The prostate gland uses powerful hormones called the sex hormones, such as testosterone, converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT make the prostate cells enlarge, exposing you to the risk of developing conditions like prostatitis, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, and prostate cancer.
Drinks and foods that shrink the prostate gland have proven to have a significant impact on prostate health as they control the production of testosterone and other hormones. Research also shows that dairy and meat products might contribute to an enlarged prostate and cancer. That’s especially true if you don’t include enough vegetables on your diet.
Besides going on a diet, other natural remedies for an enlarged prostate include prostate drainage, which helps treat prostatitis and BPH conditions. Prostate drainage is like the advanced version of a digital rectal exam, which involves massaging portions of the prostate to drain all the trapped fluid.
How Do You Self Drain Your Prostate?
While some people find massaging their prostate unpleasant and painful to perform it themselves, others like to be more private. You can also ask your partner for help, but getting help from a healthcare provider is the best solution depending on your condition.
Finding your prostate is the first thing you need to do before starting to perform the massage. This walnut-sized organ in your rectum wraps around the urethra and sits below the bladder. For this reason, finding the prostate involves inserting a lubricated finger in the rectum and slightly pushing on the wall looking for a slight bulge.
To drain your prostate at home, start by applying enough lubricant on your finger and lay sideways with your feet bent to mimic a fetal position. Wearing gloves makes the insertion smoother, and it’s also a good idea to remain hygienic.
When in position, gently insert your lubricated finger in the anus while slowly pushing against the rectum’s walls. Most people need to insert their index finger halfway before touching the prostate, while others prefer to use their thumb. Either way, touching the prostate might produce a pleasurable sensation.
After applying for several seconds, slowly press the finger towards the opening, and you’ll feel a certain fluid coming out. At this point, you’ll get a sensation like you’re trying to urinate.
Foods That Shrink the Prostate Gland
Many men find relief from an enlarged prostate through dietary and lifestyle changes. Try these 12 foods in your diet and improve your prostate health.
Different peppers have unique nutritional profiles. Bell peppers comprise the highest amount of vitamin C compared to any other foods, reducing inflammation and swelling related to an enlarged prostate.
A high dose of vitamin C is also effective for curing infections and reduces tumors in prostate cancer patients.
Jalapeno peppers have high amounts of capsaicin, an ingredient that kills 80% of cancerous cells. However, you must eat as many as eight peppers every week to note these benefits, which may not be practical.
Nonetheless, adding several jalapeno peppers to your diet helps to maintain good prostate health.
Tomatoes’ vivid red colors come from lycopene, a strong antioxidant carotenoid that lowers the levels of blood antigen, a protein related to BPH and prostate inflammation.
According to a Havard study, two servings of tomato sauce weekly cuts down the prostate cancer risk by 23% compared to people who rarely eat tomato-based products.
A separate study also shows that 15mg of lycopene daily slows the progression of BPH. However, the body doesn’t easily extract lycopene from fresh tomatoes, so processed or cooked tomatoes such as pasta sauces and puree are the best. Cooking breaks down the cell walls and exposes lycopene for the body to absorb.
3. Green Tea
Green tea contains a rich family of antioxidants known as catechins. A study found that BPH patients who use 500mg of green tea daily experience decreased inflammation, improved urine flow, and improved quality of life.
Another study also found that drinking over five green teacups daily reduces the risk of getting prostate cancer as it decreases the levels of insulin-like growth factors. However, you must brew the green tea leaves for over 5 minutes to unleash their healthy compounds.
Garlic, leeks, and onions contain protective compounds known as alliums. Garlic has mainly been medically used for centuries to heal a range of conditions, from a weak immune system to high blood pressure. In recent studies, garlic has proven useful in relieving UTIs and lowers the risk of BPH.
According to a study comparing the diets of 2800+ men, people who eat garlic often reduce their risk of getting BPH by 28%. A separate Chinese study also found that men who consumed at least 10g of allium foods daily lower prostate cancer risk by half.
While most people mistake this yellow-green fruit for a vegetable, avocados are among the best foods that shrink your prostate. Avocados contain a high amount of beta-sitosterol, a compound known for reducing BPH-associated symptoms.
Men who take beta-sitosterol supplements have less residual urine and better urinary flow. However, the effectiveness and safety of beta-sitosterol supplements haven’t been proven, warns the Mayo Clinic.
Nonetheless, you can consume plant-based beta-sitosterol contained in foods like avocados, pecans, and wheat germ.
As a vegetable, broccoli’s many complex compounds make it an excellent food for prostate enlargement and protecting people from cancer.
Several studies also suggest there’s a link between a lower risk of prostate cancer and the number of cruciferous vegetables you eat. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale.
While the reasons are still unclear, researchers propose that these vegetables contain phytochemicals like sulforaphane. These chemical compounds selectively target and kill cancerous cells without affecting healthy prostate cells.
7. Saw Palmetto
A palm-like shrub originating from North America, the Saw palmetto plant has a long history in treating BPH. Its fruit is rich in phytosterols and fatty acids, which are believed to reduce DHT and testosterone levels, making it excellent for your enlarged prostate diet .
Mix a teaspoon of these dark berries with hot water and wait for five minutes before drinking the mixture twice daily. Some men also find saw palmetto supplements an easier and more effective way of consuming the dose consistently.
8. Soy-Based Foods
Foods rich in soy like tempeh, soya milk, edamame beans, and tofu are dietary staples in many Asian cuisines, which explains why there are lower prostate cancer rates in the continent.
Soya is a great source of isoflavones, namely daidzein and genistein, which function similarly to the estrogen hormone.
According to scientific studies, genistein is known for killing cancer cells and enhancing cancer cells’ radiation. Population studies have also proven a strong correlation between high soy intake and low prostate cancer. However, consuming high amounts of soya can reduce hormone levels.
9. Oily Fish
Oily freshwater fish like mackerel, sardines, trout, herring, and salmon are rich in omega-three fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. A recent study also found that foods rich in fatty acids help prevent prostate cancer cells’ growth.
The research also suggests that deficiency of fatty acids in your body is among the major causes of prostate cancer and other related problems.
Typical western diets have an imbalance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 is a pro-inflammatory compound, which is also essential in protecting the body from injury and infection. However, high amounts of Omega 6 can harm the body, and hence the need for anti-inflammatory Omega 3s to maintain the balance. Try eating two portions of fish weekly, with at least one being oily.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
If you’re looking for foods that shrink prostate glands, then pumpkin seeds should be on top of your list. Zinc is the main compound in pumpkin seeds, which has proven helpful as 75% of men suffering from enlarged prostate have reduced zinc levels in their bodies.
Men lose zinc with every emission of semen, so they need greater zinc than women. The deficiency of zinc often causes an enlarged and inflamed prostate, which explains why men who have prostatitis have up to 90% lower levels of zinc than healthy ones.
Nuts make some of the best snacks today. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and Vitamin E, which makes them anti-cancer superfoods. Selenium helps boost testosterone levels, strengthen the immune system, and improve sperm quality, while vitamin E helps maintain healthy cell membranes.
According to research, selenium’s daily intake lowers prostate cancer risk by 63%, lung cancer by 46%, and colon cancer by 58%. Fortunately, you only need two to four raw nuts daily to get enough minerals and vitamins to maintain the health of your prostate. However, cooking them damages the delicate mineral content.
12. Pomegranate Juice
Like red wine, pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and are among the best natural remedies for enlarged prostate. This miracle fruit also helps to avoid chronic illnesses associated with oxidative stress.
The National Cancer Institute also believes that pomegranate juice and its bioactive components can hinder prostate cancer cells’ growth. You can consider drinking pomegranate juice from your local grocery or add the seeds to your homemade salad dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the main cause of prostate enlargement remains unknown, there are several factors linked to the condition. These factors include aging, change in testosterone levels, and testicle cells’ growth, encouraging the gland to grow.
Though conditions resulting in an enlarged prostate like BPH don’t have a cure, certain treatments help reduce the symptoms and discomfort. However, the treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the amount of pain they’re causing. That means the more irritating the symptoms get, the more aggressive the treatment.
Kegel exercises are the best for men who suffer from an enlarged prostate as it strengthens your pelvic floor and muscles to easily control your urination patterns. These aerobic exercises can also help you lose a few extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
When left untreated, an enlarged prostate can result in sexual complications in men. That might include the inability to get and maintain an erection ( erectile dysfunction), decreased sexual satisfaction, and reduced sex drive.
Hibiscus tea and green tea are the top drinks for prostate health. These tea types have potent antioxidants, and studies show that green tea is among the foods that shrink prostate glands and slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.
A healthy, enlarged prostate diet is about more than eating good foods. That means drinking and eating food with compounds that reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy balance of sex hormones in the body. That also means avoiding certain foods like dairy, red meat, alcohol, sodium, caffeine, and others that affect your prostate health.