Prostate and urinary health
Guides and tutorials
Prostate health: foods to avoid and those to prioritise
With age, most men experience a decline in the health of their prostate (micturition difficulties, urinary incontinence, waking in the night ...). Which foods should you choose and which should you avoid to help maintain the health of your prostate?
The prostate deteriorates with age
First, a brief reminder that the prostate gland is a male reproductive organ located just below the bladder. Its main function is to secrete and store a component of seminal fluid, which is essential for the production of sperm.
The prostate tends to become enlarged by the time a man reaches his fifties (sometimes earlier at around 40 years of age). This puts pressure on the bladder, potentially resulting in the frequent urge to pass urine throughout the day ... and night. Changes to the prostate can also lead to compression of the urethra, the tube which expels both urine and sperm from the body. This can cause a weaker urine flow, and urinary dribbling or leaking (1).
The prostate is also subject to various other problems (2-3). Even if you’re not among those men currently affected, you can still take positive action now, by modifying your diet...
Prostate: foods to steer clear of
To help maintain a healthy prostate:
- cut down on fats (red meat, processed meat such as sausages and bacon, butter, biscuits, pastries, fried food …). Eating too much saturated animal fat in particular may triple the risk of developing certain prostate problems. Eat red or processed meat once or twice a week at most. Avoid char-grilled meat as much as possible;
- avoid phytoestrogen plants(hops in beer, soya, sage, liquorice ...) These plants can have oestrogenic effects that are harmful to the prostate;
- consume dairy products in moderation (cheese made from cow’s and sheep’s milk …) Some researchers believe that excess calcium may increase the risk of certain prostate problems;
- reduce your consumption of grains;
- drink less black tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fizzy drinks (these have a diuretic effect – they increase the production of urine) ;
- avoid white wine, champagne, cider and any strong alcohol (4-6).
Foods to prioritise to support a healthy prostate
In contrast, the foods to focus on are:
- oily fish (salmon, anchovies, herring, trout ...) Rich in omega-3, these help to lower the risk of prostate problems;
- fruit and vegetables (especially oranges, clementines, lemons, pomegranates, unsalted and unroasted nuts, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, avocados, peppers ...)
- pulses(beans, lentils...) ;
- garlic, onions, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, linseeds, turmeric;
- foods rich in lycopene (tomatoes, pink grapefruit, papaya...)
- low-mineral water;
- red wine, in moderation naturally (one to two glasses a day). Red wine contains flavonoids which help restrict the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Its catechins also help prevent testosterone from being converted into oestrogen, a female hormone that adversely affects the prostate (7-8).
3 natural substances that are particularly good for the prostate
Certain natural substances have proved to be very beneficial for helping to prevent or alleviate prostate problems and their consequences:
- saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). This is used as an adjuvant in the symptomatic treatment of urination problems associated with an enlarged prostate. It helps to ensure normal urinary function in men over 45. In particular, it plays a role in supporting urine output. It contains free fatty acids, flavonoids, phytosterols, polysaccharides, alkanes and alkanols (9-10) ;
- common nettle root (Urtica dioica). This is also used as an adjuvant in the symptomatic treatment of enlarged prostate-related urination problems. Also known as stinging nettle or nettle leaf, it contains lectins, sitosterol, polysaccharides, lignans and tannins (11-14) ;
- African plum tree (Pygeum africanum). This also helps to combat problems of the prostate. It plays a role in ensuring normal prostate and urinary function in men. The tree’s bark contains beta-sitosterol, fatty acids, linear alkanes ... (15-18)
If you’re looking for a dietary supplement that combines all three of these excellent compounds, why not choose the unique formulation ProstaNatural Formula, rich in saw palmetto, common nettle root and African plum. This highly-rated supplement also contains extract of flower pollen, diindolylmethane (DIM and beta-sitosterol.