Healthy Heart also Means a Healthy Prostate Gland
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women and, interestingly enough, research has shown that a healthy heart also turns out to be a healthy prostate gland. Since heart disease is also the number one cause of death in men diagnosed with prostate cancer, if you become more heart healthy you may get a “twofer” effect. In other words, now you are doing more to prevent some of the leading causes of early death. In this article I will review some of the ways of reducing the risk of heart disease and possibly improve your prostate health as well.
Monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure
It is important to know your cholesterol level, your blood pressure as well as knowing the results of your PSA test, the screening blood test used to detect prostate cancer. Ideally your total cholesterol should be less than 200mg and your blood pressure less than 120/80.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight not only reduces the risk of getting cancer, but also the progression of cancer. Roughly a waist circumference of less than 35 inches is ideal and 35-39 inches is defined as overweight. If your waist circumference is greater than 40 inches, that is considered obese.
Regular exercise probably reduces the risk or affects of prostate cancer. Regular exercise does reduce your risk of numerous other cancers as well as heart disease. An added benefit of exercise is that it also reduces the risk of depression or recurrence of depression. Note that exercise can be anything from walking, climbing the stairs, swimming, treadmill workout or weight lifting.
Just cutting out the fat or reducing the carbs may not be the answer. It is best to lower your overall fat intake in order to maintain a healthy prostate. Studies suggest reducing your portion sizes so as to reduce the total caloric intake protects your heart and may prevent prostate cancer. The best is to lower your caloric intake as well as to participate in a regular exercise program.
Increase the fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other heart and cancer protective compounds. In the past there was an emphasis on increasing the lycopene consumption which is found in cooked tomatoes to prevent prostate cancer and to prevent heart disease. New research focuses on a variety of fruits and vegetables not just tomatoes.
Increase the omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids come from fish and are not only heart healthy but also prostate healthy as well. It seems that as few as two servings of baked or broiled fish a week can benefit your heart and your prostate gland.
Consume more plant estrogens from soy and flaxseed
Plant estrogens are found in high concentrations in soy and flaxseed products. Both of these products are health healthy and may reduce your total cholesterol levels. They are also prostate healthy. Soy protein is available in soybeans, tofu and soy milk.
Use heart and prostate healthy cooking oils
Cooking oils are high in monosaturated fat, high in natural vitamin E, high in omega-3 fatty acids, and lower in saturated and trans fat. These cooking oils are not only heart healthy but also seem to be prostate healthy. The healthy oils include soybean, canola, olive, and safflower.
Nuts make good nutrients
Most nuts are high in vitamins, antioxidants, low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat, and also contain some omega-3 fatty acids. Also, nuts are a great snack that gives you a sense of being full without getting too many calories.
Foods high in fiber not only lower your cholesterol but they also seem to reduce your risk of a variety of colon problems and may even be prostate healthy. Remember that if you increase your intake of fiber you should also increase your consumption of water to avoid constipation.
And finally adopt all other healthy life styles
For example, smoking not only increases your risk for many cancers but also has an impact on your heart as well. Smoking has been associated with a lower survival rate in men already diagnosed with many cancers, including prostate cancer.
Bottom line: Just keep in mind that heart healthy equals a healthy prostate gland. So be kind to your heart and you will be kind to your prostate gland as well.
Reprinted with permission from Neil Baum MD, neilbaum.com.
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