For those assigned male at birth, prostate health is vital. Luckily, learning how to keep a healthy prostate is easier than you may think.
We’ve got five easy tips you can put into place today to keep your prostate functioning optimally. Be kind to your behind — we’ll show you how!
1. Maintain a Healthy, Balanced Diet
The right diet can make a huge difference in your overall health, from helping to maintain normal blood pressure to maintaining a healthy weight. Most of us are aware of the many benefits of eating a balanced diet but aren’t sure how to do that on our own.
Seeing a nutritionist can be helpful, especially if you anticipate a massive diet overhaul, but professional help isn’t always accessible to everyone. As with any significant changes, making small adjustments can make creating and maintaining a healthy diet seem far more manageable in the long run.
When it comes to learning how to keep a healthy prostate, start by focusing on adding more green, leafy and cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, kale, and spinach are all excellent choices, as they are full of the antioxidants and vitamins that the prostate needs to stay healthy and functional.
In addition to eating more veggies, you’ll also want to cut back on your meat consumption. While you don’t have to go completely vegetarian, some research has linked higher meat consumption ( red meat and poultry like chicken) to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
There may also be a connection between how you cook and an increased risk of cancer, specifically, a chemical compound called PhIP released when you char meat. If you do choose to continue to eat meat, it’s best to boil or saute it (preferably in olive oil).
2. Use Prostate-Healthy Supplements
In addition to creating a more prostate-friendly diet, certain supplements can add even more benefits to its health and functionality. Supplement use is known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and prostate health researchers like those at the National Cancer Institute have studied it as a way to boost standard treatments.
Specifically, the following supplements are great ways to support the likelihood of having a healthy, optimally functional prostate.
- Green Tea
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Most of these nutrients are in a healthy, balanced diet, but adding a multivitamin or a specific supplement can’t hurt! Each of them is also packed full of overall health benefits as well.
3. Don’t Skip Your Regular Health Screening
Regardless of your prostate cancer risk level, regular health screenings are crucial to keeping your overall health and wellness at an optimal level. However, annual prostate cancer screenings are necessary for those at higher risk.
Not sure where you fall on the risk scale? The American Cancer Society suggests that people with the following risk factors pay extra close attention to their prostate health.
- Being over the age of 50
- Having African American or Caribbean genetics
- Having a family history of prostate cancer, especially in more than two people (especially in a close relative like a father, sibling, or grandfather)
However, that doesn’t mean people with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer can skip their yearly exams. Prostate screening exams often include a digital rectal exam to check for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or any unusual growths and a blood test called a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) that looks for signs of early cancer.
An enlarged prostate can also contribute to erectile dysfunction and incontinence, so catching and treating prostate problems early can also help you reduce your risk of those issues as well.
4. Practice Prostate Massage
While prostate massage hasn’t been directly linked to a decreased prostate cancer risk, it may help reduce some factors that contribute to it. Regular prostate massage can help with prostate inflammation (prostatitis), which is an uncomfortable health condition all on its own. Over time, chronic prostatitis can also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
But what is prostate massage, and how can it help you keep a healthy prostate?
Prostate massage stimulates the prostate gland with either a prostate massager or the fingers. Anyone with a prostate can participate in prostate massage, solo or with a partner, and it defies any unfair sexual stereotypes. Direct stimulation helps to empty any excess, built-up fluids from the prostate via ejaculation.
When practicing prostate massage, especially if you use a prostate massager like our Thor or Tomo models or a prostate plug, it’s crucial to use plenty of lubrication. Lube keeps prostate massage comfortable and pleasurable and reduces the risk of friction or tearing.
5. Exercise Regularly
Like a balanced diet, exercise is not only part of a healthy lifestyle but also crucial to learning how to keep a healthy prostate. Regular exercise protects your prostate health in a few different ways.
For one, physical activity helps to reduce the risk of obesity. Obesity is tied to various health conditions, many of which can be chronic. Weight loss can slow down or even potentially reverse many of those issues.
Maintaining a healthy weight also helps to minimize lower urinary tract symptoms linked to prostate enlargement. Exercising five hours a week can reduce the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by up to 50 percent. Healthcare professionals recommend a mix of cardiovascular and strength exercises for the most benefit.
6. Get Outside!
While it’s still essential to wear sunscreen to protect your overall health, getting outside can be helpful to your prostate. If that sounds strange, stay with us and don’t worry, you won’t have to take your clothes off.
Besides changing the scenery and boosting your mental health, the primary purpose for going outside is vitamin D. Vitamin D is an incredibly misunderstood vitamin, but it has plenty of wide-ranging benefits. It helps the body to absorb and hold onto calcium and phosphorus, vitamins that are crucial for optimal bone health.
However, vitamin D has also been linked to helping to slow the progression of prostate cancer.
7. Hydrate Appropriately
When was the last time you drank a glass of water? If you’re unsure, or if you tend to drink more soda or coffee than water, it’s time to look at your hydration status.
Not only is water non-negotiable in terms of your overall health, but it is also essential for the health and functioning of the prostate. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily (or 64 ounces total) helps keep everything working at its optimal level. If you work out or have a physically demanding job, you should increase your water consumption even more.
If you have difficulty drinking plain water, you can make it more interesting by adding fresh fruits or vegetables like cucumbers or strawberries. Also, because green tea is so beneficial for prostate health, it makes a good water substitution on the days that water just won’t cut it.
8. Work on Reducing Your Stress
Although stress may not directly relate to your prostate, there are plenty of ways that stress can negatively impact your health. When it comes to the impact stress can have on your prostate, it comes down to your immune system. Stress, especially chronic stress, can weaken your immune system, leaving you at a greater risk of developing medical issues (up to and including cancer).
Unfortunately, reducing your stress doesn’t happen overnight, and you can not remove all causes of stress from your life. Meditation can be a huge help, even if you only do it a few times a week for a few minutes. It helps you promote a greater sense of mindfulness to be more present and understand that even unpleasant emotions will pass.
9. Quit Smoking
Smoking is a habit that can be damaging for the body. Not only does it contribute to an increase in the risk of lung cancer, but it can also be a factor in the development of other cancers (including prostate cancer).
Tobacco contains carbon monoxide, a dangerous chemical that attaches itself to red blood cells until they ultimately die. Because red blood cells travel throughout the body, this can cause increased cancer risk. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.
Learning how to keep a healthy prostate is about far more than just cancer prevention. A healthy prostate supports the optimal functioning of your genitourinary system, and taking care of your prostate requires many of the same elements as your overall health.
Plus, prostate massage can also be pleasurable — how many other health-related issues can say the same? When you’re ready to take your prostate massage to the next level, try one of the award-winning options we offer at GIDDI.