Calling all men…you have bodies which require maintenance too! In fact, men need to focus on their prostate health long before concerns arise due to healthy aging. Don’t take prostate health for granted! Most men will develop prostate concerns at some point in their lives, so good habits now serve as an investment to benefit your prostate in the long run.
Lifestyle recommendations for healthy prostate
- Get moving. Being overweight increases your risk factors for developing prostate problems. Independent from weight, studies have shown that men who are physically active are less likely to develop prostate concerns. Even just two-to-three hours of walking each week helps.
- Go red. Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant nutrient, lycopene, which supports prostate health. Cooking tomatoes with olive oil increases lycopene’s absorption and lycopene concentration is higher in canned tomato sauce and paste than whole tomatoes.
- Go green. Drinking green tea daily and eating greens daily improve the health profile of your prostate. My favorite 5 greens are spinach, kale, watercress, Swiss chard, and arugula.
- Get crunchy. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts support healthy hormone balance. Nuts and seeds pack a powerful prostate protecting punch due to their rich amounts of essential minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. Just a handful of nuts and or seeds twice a day can go a long way.
- Go meatless. Recent studies have shown vegan diets to cut BPH and prostate cancer risk by 1/3, while pescatarian diets (adding in eggs, dairy, fish and shellfish) can cut risk by 1/4.
- Get sun. Men with adequate Vitamin D levels maintain better prostate health. Expose your face, arms, hands, and legs to the sun for about 20-30 minutes several times each week to help ensure adequate vitamin D levels or take supplements.
The following supplements can also be useful to support prostate health:
- Beta-sitosterol: Taking this plant-derived compound may support healthy urinary flow. The dose is 50-200mg per day.
- Pumpkin seed oil: 1000 mg/day supports prostate health and urinary flow.
- Nettle Root: may support healthy urinary volume and flow rate. A good dose would be between 100-500mg daily.
- Saw palmetto extract: Helps limit the amount of testosterone that can bind in the prostate, thereby supporting prostate and urinary health. A good dose would be between 320mg-640mg daily.
- Pygeum africanum extract: Helps limit the amount of testosterone that can bind in the prostate, thereby supporting prostate and urinary health. A good dose would be between 100mg-250mg daily.
Prostate Tea Formula
First, let me explain why there are not many prostate teas on the market. Most of the herbs found helpful for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate symptoms are not easy to make teas due to where in the herbs the active ingredients are found. For instance, if the active ingredients are found in roots, seeds, or bark of a plant the tea requires a decoction in order to extract the herb’s beneficial compounds. On the other hand, if the active ingredients are found in the leaves, stems, flowers, or fruits then an infusion more typical of a tea preparation works well. For the most part, herbs helpful for prostate are found in roots, seeds, and bark.
Decoction: The boiling of bark, roots, or seeds in water for 10-15 minutes to extract active ingredients.
Infusion: Soaking leaves, stems, fruits, or flowers in hot water for 10-15 minutes to extract active ingredients.
You CAN make a tea from the herbs, however it is a two step process. First, you boil any roots, bark, or seeds to make the decoction. You filter away the liquid and then make an infusion with the remaining liquid with any leaves, stem, fruits, and flowers.
All of this being said, the following herbs have all been researched for improving BPH symptoms and I have found them to be remarkably effective in treating BPH in my own male patients:
- Pygeum africanum (Pygeum) –Bark
- Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) –Fruit
- Panax ginseng (Red Ginseng) – Root
- Urtica dioica (Stinging nettles) –Root or seed
- Grifola frodosa (Maitake) – Mushroom
- Uva ursi (uva ursi) – leaves and stems
- Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo) – cactus
- Seidlitza rosmarinus (type of rosemary) – leaves and stems
- Epilobium parviflorum (small flowered willow) – flowers
The herbs can be mixed together in equal parts for decoction and the second combination in equal parts as well for the infusion. One tablespoon of mixed herb for the decoction per cup of water and one tablespoon of mixed herb for the infusion per cup of water. Obviously, you can make larger batches than just one cup at a time, just increase the amount of herbs to coincide with the increase in water. Store in the refrigerator and drink within 48 hours.
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