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Blog >> Best Foods for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH

Best Foods for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH


Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment

Prostate enlargement is common in older men. But that doesn't mean it has to be that way. Following a healthy benign prostatic hyperplasia diet can help keep the hormones in check that contribute to prostate growth.

In this article I will cover:

 

What is BPH?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is when the prostate gland starts to enlarge. It is an abnormal growth of cells that is not cancerous. It is a very common condition that occurs when men age.

BPH is not the same things as prostate cancer and it is not associated with prostate cancer. While prostate cancer and BPH share many of the same symptoms, BPH is a benign condition. If you have this benign form of an enlarged prostate, it will not increase your risk of getting prostate cancer.

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While not cancerous or linked to prostate cancer, BPH can still cause many issues for the men who have it.

The prostate is located right along the urethra. The major problem with BPH is that it blocks proper urine flow. This can cause a lot of issues in the body.

When the prostate swells, urine flow gets blocked and the urine concentrates. It can get backed up into the kidneys or even the liver. This creates toxicity in the body. It also creates a long list of symptoms for men.

a long list of symptoms for men.

Benign Prostatic Hyperlasia


BPH Symptoms

Because the prostate is located along the urinary tract, the condition affects your urinary system. The main symptoms are bladder-related problems.

The symptoms include:

  • Needing to urinate often.
  • Feeling urgency to urinate.
  • Having leakage or dribbling of urine.
  • Needing to urinate at night.
  • Feeling like your bladder doesn't completely empty.
  • Having an interrupted or weak flow.
  • Experiencing sexual or erectile dysfunction.
     

So what causes BPH and these symptoms?

This is a condition that is affected by hormones.

 

Hormones impact BPH

An enlarged prostate is affected by hormones.

Different types of hormones have different effects. Certain hormones are considered anabolic. This means that they have the ability to make things grow.

These hormones can sometimes get out of control in the body. This will result in excessive growth of tissues - including the prostate. To take care of your prostate health and prevent swelling, you need to keep these hormones under control.

There are four main anabolic hormones involved in prostate problems.

  • Insulin
  • IGF-1
  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
     

Keeping these hormones under control is key for BPH. They all make things grow. So we can't have too much of them, or else the prostate will swell.

So how can you avoid the BPH symptoms caused by these hormones? And what can you do if you already have an enlarged prostate?

You can look to your diet.

 

Dietary changes to keep hormones in check

Dietary patterns can influence your hormone levels. That means that they can also improve your prostate health and help relieve urinary tract symptoms.

Adding in certain foods and removing others can help out a lot.

Below are the top 4 hormones involved in prostate growth. For each, I explain the best food choices you can make to keep them under control.

1. Insulin.

Insulin is the hormone that is produced when our blood sugar rises. It is anabolic and makes things in the body get bigger. For this reason and many others, we want to make sure we don't have excessive amounts of insulin in the body. It is one of the biggest factors influencing prostate growth.

How to keep it under control:

Insulin is produced when our blood sugar goes up. To prevent insulin from getting too high, we need to stop eating carbohydrates and sugar. Ultimately, to keep insulin low, you should follow a Healthy KetoTM diet and do intermittent fasting. These are great ways to lower insulin.

2. IGF-1.

IGF-1 is a hormone similar to insulin and growth hormone. This is another hormone that makes things grow in the body.

How to keep it under control:

To keep IGF-1 levels in check, you need to avoid dairy. You also should not consume too much protein if you have a prostate problem. You don't want a high-protein diet, but a moderate-protein diet instead.

3. Testosterone.

Testosterone is the male hormone. It can also be converted into a more powerful form called DHT. There are mixed theories on whether testosterone and DHT help or worsen an enlarged prostate. But what we do know for sure is that when we can inhibit the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, we can improve BPH. The enzyme is called 5-alpha-reductase.

How to keep it under control:

We know that blocking this enzyme is an effective way to see results. There are two supplements that you can add to your diet to help. These are saw palmetto and stinging nettle root. Both help lessen the amount of DHT produced. Stinging nettle root is also anti-inflammatory.

4. Estrogen.

Again, estrogen promotes growth. Estrogen is a female hormone, but men are supposed to have a certain amount of it, too. However, they are not supposed to have too much. When there is too much, things can start to grow out of control. Along with insulin, estrogen is one of the most potent factors when it comes to prostate health. Learn more about estrogen and your prostate here.

In males, testosterone can be converted to estrogen by an enzyme. It is called aromatase. Blocking this enzyme can help keep estrogen levels down.

How to keep it under control:

There are foods that contain inhibitors of aromatase. The best foods for this are cruciferous veggies. Eat things like cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, Brussel's sprouts, and more.

cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, Brussel's sprouts, and more


Benign prostatic hyperplasia diet: the bottom line

If you want to avoid an enlarged prostate, then looking to your diet is key. This can help you keep your hormones in balance and prevent too much growth. Ultimately, the keto diet and intermittent fasting is a great approach.

But you need to do it in a healthy way. Some people who do the keto diet don't always do it healthily. So while they might be keeping insulin low, they may still be eating foods that raise estrogen, for example.

Here are the basic guidelines to follow when it comes to diet management for BPH.

DO:

  • Follow the keto diet eating plan.
  • Try intermittent fasting.
  • Boost your intake of veggies, especially cruciferous vegetables. Try broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, and more.
  • Eat moderate amounts of protein.
  • Try saw palmetto and stinging nettle root.
  • Choose organic, wild-caught, pasture-raised foods.

DON'T:

  • Eat carbs and sugary foods that spike insulin.
  • Consume dairy.
  • Eat too much protein.
  • Eat foods that raise estrogen in your diet. This includes soy protein isolates and GMO vegetable oils.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
     

Read more about foods to avoid for BPH here.

Do you have an enlarged prostate? Have you tried Healthy KetoTM or intermittent fasting? Share in the comments below.

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***Always consult a professional before making any significant changes to your health.