For educational purposes only
As men age, prostate health becomes all the more essential.
You can keep your prostate in optimal shape by understanding how to protect this important gland.
What Is the Prostate?
Though the prostate is small in size, it has a big impact on men’s health. Though it’s only roughly the size of a walnut, it’s in a sensitive location, underneath the bladder and in front of the rectum, and it tends to enlarge over time.
The prostate wraps around the upper urethra, and since it’s essentially connected to the tube that eliminates urine from the body, prostate problems can influence urination. They can also affect men’s reproductive health. While the testicles produce sperm, the prostate—and the surrounding organs known as seminal vesicles—are responsible for semen production before and during ejaculation.
What does the prostate look like? It features two lobes, one on each side, and the gland is wider at the base, which is located higher up in the body, adjacent to the bladder. The apex of the prostate is the lower part, near the rectum. In between you’ll find the mid-gland. These terms are important to keep in mind when discussing prostate health with your medical provider, especially as you grow older.
How the Prostate Evolves with Age
As men age, they must focus increasingly on their prostate health.
Typically, experts recommend that men start scheduling prostate exams at age 50. Those at increased risk should start a bit earlier, around age 45. Men whose male relatives experienced prostate problems are more likely to contract it themselves.
We’ll offer a reminder that if you urinate more frequently, experience less urine flow, or feel a burning sensation when you pass urine, plan to schedule a doctor’s appointment.
And try not to worry, as most men experience prostate issues of some kind over the course of their lives.
Common Prostate Health Conditions
The main prostate conditions men face include:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
BPH is related to aging and simply involves the enlargement of the prostate gland.
Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland (often from a bacterial infection).
Strategies for Improving Prostate Health
While prostate health problems may occur as a result of genetics or aging, there are other factors at play as well. Men are encouraged to take action early, and work to lower their risk.
Consider the following strategies for improving prostate health:
Opt for whole grains over processed flour
Put down the white bread or packet of pasta and select the whole-grain alternative instead. Whole grains contain more nutrients than their processed or “enriched” counterparts, as well as significantly more fiber. Fiber is key to maintaining a healthy weight.
Up your fruit and veggie intake
Plan to consume no fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The brighter the colors, and the more you mix and match, the more nutrients you’ll absorb. Try to incorporate healthy, vibrant produce (or at least a side salad) into most of your meals.
Cut back on salt and refined sugar
We’re not telling you to eliminate salt and refined foods from your diet altogether but cutting back will help keep your body in better shape. As the saying goes, “never say never”—but for the sake of your prostate and overall health, these ingredients should be seen as a special, occasional treat.
Limit your intake of red meat and other saturated fats
Skip the red meat and processed stuff (like hot dogs and fish sticks), and instead choose poultry, eggs, and vegetarian protein sources like beans. Similarly, instead of dairy products and saturated oils, aim to protect your prostate by focusing on healthful fats—think olive oil, almond butter, and avocado.
Exercise regularly (and soak up the sun)
Men with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher may have a higher risk of prostate complications. Exercising regularly can help mitigate this, even for just a half-hour most days each week. Bonus points if you break a sweat outside—getting much-needed vitamin D from the sun or from your diet can reduce your risk too.
Commit to annual screening
By scheduling prostate exams early, you can understand your risk of prostate issues and other health conditions before they potentially become a problem. Making this a part of your routine may seem daunting, but it will protect you in the long run—and allow you to take action early if needed.
You can also talk to your doctor about supplementation. In addition to a healthy diet, certain supplements may improve prostate health.
Supplementation for Prostate Health
Many men turn to supplements to improve their prostate health as they age. At Balanced Health, we offer a range of supplement collections—with plenty of natural options that promote men’s health.
Just be sure to delve into your supplementation experience with support from a licensed doctor. A reminder that before starting any new supplement, you should speak with a medical professional. Your healthcare provider can point you in the right direction, helping you navigate your options, explore different doses, and evaluate the potential risks involved in supplementation.Do you have questions about prostate health or supplementation in general? Balanced Health has answers.1 Our team offers a range of vegan-friendly, non-GMO supplements that are free from artificial flavors and ingredients. A unique blend of nutritious and delicious, we’ll be happy to guide you toward optimal prostate health and general well-being. Please contact us for more information.
1 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.