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:
- Brussel sprouts
Whole grains and fruits high in antioxidants, such as strawberries and blueberries, is also recommended. One way to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is with cooking spices, such as cumin, garlic, and ginger.
Overactive Bladder: Foods to Avoid
Certain drinks and foods are also important when it comes to an overactive bladder. Some patients that come in to be seen at University of Utah Health are not aware that their second cup of coffee could be irritating the lining of their bladder. Coffee could be worsening the symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency.
Bladder irritants include:
- Caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and soda
- Carbonated beverages, such as soda and seltzer water
- Citrus fruits and fruit juices
- Spicy foods
If you are experiencing an overactive bladder, cut back on foods with caffeine, carbonated beverages, and the other items listed above. 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 one bothers you the most.
Infertility affects one out of every six couples. Research shows that men are infertile in up to 50% of these cases. There are many causes of infertility, but there is strong evidence that a nutritious diet can improve sperm quality. Key nutrients such as zinc, folate, and selenium, are needed to develop properly.
Take these steps to better manage your diet and increase sperm health:
- 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!