Medically reviewed on June 27, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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The prostate is a small gland that plays an integral role in fertility and overall health. This walnut-sized gland produces some of the fluid that gets added to semen, which nourishes and transports sperm cells .
While small, the prostate gland can potentially succumb to various problems, most commonly benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate) and prostate cancer. Once you’ve taken the time to learn how to check the prostate, you can make a few simple lifestyle changes to improve prostate health.
Here are some tips for improving prostate health.
No single food or meal plan will completely prevent prostate cancer risk or save the prostate, but learning what foods are good for prostate health and maintaining a healthy diet can support the prostate’s health and reduce the risk factor of certain prostate issues. Some people tout specific foods to eat or to avoid. For example, some studies suggest that eating more red meat may increase the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia, but these studies aren’t wholly conclusive .
Ultimately, most experts simply recommend an overall healthy, well-balanced diet. This includes:
Along with specific foods, be aware of your meal habits. Try to avoid larger portion sizes. When you do eat, make to go slow .
Some studies make some associations between exercise and improved prostate health. For example, Italian researchers studying men with chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) found that the subjects who performed aerobic exercises three times per week experienced an improved quality of life . Other studies found that men who exercised were less likely to suffer erectile dysfunction. This benefit increased with more physical activity .
The link between prostate health and exercise still requires further study, but it ultimately can’t hurt. Exercise is known to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Find an exercise that works for you and is sustainable with your lifestyle, whether that’s going for a jog, taking yoga classes, or shooting hoops. Try to work out for at least half an hour per day, most days of the week.
Stress can contribute to a wide range of physical health problems. When stressed, some men unknowingly tighten their pelvic muscles, putting pressure on their pelvic floor muscles and contributing to chronic prostatitis. Those with BPH may experience increased urinary issues because of stress .
Find constructive ways to relieve and regulate stress. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress, but you can also try meditation and breathing exercises. Enjoying time with friends can also be a big help in reducing overall stress levels.
It's important to maintain a healthy prostate, whether it's through diet, physical activity, or a PSA test, or other prostate cancer screening. If you have a family history of prostate cancer or otherwise believe you may have an increased risk of prostate issues, it’s worth getting tested and examined regularly to detect any possible prostate cancer cells.
Prostate-specific antigen tests, which involve a simple blood draw, can help in determining the risk of prostate cancer. This may also be combined with a digital rectal exam to determine if you have any growths on the prostate.
Taking care of the prostate can seem difficult, but much of it comes down to maintaining your overall health. Pay attention to your body and find help when you think you need it.
1. Prostate gland. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed June 27, 2022.
2. Enlarged prostate: Does diet play a role? Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed June 27, 2022.
3. 10 diet & exercise tips for prostate health. Harvard Health. URL. Accessed June 27, 2022.
4. 5 steps to better prostate health. Prostate Cancer Foundation. URL. Accessed June 27, 2022.