As we grow older, our risk of an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer increases exponentially. Most men with prostate cancer are over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases points out that an enlarged prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, affects around 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80.
So, what can you do to promote great prostate health? Well, the first thing is to cut these five foods out of your diet--or dramatically reduce your consumption of them.
Red meat refers to beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, and goat. Processed meats are those that have been salted, cured, fermented, smoked, or otherwise transformed, including hot dogs, lunch meats, sausages, and canned meat. According to the World Health Organization, red and processed meats are carcinogens, which means they can cause an enlarged prostate and even cancer, including colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
While it's generally understood that poultry is healthier than red meat, that's only the case for skinless, baked poultry. Chicken with the skin on, including fried, BBQ, and cured chicken, contains carcinogenic compounds, according to Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org. A study of 1,294 men with prostate cancer, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, supports those findings. In the study, consumption of chicken (or turkey) skin resulted in a twofold increased risk of cancer progression. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of heterocyclic amines, which are shown to cause prostate cancer in rats and damage the DNA in prostate tissues.
The association between an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer and calcium and dairy consumption is well-established. One study of nearly 150,000 men found that the calcium in dairy (but not the calcium in other foods like broccoli) and a high intake of protein from dairy were associated with an increased risk of prostate issues. The study's authors highlight the insulin-like growth factor 1 and estrogens in dairy foods, which have a role in causing prostate cancer.
A large and ongoing body of research continues to tout the horrors of sugar and the devastation it causes for human health. Sugar increases insulin levels and related growth factors, and these influence cancer cell growth as well as increase the risk of other chronic diseases. Cancer cells feed on sugar, and sugar increases levels of cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation in the body and associated with heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and prostatitis. Sugar also plays a role in weight gain and obesity, which also contribute to the risk for an enlarged prostate, prostate and other cancers.
The culprit in canned foods isn't the food itself, but rather the can, which--unless labeled otherwise--contains bisphenol A, or BPA, in its lining. BPA is a synthetic estrogen, and it's associated with numerous health problems, including prostate cancer. According to a study published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, BPA has tumor-promoting properties and is "reasonably anticipated" to be a carcinogen in the human breast and prostate. Another study, published in the journal Toxicology and Industrial Health, found that BPA was associated with testes cell death and damage to sperm in animals.
One of the best things you can do for good prostate health is to eat a nutritious diet that's mostly plant-based. Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and a small amount of whole grains. Limit red meat; fried, canned, and cured foods; dairy; and sugar. Further decrease your risk of prostate problems by quitting smoking, drinking in moderation, consuming plenty of water, and exercising for a half hour most days of the week.
Another excellent thing you can do to promote a healthy prostate is to take Prostavol Prostate Support, a daily supplement which contains 33 research-proven ingredients. Prostavol supports good overall prostate health, and it reduces the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including nighttime urination, restricted urine flow, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. A healthy lifestyle and a daily dose of Prostavol will go a long way toward a healthier prostate and a higher quality of life.
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