Eat This Type Of Fruit To Protect Your Prostate

Eating foods that fuel our body with essential nutrients can help keep our organs in good health, including those within the body's reproductive system. Since 2014, the number of new prostate cancer cases has grown about 3% annually overall, reports the American Cancer Society. Eating one particular fruit group, however, may offer some degree of protection against prostate cancer as well as other conditions affecting the prostate.

Weighing approximately 1 ounce, the prostate can be found below the bladder and plays an important role in the male reproductive system, according to (via National Library of Medicine). With the help of the testicles and other glands, the prostate takes sperm and other fluids and creates semen. The organ's muscle contractions also facilitate the movement of semen into the urethra during ejaculation. Just like any other organ in the body, the prostate is vulnerable to disease. Although experts cannot pinpoint the exact cause of prostate cancer, eating citrus fruits may support the reproductive organ's health.

Citrus fruit is high in cancer-fighting flavonoids

The cancer-fighting properties of citrus fruits may be due to their high flavonoid content. Flavonoids are natural compounds that lessen inflammation and protect against cell damage from free radicals, two factors believed to contribute to cancer development, explains the Cleveland Clinic. The peels of citrus fruits are particularly rich in flavonoids. In a 2013 study published in Food & Function, researchers used mice to examine the effects of citrus fruit peel extract on human prostate tumor cells. Decreases in tumor size and volume were observed in connection with the use of the extract when injected and taken orally. The study team deemed the extract, called Gold Lotion (GL), as a potentially viable anti-cancer agent in the treatment of prostate cancer.

But what about human subjects? Researchers from a 2010 longitudinal study published in the International Journal of Cancer involving more than 42,400 Japanese adults found that individuals who ate citrus on a daily basis stood at a lower risk for cancers, particularly pancreatic and prostate cancer. A reduction in overall cancer risk was particularly prominent in adults who regularly consumed citrus as well as 1 or more cups of green tea daily.

Citrus fruit may help protect against prostatitis

Bring on the lemons, limes, and fresh-squeezed OJ! Experts at Urology of Greater Atlanta (UGA) note that, in addition to potentially protecting against prostate cancer, citrus fruit may also ward off other prostate-related conditions like prostatitis. Mostly impacting men between the ages of 30 and 50, prostatitis causes individuals to experience painful prostate inflammation. The condition can manifest in many forms including acute prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, and prostatitis flare-ups.

While alcohol and spicy foods may make things worse, fibrous foods and those containing healthy fats can offer prostate protection. Citrus fruit can be especially helpful when it comes to prostatitis symptom relief because they're packed with vitamin C, particularly oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. 

In addition to eating foods that support prostate health, be sure to talk to your doctor about what age is best to start receiving routine prostate cancer screenings. For most men, this is suggested starting at age 55, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Depending on risk level, however, screenings may be suggested as early as age 40.