When thinking about your urologic health, nutrition may not come to mind, but it actually makes a big difference. Changing up your diet can reduce your risk of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, and in turn reduce your chances of urological issues like erectile dysfunction (ED) and prostate cancer.
Protect Your Prostate Through Diet
Several studies have shown that men who eat a high red meat diet have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are recommended for a prostate healthy diet.
This includes foods such as:
- spinach, and
- Brussel sprouts.
We also recommend whole grains and fruits high in antioxidants, such as strawberries and blueberries. One way to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is with cooking spices, such as curcumin, garlic, and ginger.
Overactive Bladder: Foods to Avoid
Certain drinks and foods are also important when it comes to overactive bladder. Some patients that come in to be seen are not aware that their second cup of coffee for the day could be irritating the lining of their bladder. Coffee could be worsening the symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency.
Bladder irritants can include:
- caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and soda;
- carbonated beverages, such as soda and seltzer water;
- citrus fruits and fruit juices;
- dairy; and
- spicy foods.
If you are experiencing overactive bladder, we recommend cutting back on things like caffeine, carbonated beverages, and the other items listed. You can also try an elimination diet. This involves cutting out all irritants, and slowly introducing them back into your diet one at a time to see which ones bother you the most.
Infertility affects one out of every six couples. Research shows that men are infertile in up to 50 percent of these cases. There are many causes of infertility, but there is strong evidence that a nutritious diet can improve sperm quality. They need key nutrients such as zinc, folate, and selenium to develop properly.
We recommend you:
- Eat more lean protein such as fish and poultry, and cut out processed meat.
- Increase your daily intake of vegetables and fruit (eat organic when possible).
- Limit saturated fat and substitute with healthy fats, such as avocados and walnuts.
- Maintain a healthy weight (being overweight or underweight can negatively affect a man's sperm).
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
- Take a multi-vitamin.
Turns out that improving your diet helps your prostate, bladder, and sperm! Taking steps now to manage your diet will increase your quality of life.