The prostate gland is located just below the bladder in men and serves to produce semen. While many people go through their lives never experiencing a problem with it, there are some conditions, such as cancer and enlargement, that can cause problems for the prostate. Being proactive, following medical advice, getting blood testing when necessary, and practicing healthy prostate tips and exercises can help you maintain its health and function.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to increase prostate health. Try incorporating these seven healthy prostate tips into your daily routine to reduce the risk of developing a problem.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity causes an increased risk of prostate disorders. One common complication is an enlarged prostate. In this situation, the gland itself becomes larger than normal. This can impinge the urethra, causing a frequent urge to urinate and contributing to urinary incontinence. Obesity can also increase your risk of developing cancer, including cancer of the prostate. Because of this, it is important to maintain a healthy weight.
Eating a balanced diet and increasing your physical activity levels will help you to get on the right track. Aerobic exercises like walking, running, and riding a bike can help you lose weight and improve your heart health.
2. Schedule an Annual Screening Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among men, second only to skin cancer. In fact, approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with it during their lifetimes. Early detection leads to higher success rates in treatment and recovery, which is why you should schedule an annual physical and follow your doctor’s recommendations for screenings.
The PSA blood test detects a protein produced by the prostate. Since elevated levels are an indicator of prostate cancer, this is a simple way to assess your risk. Your doctor can perform a digital rectal exam in a matter of minutes right in the office. This can tell him if there the prostate gland is enlarged or if cancer cells have caused any unusual lumps or textures on its surface. For most men over the age of 50, a rectal exam should be performed each year. If you have other risk factors for cancer, you may need to start screening earlier.
3. Strengthen the Pelvic Floor Muscles
The muscles of your pelvic floor help control urinary continence. Keeping them strong with Kegel exercises can help you maintain bladder control during and after treatment for a prostate disorder. If you are unfamiliar with how to do these healthy prostate exercises, start by locating the muscles of your pelvic floor. The next time you are urinating, try to stop midstream. The muscles you use are your pelvic floor muscles. Once you have identified how to engage them, follow these steps to increase their strength:
- Contract the pelvic floor muscles
- Hold for five full seconds
- Release the muscles
- Repeat this process 10 to 20 times, three times each day
4. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, fruits and vegetables contribute fiber to your diet. That can help boost gut health and lower chronic inflammation, both of which may help you preserve prostate health. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale are good choices. There is some preliminary evidence that the sulforaphane in them specifically targets and helps prevent prostate cancer cells.
5. Add Red Foods to Your Diet
Foods that contain the antioxidant lycopene have been linked to prostate health. Lycopene is found in the highest concentration in tomatoes, but it is also found in other red foods such as papayas, watermelon, and red grapefruit. Try to incorporate at least one red food into your diet every day.
6. Choose Healthy Fats
Try to limit the amount of red meat you consume. Instead, look to get protein from soy, legumes, eggs, and fish. Sardines and tuna are excellent choices since they also contain prostate-friendly selenium.
7. Treat the Symptoms
There are some symptoms associated with prostate disease that can wreak havoc with your self-confidence. Erectile dysfunction is one such concern. It is a common side effect of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer, although it can also be caused by increased pressure from an enlarged prostate. Talk to your doctor about the various options that are available for treating erectile dysfunction.
The chances of developing a prostate condition increase with age. If you notice symptoms of a problem, such as a frequent urge to urinate, talk to your doctor. Always follow medical advice, get recommended screenings, and incorporate healthy tips to ensure your prostate is healthy and functioning properly.