Prostate cancer is the second most common cancers in men. The prostate gland is just below the bladder which is responsible for secreting a thin, milky substance that protects the sperm. Lack of this fluid in the body can lead to prostate problems (a severe problem for men). Hence, you should take care of some essential things to maintain a healthy prostate.
Yoga and Breathing
Yoga which involves holding poses for short periods is very useful in helping prostate health. The breathing technique Kapalabhati, which involves forceful exhalation, has also shown great promise in helping men who may be facing initial symptoms of prostate issues. A Harvard even backs the use of yoga for prostate health published study on how it helped improve symptoms in men who were suffering from Prostate cancer. Holding specific yoga poses tenses and relaxes the body, allowing for proper blood flow, expelling of wastes, etc.
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Rich in the antioxidant called ECGC (EpigalloCatechin-3-Gallate), green tea can reduce inflammation in the prostate gland (it relieves pressure on the urinary system too). It helps men suffering from symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH (enlarged prostate).
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20-25 pumpkin seeds, lightly roasted, may be taken daily by men who want to avoid/correct prostate issues. The zinc in the seeds is an essential mineral for prostate health, and several of us are missing it in our modern diet.
Ashwini Mudra or Kegel Exercises
Worth mentioning separately, the name in Ayurveda is Ashwini Mudra. It involves pulling in the anal sphincter and releasing it. The reason for the enlargement of the prostate gland is often its disuse. At a later stage, this condition can degenerate into cancer. This mudra helps to massage the prostate by giving it a flex-and-release action. Just five minutes a day, done twice – once after emptying the bowels in the morning and the other in the evening, before a heavy meal, is sufficient.
Bottle gourd Juice (Lauki)
When this is taken with ¼ teaspoon of pepper and a few tulsi leaves, is suggested in Ayurveda to help support prostate health. It is a rich source of Vitamin C, K and even calcium. A small glass of juice, 150 ml or so, is enough for this purpose. Make sure to peel and clean the lauki before juicing and ensure that you drink it within five to ten minutes of making it since it tends to oxidise quite quickly. If this happens, it will lose a lot of its anti-oxidant properties. Adding lauki to your regular diet, by way of a vegetable is also advised.
(With inputs from Mahesh Jayaraman, Co-Founder of the online health clinic Sepalika.com. Certified in Functional Family Nutrition from Washington State University and holds a Diploma in Ayurvedic Lifestyle & Acupressure).
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