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Lifestyle, Diet, and Prostate Health
Emerging studies are making it clear that a healthy lifestyle and a healthy prostate go hand in hand.
Research has found that a whole-foods, non-processed diet of fruits and veggies, plus regular physical activity significantly reduce the progression of early low-grade prostate cancer and that a Western diet of processed and refined foods increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Who is at Risk of Prostate Cancer?
According to American Cancer Society 2021 statistics, about one in every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
According to Ayurveda, middle-aged men who have a predominant pitta body type are at greater risk for prostate concerns.
One of the classic signs of pitta in men is male pattern baldness. A study was published in 2016 linking men with male pattern baldness to prostate health risk. If you have a pitta constitution, early adherence to a pitta-reducing (cooling), prostate-pleasing lifestyle can be powerful prevention.
To determine your body type and your Ayurvedic predisposition, take our body type quiz.
Proper early screening for prostate health risk is critical.
Along with a healthy lifestyle, there are certain foods and nutrients that are well-supported by research to support prostate health.
Perhaps the most well-documented foods for prostate health, according to research, are those rich in lycopene. Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes and other red fruits and veggies. Tomatoes in all forms top the charts for lycopene content.
Fish oils, coconut oil (very cooling for pitta), pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds all have essential fatty acids that also have been shown to support good prostate health and should be part of a healthy pitta-reducing and prostate-pleasing diet.
Prostate Health and a Pitta-Reducing Diet
- Favor foods that are cool and liquid.
- Minimize foods that are hot.
- Favor foods that are sweet, bitter, or astringent.
- Minimize foods that are spicy, salty, or sour.
- Dairy in the form of milk, butter, and ghee are good for pacifying pitta, but avoid yogurt, cheese, sour cream, and cultured buttermilk–these sour tastes aggravate pitta.
- Generally reduce sweeteners, but know that they are actually not harmful for pitta, with the exception honey and molasses.
- When using oil, olive, sunflower, and coconut oils are best. Reduce your use of sesame, almond, and corn oils, all of which increase pitta.
- With grains, wheat, white rice, and barley are pitta-balancing. Reduce corn, rye, millet, and brown rice.
- Favor sweet fruits such as grapes, cherries, melons, avocado, coconut, pomegranates, mangoes, oranges, pineapples, and plums.
- Reduce sour fruits, such as grapefruits, olives, papayas, and persimmons.
- With vegetables, favor asparagus, cucumber, potato, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, beans, green beans, and zucchini.
- Avoid hot peppers, tomatoes (they are ok for pitta when the skin is peeled), carrots, onions, garlic, radishes, and spinach.
- Reduce all beans except for tofu and mung dahl.
- In terms of spices, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, fennel, and small amounts of black pepper are alright.
- Avoid or only use in small amounts the following spices, which strongly increase pitta: ginger, cumin, fenugreek, clove, celery seed, salt, and mustard seed.
- Avoid chili peppers and cayenne.
- With meat, chicken, pheasant, and turkey are preferable.
- Beef, seafood, and egg yolk increase pitta.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Prostate Health
Based on some of the latest prostate health research, LifeSpa formulated an Ayurvedic supplement called Prosta-Clear HP.
6 Prosta-Clear Ingredients
The six ingredients in this Ayurvedic formula support normal male lower urinary tract function and prostate health.
- Cranberry Fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cranberry fruit was and is used by Native American communities for kidney and urinary health.
Modern research supports this traditional use. Cranberry fruit is recognized as a rich source of oligosaccharides and phytochemicals, including proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and triterpenoids. LifeSpa uses Flowens in its formula, which is a 100 percent all-natural, full-spectrum cranberry powder designed and optimized for men’s health.
In a clinical study, Flowens was shown to improve quality of life and support urinary tract function within the first month of supplementation. In this six-month double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, supplementation with 250 or 500 mg a day of Flowens resulted in improved uro-flow scores and urine storage measures related to prostate function in men older than 45 years. No side effects were reported.
2. African plum (Pygeum Africanum)
The use of pygeum dates back approximately 300 years, and extracts are a well-known and often-used alternative for supporting prostate health in many European countries.
Numerous placebo-controlled studies of large populations have demonstrated its efficacy and acceptability for supporting healthy urine flow and volume, reducing nocturnal voiding, and improving quality of life.
This may be due to pygeum’s beta-sitosterol, the inhibition of 5-alpha reductase (5AR), the enzyme that reduces testosterone to the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT); estrogenic, anti-androgenic, and anti-proliferative effects.
3. Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Saw palmetto extracts have been widely used in Europe and more recently in the United States as a natural way to help maintain normal prostate health and optimal lower urinary tract function.
A systematic review of 18 randomized controlled trials involving 2,939 men, and another analysis of 21 clinical trials involving 3,000 men support the safety and efficacy of saw palmetto extract preparations.
Animal and human clinical trials continue to support saw palmetto for prostate health. Mechanisms of action have not been fully elucidated, but there is evidence that saw palmetto inhibits 5AR.
Prosta-Clear HP features a high-quality extract to support the best outcomes.
Beta-sitosterol is a plant phytosterol commonly used to promote optimal lower urinary tract function in men.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study, 200 patients were supplemented with 20 mg of beta-sitosterol three times per day or a placebo. Significant improvements in urinary flow parameters were observed in the beta-sitosterol group only.
In a follow-up study, the beneficial effects of beta-sitosterol treatment were maintained for 18 months.
In a six-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 130 mg a day of beta-sitosterol resulted in significant improvements in patients’ quality of life, urinary flow rate, and residual volume compared to the placebo. A systematic review of clinical trials also supported the benefits of beta-sitosterol for lowering urinary tract function in men.
Zinc is highly concentrated in the prostate gland, and research shows that a lack of zinc may be associated with a reduced DNA damage and repair response in prostate tissue. Therefore, studies also show that zinc adequacy is vital for optimal prostate health, especially with advancing age.
In LifeSpa’s Prosta-Clear formula, zinc is provided as the highly absorbable Albion TRAACS zinc bisglycinate chelate.
6. Vitamin B6
Pyridoxal 5-phosphate (P5P) is the active form of vitamin B6. In a population-based prospective study of 525 men, researchers found that high vitamin B6 intake had an inverse association with prostate-related mortality.
If you try Prosta-Clear HP, let us know what you think!
6 thoughts on “Ayurveda for Prostate Health”
I thought tomatoes were a no no for pitta people. I guess the benefits of lycopene must be greater than the heating element of tomatoes. Can anyone explain why tomatoes are ok in this circumstance?
He has tomato on his list of things to avoid. Most tomatoes in the grocery stores are far from ripe. Fully sun-ripened tomatoes (like you’d get from your garden, or maybe a farmer’s market) that are well-cooked (stewed, for example) should be alright. However, for a vegetable tomatoes contain a high amount of sulfur aminos, which can be heating to the body and aggravate pitta in those who already have sufficient amounts. In those people who are already experiencing pitta problems, the sulfur amino acids can be handled improperly in the body and produce homocysteine problems, which leads to pitta-related cardiovascular problems, as well as liver and kidney disfunction.
Ripe tomatoes that have been diluted by other food I would guess are still perfectly fine. When prepared in the right way, the effects of their acids aren’t as potent. The small seeds and some chemicals in the tomato can trigger digestive distress (inflammation) in those already experiencing digestive problems, such as those with diverticular disease. Lycopene certainly would be considered a buffer, as it’s cooling, but only in ripe, sweet tomatoes.
Heirloom variety tomatoes, especially beef steak, are much better for the pitta type individual. Tomatillos are no-nos. Cherry and grape tomatoes are probably off the list for their acid content, and can worsen pitta problems in a number of other ways. If digestive inflammation is a concern for pitta people, avoidance of tomatoes and tomatillos is probably the best idea.
Maybe I was too thorough… but I hope this helps!
Looks like a good guide to me! Though I’d personally avoid mangoes, papaya, black pepper, and cinnamon while trying to reduce pitta. Cinnamon especially… any time I get heat or acid problems, cinnamon makes it way worse.
Autumn olive berries have 17 times more lycopene than tomatoes and are easy to brow in most parts of US. Where invasive, simply collect the berries from the overabundance of the plants.
By definition, I’m a pita. However, I love and eat everything on all the lists because I actually crave most of them when in season. This summer has been amazing for flavorful vegetables. I’m not doubting the the knowledge of Dr. D, who is amazing, but I further believe that, like wheat, one can overeat a food and then become sensitive to it or rather what’s in it. Why? One word: Monsanto and their “won’t affect you” poisons. They have poisoned the planet and now it’s unavoidable. I grew up on a farm in the 40’s/50’s when food allergies were unheard of.
What Dr.John recommends for other two body types prostate health ?