Eat­ing healthy

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Nu­tri­tion for your prostate


Zinc is a min­eral ben­e­fi­cial to the prostate (par­tic­u­larly in older men), and its de­fi­ciency thought to be a fac­tor in an en­larged prostate. Pit­silis calls it ‘man’s best friend’. The Min­istry of Health rec­om­mends a level of 12 mg per day. Good sources of zinc in­clude pump­kin seeds, peanuts, al­monds, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, shell­fish (es­pe­cially oys­ters) and lean red meat, although a diet high in red meat is gen­er­ally thought to be un­help­ful to the prostate.


Ly­copene, the nat­u­ral an­tiox­i­dant pig­ment that makes toma­toes red, is thought to be ben­e­fi­cial to the prostate. It is in the carotenoid fam­ily, mean­ing that it’s beta-carotene’s chem­i­cal cousin, but is a more pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant. Sources in­clude toma­toes (or tomato juice), wa­ter­melon, pink grape­fruit, pink guava, pa­paya and apri­cots. Pit­silis says the best, most con­cen­trated, form is tomato paste.


Soy prod­ucts may also help with prostate heath. Ja­panese men have low death rates from prostate can­cer, even though they high rates of con­trac­tion. Sources of soy in­clude tofu, tem­peh, miso, natto (fer­mented soy) and soy milk, although Pit­silis says the re­search around soy milk is un­clear.


Pit­silis says Omega3 fish oil re­duces in­flam­ma­tion – what the body does when it’s un­der threat. That in­flam­ma­tion comes from bom­bard­ment by chem­i­cals, stress – the pit­falls of daily life. She says in­flam­ma­tion is also the foun­da­tion of can­cer and heart dis­ease.

Cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles

Eat plenty of the cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles - broc­coli, Brus­sels sprouts, kale, cab­bage and cau­li­flower. These same veg­eta­bles re­duce breast can­cer. If you’re a male and have the BRCA 2 gene – the same gene that causes breast can­cer, Pit­silis says your chances of con­tract­ing prostate can­cer in­creases by 23 times. There­fore if there is breast can­cer in your fam­ily, you should be es­pe­cially aware of your prostate health.


Pit­silis says se­le­nium is vi­tal for prostate health, as New Zealand soils are de­fi­cient in the min­eral. It is best taken as a sup­ple­ment, or Pit­silis says try about four brazil nuts a day. “200 mi­cro­grams of se­le­nium de­creases the risk of prostate can­cer by 63%.”

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