A man's prostate gland generally starts to enlarge after he reaches about 40 years. This condition is called enlarged prostate or prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is considered a natural process of aging.
Our prostate gland is normally about the size of a walnut, and wraps around the urethra. Due to prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and forces the urine through a narrowed urethra.
As the prostate grows larger, this squeezes the urethra more tightly. The bladder might not be able to fully compensate for the problem and become empty completely. Blockage may also result from prostate enlargement, in some cases. This may cause problems such as repeated urinary tract infections, bladder stones, bladder or kidney damage, etc.
According to a study by Mayo clinic, about 50 percent of men over the age of 60 have an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). By the age of 85, more than 95 percent of men are with BPH.
Can diet help with enlarged prostate symptoms?
There is good news for those living with enlarged prostate or who are at risk of developing the disease. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can keep your prostate healthy and lower your risk for BPH. Being obese is another risk factor for developing the condition. So having nutritious food is also a good way to lower both your weight and your risk.
Foods to eat if you have enlarged prostate
Here are some foods that can help decrease the risk of BPH and also relieve the enlarged prostate symptoms, according to recommendations from certain studies.
- A low-fat diet
- At least four servings of vegetables a day
- A high level of physical activity
- Having no belly fat
- Use of vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may help in fighting BPH. Not all vitamin C is same. Only vitamin C obtained from vegetables lowers your risk of an enlarged prostate. Fruits don’t provide same benefits. Foods containing vitamins C and helpful in BPH are such as bell peppers, broccoli, sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower, kale, snow or snap peas, and tomato or vegetable juices
- Zinc in diet: oysters, crab, duck, lamb and lean beef, and baked beans
- There's little evidence that supplements can be useful in BPH
- The evidence for proteins to be helpful in BPH is unclear
- Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc is essential to the health of the prostate, according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Urology.
- Salmon: evidences suggest that increasing omega-3s along with exercise help in decreasing obesity and weight gain, which reduces the risk of developing BPH
Healthy habits such as exercising daily, maintaining your waistline, eating vegetables and limiting dietary fat may help with BPH.