The best way to avoid urinary problems as you get older is to do everything you can to keep your prostate healthy. There are no guarantees, of course, but evidence suggests that lifestyle factors may play a role in prostate well-being.†
Not smoking is one significant factor in maintaining the health of your prostate (and the rest of you as well). Here are five others.
Get Screened (Depending on Your Risk Factors)
Screening to detect prostate problems generally includes a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. A higher-than-normal reading would indicate the need for additional testing.
The American Cancer Society recommends prostate screening to begin for most men at age 50. However, men in high-risk groups may want to start screenings as early as 40. Such groups include people who have had two or more family members diagnosed with prostate cancer as well as African-Americans and men of Scandinavian descent.
The best way to determine your own screening schedule is to talk with your practitioner.
Eat Less of These Foods…
Love the smell of grilled meat? You may want to grill carefully and avoid charring those burgers and steaks. According to the folks at Johns Hopkins Medicine, there may be a link between prostate problems and “PhIP, a chemical compound released when meat is charred.”
It’s a good idea to reduce consumption of red meat in general, as well as processed meats and fried foods. You should also cut down on sources of concentrated sugar, such as soda and other sweets, which have been linked to prostate troubles.†
...and More of This Stuff
On the other hand, adopting a diet that more closely reflects that of Asia and other parts of the world known for healthy eating (the Mediterranean, for example) helps lower one’s risk of prostate problems.†
Such diets focus on fresh produce. “Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Go for those with deep, bright color,” suggest the editors at Harvard Health.
Healthy diets are also rich in beneficial proteins, such as fish as well as beans and eggs, and whole grains. And they supply “healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados,” according to Harvard Health.
“Don’t ditch the sunscreen, but don’t hide from the sun either,” add the Johns Hopkins experts. “We get a lot of valuable vitamin D from the sun.”
In addition to cleaning up your diet, it’s a good idea to get additional movement into your day. Regular exercise has been linked to greater prostate-related comfort; it is believed that being active helps modulate hormone levels.†
Exercise also helps reduce obesity. Excess body fat, especially that which accumulates in the abdomen, leads to the types of hormonal and metabolic disturbances linked to prostate troubles.†
...Including These Yoga Poses
In addition to aerobic exercise (running, biking and the like), you may also want to add yoga to your fitness routine.
Certain poses--among them Bow, Cobbler, Head-to-Knee, Hero and Reclining Big Toe--help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor and reduce pelvic tension, key factors in improving bladder control. (If you’re new to yoga, find a qualified instructor in your area.) Yoga has also been found to help ease stress, which is believed to aggravate urinary discomforts.†
Another way to strengthen the pelvic floor is to do Kegels; best known for helping women maintain urinary control, they can help men, too. To do them correctly:
- To find the correct muscles, stop urinating in midstream.
- Keep the muscles tightened for a couple of seconds before releasing them.
- Repeat 10 times.
Build up to three sets of 10, done throughout the day.
†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.
The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.