Skip to main content

Veggies, seeds, and more: These are the best foods for prostate health (and what to avoid)

Include these important foods in your diet

enginakyurt / Shutterstock

Although it may not be a topic of conversation around the dinner table or with your buddies at work, taking care of your prostate health shouldn’t be something you defer until it becomes a problem. Prostate problems are extremely common after the age of fifty. For example, according to the National Institutes of Health, 50% of men over the age of 50 have benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate, a condition that can lead to thickening of the bladder wall, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.

Even if your 50s are decades away, younger men can take strides to prevent and delay prostate enlargement by consuming foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants known to support prostate health. These types of foods reduce inflammation, improve circulation, minimize oxidative damage, and support healthy hormone production, helping protect against benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Keep reading to find out what the best foods for prostate health are and to start taking control of your future health.

Salmon entree
CA Creative / Unsplash

Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, trout, and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and can slow the progression of prostate enlargement. There is even some evidence pointing to the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce tumor size in cases of prostate cancer.

fresh vine ripe tomatoes.
Tom Hermans / Unsplash


Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, a carotenoid that protects your cells against oxidative damage from free radicals. Lycopene has been found to slow the progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia and lower levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of prostatic inflammation and prostate cancer risk. The absorption of lycopene is enhanced by healthy fats, so pair your tomato consumption with avocado, nuts, fatty fish, or olive oil to maximize the benefits.

Other good dietary sources of lycopene include watermelon, pink grapefruit, papaya, and guava. Tomatoes also contain selenium, another mineral associated with improved prostate health and function. One cup of tomatoes has 55mg (61% RDI) of vitamin C.

Soy tofu
Mikhailov Studio / Shutterstock


Soy gets a bad rap sometimes because of the phytoestrogens it contains, but these very compounds also make it particularly protective against prostate problems, as they confer antioxidant properties and may help regulate hormone levels and healthy cell turnover. For example, isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, have been shown to potentially lower the risk of prostate cancer by 20%. These compounds are also found in some legumes, such as beans and lentils. Consider swapping an animal protein for tofu, tempeh, or legumes to support prostate health.

Blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries in the same container
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay


All berries are loaded with antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Berries may also help improve overall cardiovascular health, which is important for prostate health.

Broccoli in a bowl
Cats Coming / Pexels


Broccoli is often touted as the king when it comes to the healthiest vegetables. Along with other cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, broccoli is packed with vitamin C. One cup of broccoli provides 81 mg of vitamin C, and because broccoli is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie food, every 200-calorie portion provides an incredible 525 mg or 583% of the RDI of vitamin C. Brussels sprouts are slightly higher in calories but also packed with vitamin C.

Each cup of Brussels sprouts contains 107% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Cruciferous vegetables are also good sources of fiber, folate, and E and K. Research shows that compounds in these vegetables, known as glucosinolates, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, along with the brain, blood, bone, colon, gastric, liver, lung, oral, and pancreatic cancers, among others. Cruciferous vegetables can be enjoyed steamed, roasted, grilled, chopped in salads, or seasoned lightly and then cooked in an air fryer.

Tumeric and gonger spices
Ajale / Pixabay


This spice contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, potentially slowing down cancer growth. Curcumin may help reduce the risk of prostate health issues and may also help improve urinary flow in men with BPH.

Loose leaf green tea.
Appledeng / Pixabay

Green tea

Green tea is often called a superfood, with evidence demonstrating numerous health benefits ranging from improving memory and increasing metabolism to reducing the risk of cancer. In fact, research has found an inverse relationship between green tea consumption and prostate cancer risk, such that cancer risk drops in a linear fashion for every cup of green tea consumed per day.

Many of the benefits of green tea are due to the antioxidants and polyphenols it contains, which reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system and cellular health. For example, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a particularly potent anti-inflammatory compound in green tea, helps protect the fatty acids in your cells from oxidative damage and inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Consider swapping your morning cup of coffee for green tea or adding a cup in the mid-morning for a boost of energy.

Nuts and seeds.
RoDobby / Pixabay

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds can be beneficial for prostate health due to their healthy, anti-inflammatory fats, minerals, and vitamins. Pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds are considered to be the most potent prostate protectors, mainly due to their high zinc content.

Zinc has been found to reduce the risk of prostate enlargement as well as prostate cancer. Seeds and nuts, such as walnuts, also have vitamin E, an antioxidant that can reduce free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and improve immune function. Try adding seeds and nuts to yogurt, breakfast cereal, salads, or homemade protein balls.

Reds bell pepper on a cutting board
Westend61 / Getty Images

Bell peppers

Bell peppers are one of the richest sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. It also supports the immune system and reduces systemic inflammation. Red, yellow, and orange peppers are particularly high in vitamin C; plus, they contain vitamin A, beta-carotene, and lycopene, which help regulate inflammation by suppressing pro-inflammatory T-helper cells and suppressing the expression of genes for different inflammatory cytokines.

A serving of assorted mushrooms.
Atsushi Hirao / Shutterstock

Asian mushrooms

Studies have found that consumption of Asian mushrooms, such as shiitakes, is inversely associated with prostate cancer risk. Try sautéing mushrooms in stir-fries, adding them raw to salads, or roasting or grilling them to bring out their earthy flavor.

Avocado in someone's hand.
Louis Hansel / Unsplash


If you’re an avocado toast lover or love avocado on your salads or burgers, you’re in luck. This nutritious fruit is packed with anti-inflammatory healthy fats, antioxidant vitamin E, fiber, and beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol said to minimize the urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Avocados are filling and versatile, useful in everything from savory dishes to healthy desserts.

Pomegranate Juice.
Alexander Mils / Unsplash

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranates have jewel-like seeds packed with antioxidant-rich juice. There is even some evidence to suggest pomegranate juice may inhibit tumor growth in prostate cancer.

Burger and fries
Johnathan Borba / Pexels

Foods to avoid if you want to eat for proper prostate health

Now that you know what you should eat, what should you avoid? Regularly consuming unhealthy foods can make any symptoms you may be experiencing worse and lead to other issues. So, in addition to adding the aforementioned foods to your grocery list, try to keep the following foods to a minimum.

  • Sugary foods
  • Red meat and processed meats
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Alcohol
  • Foods high in sodium
  • Fried foods

Editors' Recommendations

Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
High protein fast food for a busy day: These picks won’t kill your fitness goals
You can eat healthy on the go with these high protein fast food options
Sankt-Petersburg/Russia - July 21 2019: McDonald’s worker holding bag of fast food. Hand with a paper bag through the window of mcdonalds car drive thru service.

Whether it's your home life or work life, food choices tend to be the last thing on our minds during ultra-busy weeks. Despite our best efforts to eat at home as much as possible, we all find ourselves looking for something fast and prepared from time to time. While fast food certainly shouldn't be an everyday event, many fast food chains offer healthy, high protein options that are great for when you're in a pinch. Knowing what to order when at a fast food chain can help you keep on track with your fitness goals without much thought at all. Consider these delicious 5 options for high protein fast food on your next busy day.

Drive-thru high protein fast food

Read more
Include these 10 foods high in b1 in your diet to reap the benefits of thiamine
Get your vitamin B1 from these ten healthy foods
seaweed salad wakame with avocado on white square plate with chopsticks

A nutrient-dense diet plays a pivotal role in your overall health and wellness. You’ve probably heard about the importance of the B vitamins. Thiamine is one of these B vitamins, and your body can’t produce it, so you have to get it from foods. Certain foods are packed with thiamine and provide all the benefits, from protecting your eyes to promoting brain health. Here are the ten foods high in thiamine to include in your balanced diet.
What is thiamine?

Thiamine is also called vitamin B1 and it’s one of the eight essential water-soluble B vitamins found in both plant and animal foods. Unlike vitamin D and some other nutrients, it’s fairly easy to obtain enough thiamine from foods, especially if you’re consuming enough calories and a balanced diet. Your body stores thiamine in the liver for up to 20 days at a time. Thiamine-rich foods include certain whole grains, green vegetables like asparagus, legumes like mung beans and peas, seeds, and fish. Lots of food manufacturers also add thiamine to food products like cereal via fortification. You can also find B complex or B1 supplements.

Read more
Do you need intra workout carbs?
Will intra workout carbs boost your fitness routine?
Caucasian muscular man using pull down machine in the gym, weight lifting workout.

Nutrition is one of the most important components to accompany your workout plan -- regardless of your fitness goals. Yet, there are many different nutritional approaches to try, which can make it challenging to know the best plan for you. Some athletes try intra workout carbs to help fuel their workouts, helping to replenish muscle glycogen for energy. But are intra workout carbs the best strategy for everyone? Should you give it a whirl? Let's dive into this fitness trend and who should consider giving it a try.

What are intra workout carbs?

Read more