantains are nutritionally very similar to a potato, calorie-wise, but contain more of certain vitamins and minerals. They’re a rich source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium and potassium.
It reduces the number of harmful free radicals
Free radicals are either made when our bodies break down food or are exposed to harmful elements like tobacco smoke and other radiations. They play a huge role in premature aging, diseases, and Prostate Malfunction or cancer.
However, findings from numerous studies have shown that vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage. And with a serving of plantains providing over 35 percent of the vitamin C needed per day, plantains have been dubbed to be one of the best vitamin C foods around.
Owing to this, it is, therefore, advisable for us to include plantain to our list of favorite diet.
It boosts sexual performance…
Studies have shown that the nutrients contained in plantain can help improve sexual performance through increased libido. In addition, eating plantain on a regular can also improve male fertility, thicker sperm, and volume.
Suggestion: Health experts have also suggested that unripe plantain (roasted or boiled) with ginger and garlic are wonderful when it comes to matters that concern sexual performance.
VEGETABLES RECOMMENDED FOR A HEALTHY PROSTATE
The first and in my opinion the best, are a family of vegetables that goes by the name CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES.
Cruciferous vegatabbles have been shown to possess great ANTI-CANCER PROPERTIES and it includes Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussel Sprout, Cauliflower, and Kale.
6. Cabbage/Broccoli Swallow
I decided to recommend Cabbage/Broccoli for swallow because here in Nigeria most of our main course meal is swallow of different variant, which is mostly high in carb.
In my opinion, the best way to make you eat these vegetables and still have the feel of the usual is to help you convert your high carb Swallow meal to a nutritious vegetable swallow meal that will feed your Prostate with everything it needs to be healthy.
Broccoli on the other hand contains the phytochemical (phyto means “plant”) sulforaphane, which is suspected to target and kill cancer cells while leaving healthy prostate cells to fight another day.
It has been established that eating cruciferous vegetables can lower your risk of getting prostate issues.
While all vegetables help decrease risk, cruciferous vegetables are the heavyweights.
Suggestion: Just three servings of vegetables each day—especially cruciferous ones like broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts—cut the risk of prostate malfunction and also cancer by almost half, according to Hutchinson Center research.
So what other way could be than to bring it home as swallow which can be used with any soup of your choice.
For any recipe that calls for swallow, swap in vegetable swallow
7. Cooked tomatoes
Lycopene is another powerful antioxidant and is found in the cell walls of tomatoes. The cooking process loosens the bond, making it easier for our bodies to access the antioxidant and send it to the prostate.
Suggestion: Tomato sauce, egg sauce with tomatoes, paste, juice, and sundried tomatoes help our bodies make the most of this nutritional superstar. Even better: tomatoes cooked in olive oil.
Recommendation: Most adults male should aim for about 10 mg of lycopene a day, which shouldn’t be tough considering a tablespoon of ketchup and a half cup of tomato puree contain about 2.5 mg and 25 mg, respectively.
Berries like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants play an important role in the body as they prevent damage from free radicals, molecules that attack healthy cells and can contribute to cancer risk.
Vitamin C help ease benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms by promoting urination and reducing swelling.
There’s about 90 milligrams of vitamin C in one cup of strawberries and about 14 mg in one cup of blueberries. Other great sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli, and mangos. For most adult men, 90 milligrams of vitamin C is recommended daily.
Suggestion: So what’s a quick easy way to whip up a healthy vitamin-C rich snack? We recommend blending a variety of berries and greens into a smoothie with milk and protein powder (optional). “Blueberries, banana, milk, peanut butter, and ice is a perfect smoothie with lots of flavor and nutrition but simple to make.”
This staple of summertime eating is fat-free, sodium-free, and high in vitamins A and C. Watermelon is also an excellent source of lycopene, the antioxidant that gives whole foods like tomatoes and watermelons their color (RED).
It has been established that lycopene help to maintain a healthy prostate and also lower prostate cancer risk. Lycopene can be found in foods like tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, guava, and papaya. There’s about 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene in a cup of a half of watermelon.
Other fruits include: Kiwi, Carrots, Beets, Orange, Pawpaw, Coconut, and Soursop, Lemon / lime
Suggestion: All of these fruits can be juiced, made as smoothie or eat it raw
My best recommendation still remains water and freshly made organic fruit juices, the fruits we mentioned above still suffice for the drinks.
Research suggests that green tea can help protect against prostate cancer. The benefits of consuming green tea doesn’t stop there though, it also helps lower cholesterol and even improves memory and attention spans.
Suggestion: Although the obvious way to consume green tea is to brew and enjoy it, there are other ways to get your fix. Other ways to enjoy green tea include adding it to a smoothie or using it to create a marinade. Remember to always go for organic green tea.
Healthy fats like those found in nuts can help lower your cholesterol and promote brain health. Nuts are one of the best go-to snacks. They’re portable, convenient, and give you a lot of bang for your buck,
Brazil nuts are not only a good source of vital nutrients like vitamin E and calcium, they’re also full of the mineral selenium. A 2010 study suggests that selenium along with soy help fight prostate cancer.
Suggestion: One Brazil nut has more than 100 percent of the daily value of selenium, which can be harmful in high doses, so watch your portions. Other great nuts for men include pecans, almonds, and walnuts. Nuts can be pretty fatty, so remember more is less.
For fat, it’s not as much about quantity as it is quality. If we could shift our focus to more omega-3s and monosaturated fats, we’d certainly improve [our] health significantly.
Healthy Eating Pattern tips for prostate health
Instead of focusing on specific foods, dietitians, physicians, and researchers tout an overall pattern of healthy eating — and healthy eating is easier than you might think.
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Go for those with deep, bright color.
- Choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread, and choose whole-grain pasta and cereals.
- Limit your consumption of red meat, including beef, pork, lamb, and goat, and processed meats, such as bologna and hot dogs. Fish, skinless poultry, beans, and eggs are healthier sources of protein.
- Choose healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados. Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products. Avoid partially hydrogenated fats (Trans fats), which are in many fast foods and packaged foods.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas and many fruit juices.
- Cut down on salt and Monosodium Glutamate MSG (Maggi). Choose foods low in sodium by reading and comparing food labels. Limit the use of canned, processed, and frozen foods.
- Watch portion sizes. Eat slowly, and stop eating when you are full.
- Eat with the mindset of feeding your body to live and not to fill your stomach.
Sometimes, you cannot get it all through diet and in consistent therapeutic quantities. Also, you might know something is good for you but it just doesn’t agree with you or you just can’t bear to eat it regularly.
That is why many men who are looking to make a big difference in their prostate health take a daily supplement. Many different natural supplements can help manage better prostate health.
By increasing your intake of healthy fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods, you can help keep your prostate healthy. In the words of Socrates: “Let food be thy medicine.”
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