By Nancie George | February 19, 2015 | www.everydayhealth.com | excerpt -view original article here
The prostate, which is part of the male reproductive system, is a gland that surrounds the bladder and urethra. It is about the size of a walnut and grows throughout a man’s life. As you age, it’s important to maintain a healthy prostate. The gland can become enlarged, and prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men.
There’s no definitive evidence that good nutrition can prevent prostate problems, but eating a healthy balanced diet may reduce your risk. “Building a meal and snack around veggies and fruit is a smart idea for health in general, and particularly a healthy prostate,” says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, nutrition expert for New York Times bestseller LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout and advisory board member for Men’s Fitness magazine.
Berries like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. 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 may also help ease benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms by promoting urination and reducing swelling.
So what’s a quick easy way to whip up a healthy vitamin-C rich snack? Dr. Mohr recommends blending a variety of berries and greens into a smoothie with milk and protein powder. “Blueberries, banana, milk, protein powder, peanut butter, and ice is a perfect smoothie with lots of flavor and nutrition but simple to make.”
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, lower high blood pressure, help with weight loss, and can reduce the risk of heart attack. Although experts typically recommend cutting down on animal fat for prostate health, a diet high in omega-3s can help boost prostate health. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like lake trout and herring, may actually help lower prostate cancer risk.
“A review paper published last year discussed how omega-3 fats modulate prostate cancer development, likely because of their anti-inflammatory effects, and ultimately inhibiting tumor growth. So it’s important to suggest maybe replacing some other animal fats with that from fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, tuna, for the beneficial omega-3 fats,” says Mohr.
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,” says Mohr.
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 may help fight prostate cancer, though more research is still needed.
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.