Prostate cancer is a serious and often deadly disease. Statistics suggest that annually, over 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and over 33,000 will die from this type of cancer. For American men it is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths. If your prostate becomes enlarged it can cause other health issues such as prostatitis. There are many ways men can improve their overall health and protect the health of their prostate. Making wise choices regarding lifestyle and dietary decisions can be very impactful towards reducing the risk of developing this disease.
Healthy Diet: Focus on eating a healthy and well balanced diet. This should include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. The vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetable are high and will keep you feeling satisfied and full. This should help you to avoid the temptation of over eating other types of foods that are not as good for you. A fruit or vegetable also makes a great snack. For example, carrot and celery sticks or an apple can be both a nutritious and delicious snack.
Eating more plant based foods over animal proteins is a good choice as well. There have been studies which suggest a possible link between diets high in animal fats and the development of prostate cancer. Substitute plant based oils for animal fats such as butter. Use olive oil instead. To dress up a salad substitute cheese with a sprinkling of seeds or nuts. There are many great alternatives to animal based foods. Some good vegetable choices include tomatoes, brussel sprouts and kale. Tomatoes are high in lycopene which is a very powerful antioxidant. Brussel sprouts and kale are very healthy cruciferous vegetables. Some fruits high in lycopene include papaya and watermelon. Be creative and enjoy eating these healthier options.
Low Fat: Foods that are high in fats include proteins such as meat as well as dairy products. You should reduce the amount of fat you consume daily and opt for lower fat choices. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are high in calories and fat. When eating meat, always choose the leaner types and cuts. Consuming chicken or turkey breast is a much healthier alternative to fatty steaks or burgers.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: You should aim for 2-3 servings of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines weekly. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that are found in these types of seafood are very healthy and have been linked to possible disease prevention. Avoid the farm raised variety and try to eat wild caught seafood.
Alcohol consumption: Keep alcohol consumption in moderation. Limit yourself to one drink daily if you do choose to consume alcohol. And it goes without saying that smoking should be discontinued if indeed you do smoke.
Weight Management: Being overweight increases your risk for a wide variety of diseases. If you are overweight try to begin a sensible weight loss program that is both healthy and realistic. Do not participate in fad or dangerous dieting regimens. Instead focus on eating healthy, wholesome foods and reducing your caloric intake. Cut out processed foods, sugars and white flour based products. All of these foods are high in calories and tend to create weight gain in people. Look at an online “BMI” chart which is also known as the “body mass index” chart. You will be able to determine what is a healthy weight for your height and gender. You can determine if you are overweight by looking at a BMI chart.
Exercise: Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is so very important to your overall health and well being. Exercise will not only help you lose weight, it will help you maintain your weight, therefore preventing obesity. It is ideal to exercise for 20-30 minutes daily. There are so many options for you when it comes to exercise that you really must just find something that you enjoy doing. For example walking, hiking, tennis or joining a gym are all good choices. Find little ways during the day to get more exercise in as well. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or walk to local shopping instead of using the car are great ways to increase your exercise time throughout the week. Exercise has been shown to strengthen both the immune and digestive systems. By improving your circulation it can also reduce the risk of your prostate becoming enlarged.
Stress: Make sure that you reduce the stress levels in your life. Stress is a major component in weakening the immune system. This can make you more vulnerable to illness. Find a healthy balance in your lifestyle by focusing on positive changes you can make to improve the quality of your life.
Some Additional Tips: If you have a family history of prostate cancer you should let your doctor know as this increases your risk. At the age of 50 you should begin getting the appropriate screening and diagnostic testing that is available to catch this disease in its early stages when it is most treatable. Remember whenever beginning any dietary or lifestyle changes, always consult with a medical professional, particularly if you are taking prescription drugs or suffer from any disease or ailment.
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