If you are reading this, you are probably male and that means you probably have a prostate! (It’s a walnut shaped gland that sits just in front of your rectum, and it’s important because it makes that nutrient rich white fluid that contains your sperm.) So, here’s what you need to know to look after your prostate!
1. Be proactive, rather than reactive! If you close your eyes and imagine you have in your possession your favorite car, maybe it’s a Jaguar; maybe it’s a Ferrari, a Mercedes Benz or a Porsche. Hey maybe it’s a Holden Ute! Now let’s say that there is a law that you only get one car in your lifetime, it can be whatever car you want, but it has to last you FOREVER. Well you are probably going to make sure you make the most of it but you are also probably going to want to take good care of it, aren’t you? To make sure it performs optimally and can last the distance you would want to service it regularly, put the right fuel in it, check the tyre pressure every now and again. It wouldn’t be a good idea to wait for the oil light to come on in your Ferrari before you check the oil, but if you did, you certainly wouldn’t ignore it.
Sports cars and bodies have a lot in common, they are very valuable, they are expensive to fix when they break, but with a bit of TLC they will take you great places and give you incredible thrills along the way. Unlike cars though, bodies are irreplaceable. Don’t wait until you have a prostate problem before you act, there is no need for you ever to experience that sort of pain, discomfort or threat. You’re a man, you want to function like a top of the range sports car, not a car wreck!
Terms you might hear doctors using when things go wrong or your prostate is not in tip top condition:
– Prostitis (inflamed Prostate, uncomfortable but not usually life threatening, and should be acknowledged as a warning)
– BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) (doesn’t mean cancer, “uncomfortable” condition that can lead to serious symptoms)
– Prostate Cancer (usually they surgically remove the prostate, this may affect urination and sexual function for the rest of your life).
Check out the list below, here are some things you can start doing straight away to take care of that very valuable asset, your prostate! If you already have a prostate problem, let’s get to the root of it and get your body working on itself again, you will especially benefit from the nutrition tips in Part 2.
Prostate cancer if found and treated early is usually not life threatening, so don’t be afraid to get it investigated. And get started today on loving that vehicle (the one you live in), pick something you aren’t yet doing and start there.
Supporting and Healing:
2. Service your Ferrari!
One vital stat for you to know and an easy first step is to go to your doctor and request a blood test. You want to get your Homocysteine levels tested. High Homocysteine levels are a strong indicator of disease risk, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and very many other diseases. (It’s quick to get it tested and relatively easy to “fix” or bring down once you know). If you have high levels (ideal levels are 6 or below) you are probably deficient in a few nutrients: Zinc, B vitamins (especially B2, B6, B12 and Folate) and something called TMG (Tri-methyl-Glycine).
You can get all these nutrients from food, green vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and whole grains, for the Bs, TMG is present in Broccoli so eat lots, you find Zinc in pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and oysters, but if your homocysteine is 9 or higher, it is a good idea to start with a supplement to reduce it. It you are a vegetarian it is a good idea to be supplementing B12 (sublingually- which means under the tongue!) Deficiencies in these nutrients will have a knock on effect throughout your whole system, including your prostate.
Another useful blood test (which the doc will probably do automatically) is your hormone levels: ensure your testosterone, prolactin and estradiol are within normal ranges.
3. Use the Right Fuel!
The right fuel is comprised of a variety of foods that contain loads of nutrients; these are usually foods that most closely resemble their original form. Seek out whole foods, oats and muesli rather than other processed cereals, whole fruit rather than jam and juice.
Studies suggest some of the most important nutrients to ensure prostate health are Zinc (found in seafood and seeds e.g. pepitas), Selenium (found in nuts like brazil nuts), amino acids (protein), lycopene (found in tomatoes and watermelon), isoflavones (found in soy), B vitamins (green leafy veg, beans, grains, chicken), antioxidants (vitamin E and C especially) and the herb Saw Palmetto.
More specific nutrition tips are contained in part 2.
4. Give your body what it needs to boost performance and run smoothly. Here are some Supportive Supplements to improve prostate health!
– Saw Palmetto
– Vitamin E and Selenium (1000-1200 IU of Vitamin E, 200 -400mcg Selenium as amino acid chelate)
– Flaxseed oil (a tablespoon full a day)
– Vitamin C (2000mg ester C or non-acidic variety a day)
– B6 (25-50mg pyridoxine) have a suppressing effect on prolactin
– B complex, TMG and Zinc (if you have elevated Homocysteine levels, there is a great book called the H Factor by Patrick Holford).
5. Take it for a regular spin!
Probably one of the best ways to prevent prostate cancer is to masturbate regularly! Research shows that men who ejaculate more than five times a week are a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life! (M://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3072021.stm)
6. Don’t put foreign matter in the engine. Avoid toxins and stressors!
– Alcohol is toxic to your body. Limit your consumption to 12 standard drinks a week, but better still challenge yourself to have 4 a week if you can!
– Caffeine, enjoy a maximum of one coffee or tea a day, ideally limit coffees and Ceylon teas to one or two a week. Enjoy herbal teas instead, especially green tea and Rooibos tea. Treat soft drinks like coke (including the light or zero varieties) and energy drinks like Red Bull as rare treats.
– Processed foods usually contain chemicals, additives, and artificial ingredients that are carcinogenic (cause cancer) which is what you are trying to avoid, so eat nutrient dense whole food rather than processed food.
7. Know how to read the signs!
Symptoms to look out for when things are not 100%:
– painful urination or ejaculation
– difficulty urinating in the morning
– low back pain
– frequent urges to urinate
– a weak stream of urine
– when you have finished urinating having a feeling that you still need to go but “can’t”
– small amounts of blood in your urine
– You are over 50 (which puts you in a “high risk” age category)
If you follow these 7 tips to improve your prostate health you can look forward to not only a healthier prostate but also a healthier, more energetic, hardier, fuel efficient sports model of yourself!