Prostate health - nuts have a role to play

Tess Thompson

While it is an established fact that a vast majority of men in their middle age face problems with their prostate, what causes conditions like prostate enlargement and cancer is still being determined. There is also not much awareness about how to maintain a healthy prostate.

An enlarged prostate can lead to frustrating symptoms like urinary problems. These include dribbling and an urge to urinate without success, waking up in the night to relieve yourself and sexual dysfunction. All enlarged prostates do not lead to prostate cancer, but once diagnosed the patient and the physician have to monitor the condition regularly to detect any signs of cancer that may appear.

There are strong indications that the link between genetics and diet plays a major role in determining prostate health. For example, a diet that is lacking in antioxidants may increase the vulnerability of men with inherited genetic variations. This can potentially lead to prostate cancer. Although science has not reached a stage where it can determine whether an individual has that particular genotype, antioxidants, in general, are good for prostate and overall health.

In today’s highly competitive lifestyle, the first thing that men tend to ignore is their diet. Men seem to be in a rush all the time and prefer to grab fast-food on the way to office rather than eat a home cooked meal. Little do men realize that unhealthy dietary habits can contribute to prostate enlargement.

Apparently, taking dietary supplements for improving prostate health appears to be the most convenient remedy. There are also many herbs for limiting prostate enlargement that are available as supplements. A conscious change in dietary habits and lifestyles, however, can prove to be a permanent solution for ensuring that your prostate remains in good health throughout your life.

Brazil nuts, almonds and hazelnuts are rich sources of selenium and Vitamin E. The selenium in these nuts can strengthen the immune system, thus increasing the body’s defenses. It also provides the body with an ability to fight cancer cells on its own. Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant, found in good quantities in hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, chestnuts and coconuts. Oils obtained from wheat germ, sunflower, soybean and olives are other natural food items that are rich in Vitamin E.

"Some evidence associates higher intake of vitamin E with a decreased incidence of prostate cancer (see ATBC study) and breast cancer. Some studies correlate additional cofactors, such as specific vitamin E isomers, e.g. gamma-tocopherol, and other nutrients, e.g. selenium, with dramatic risk reductions in prostate cancer." (Source: Wikipedia)

There is sufficient support to prove that nuts are effective and that they can help in eliminating the use of prostate medicine for enlargement and cancer. On the contrary, nuts consumed in large quantities can add to your weight and increase blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol may not cause prostate cancer, but it does provide a healthy environment for an existing tumor. For effective benefits, nuts should be consumed in moderate quantities, say, a handful two or three times a week.


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