You don’t have to wait until you are in your mid 40s to think about the health of your prostate. In fact, you shouldn’t.
It’s essential for men to gain an understanding of this important gland now, before your first prostate exam, so you can be prepared for the symptoms and pathologies that affect so many men today.
Your friendly downstairs neighbor, the prostate
The prostate is a small gland of the male reproductive system that’s about the shape and size of a walnut. The prostate rests below the bladder and in front of the rectum, surrounding part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The prostate helps make semen, which carries sperm from the testicles when a man ejaculates.
It is becoming more and more common that as men age, their prostates grow larger. It is typical when men reach the age of 40, the prostate gland might have increased from the size of a walnut to that of an apricot. Around the age of 60, it might be the size of a lemon. Because it surrounds part of the urethra, an enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra, causing problems when passing urine. The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate may include:
Trouble starting to urinate or urinating freely
Having to urinate frequently, particularly at night
Feeling that the bladder is not empty after urinating
Feeling a sudden urge to urinate
Having to stop and start repeatedly while urinating
Having to strain to urinate
Practicing good prostate health
I always like to start with food and dietary choices when addressing any health concern. We can’t always choose what ailments we have, but we can choose what we put into our bodies.
Antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries are a great choice for prostate health as well as cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower for their vitamin C content. Omega 3 rich foods like salmon and trout are important to add into your diet for the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids they provide. Finally, zinc is an extremely important nutrient for prostate health. Oysters, beef (which we carry in our stores!), lamb, pumpkin seeds, and nuts (especially brazil nuts) are some of the foods with the highest levels of zinc.
Sometimes it is hard to eat enough food to have a therapeutic effect with these nutrients, and in that case, supplementation can be very helpful. My favorite all around product for prostate support is Palmettoplex from Standard Process. It contains three herbs of note that provide strong and natural prostate support: saw palmetto berry extract, stinging nettle root, and pygeum. Palmettoplex also uses the unique properties of Prostate PMG to provide gland support at the cellular level for growth and repair, extracts from bovine tissue to provide nutrients and support to the corresponding tissue in humans, and the antioxidant protection from tomato powder in combination with three amino acids (glutamic acid, alanine and glycine) recognized for their role in maximizing herbal efficacy for prostate gland health. It also contains Zinc Liver Chelate to provide zinc for optimal prostate function.
The vitamins, minerals and nutrients from plants and animal tissues in Palmettoplex work synergistically for maximum effect. I have seen it be very effective in a wide range of prostate related issues. There are other good products out there, but I have found this to be my go-to. A practitioner or wellness specialist at Peoples who is familiar with this line will be able to recommend the therapeutic dose.
There’s also a smoothie at the Peoples Deli called the Inflamma-Blocker, which is a delicious way to cool down the body’s natural inflammatory process associated with prostatitis. Ingredients like cherry concentrate, cherry juice, celery, and strawberries are rich in many anti-inflammatory compounds, including flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are the powerful anti-oxidants that deliver substantial anti-inflammatory properties.
Utilizing whole foods to help support the body’s own natural healing response is a great first course of action. Just these few recommendations could reduce the risk of prostate issues. So protect yourself before you hear those three famous words, “Alright, bend over.” You will feel a lot better for it.
In good health,
Brady Allen, ACN