5 Things You Can Do Today for Prostate Health

5 Things You Can Do Today for Prostate Health

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Guardian of vitality, sentinel of well-being, the prostate is an often overlooked part of men’s health… until it demands attention. As men navigate their health, it’s important that they protect the prostate.

But proactive choices and lifestyle changes can help keep you as healthy as possible. From nutrition to exercise, from early detection to cutting-edge research, discover the science-backed ways to maintain prostate health and minimize your risk of prostate cancer. 

What Does the Prostate Do?

The prostate is a small gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum in males. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), it’s a crucial part of the male reproductive system and performs several important functions, including:

  • Producing Prostate Fluid: The primary function of the prostate is to produce a fluid that, along with sperm, makes up semen. The prostate fluid protects the sperm, enhances motility, and increases chances of successfully fertilizing an egg.
  • Helping Ejaculation: The muscles of the prostate gland aid in propelling semen into the urethra during ejaculation.
  • Influencing Urinary Control: The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. The size and condition of the prostate can impact urinary control. If you have an inflamed or enlarged prostate, it can exert pressure on the urethra, leading to urinary symptoms such as weak urine flow or frequent urination.

Common Prostate Problems

While the prostate serves vital functions, it’s also susceptible to certain conditions, including:

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): BPH refers to the non-cancerous — usually age-related — enlargement of the prostate gland.
  • Prostatitis: Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland and can be caused by infection or other factors.
  • Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is a malignant growth of cells in the prostate gland. It’s one of the most common cancers among men.

Tips for Prostate Health

While the exact cause of prostate complications is unknown, it’s believed to be a result of a combination of factors. These include age, family history and genetics, ethnicity, hormonal factors, and lifestyle factors like a diet high in red meat and processed foods, obesity, lack of physical activity, and smoking.

By prioritizing prostate health, men can support optimal reproductive function, maintain proper urinary flow, and potentially reduce the risk of common prostate conditions. Here are five ways men can take proactive steps toward a healthier future.

1. Diet for Prostate Health

Adopting a balanced and nutritious diet can contribute to prostate health. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. 

Some specific foods have shown potential benefits for prostate health. These include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Papaya
  • Avocados 

Avoid excessive consumption of red and processed meats, high-fat dairy products, and sugary foods, as they may increase the risk of prostate problems.

2. Exercise for Prostate Health

Engaging in regular physical activity has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate issues. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week, recommends the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, improves cardiovascular health, and may contribute to better overall prostate health. And, in particular, Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, controlling incontinence without medication or surgery.

3. Stop Smoking

Quitting smoking is crucial for overall health, including prostate health. Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. By quitting smoking, men can reduce their risk and promote better prostate health, according to the ACS.

In fact, in a February 2023 study in Tobacco Induced Diseases, researchers concluded that smokers had a 42% higher risk of death from prostate cancer than non-smokers.

4. Regular Health Screenings

Regular health screenings, including prostate cancer screenings, are essential for early detection and timely intervention. Most men should start at age 50, but African-American men or those with a family history should start at 45 (sometimes even 40), recommends the ACS.

Talk with your medical professional to determine the appropriate screenings based on your age, family history, and other risk factors. These screenings may include digital rectal exams (DRE), PSA testing, and other diagnostic procedures.

5. PSA Testing

PSA testing refers to a blood test that measures the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the bloodstream. PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland, and its levels can be elevated in various prostate conditions, including prostate cancer, per the ACS.

PSA testing is commonly used as a screening tool for prostate cancer, but its effectiveness and recommendations have been subject to ongoing debate. Elevated PSA levels can indicate various prostate conditions, not just cancer. Factors such as age, prostate size, and certain medications can influence PSA levels.

Symptoms of Prostate Problems

Recognizing the signs of potential problems is key to proactive care. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms — provided by the NIA — as they may indicate various prostate conditions that warrant medical attention.

  • Frequent urination, particularly during the night
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Difficulty starting or stopping urination
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  • Pain or discomfort during urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, lower back, hips, or thighs
  • Swelling or enlargement of the prostate (felt during a digital rectal exam)


If you experience any of these symptoms or have concerns about your prostate health, talk to your doctor for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

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