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I have been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Can nutrition help ?

An enlarged prostate is, at least in part, linked to hormonal imbalance, including oestrogen dominance and testosterone deficiency. These can leave the prostate inflamed.

The good news is that there are quite a few substances around that can help with this condition. Zinc (15mg a day) and vitamin E (400mg a day) regulate hormonal balance in the body. Essential fatty acids from fish or flax seed oil act as a natural anti-inflammatory. The herb saw palmetto is well known as a teatment for prostate problems, as are juniper berries and another herb, Pygeum africanum. Some herbal supplements containt a combination of these. An enlarged prostate has also been link to exposure to oestrogen-like chemicals such as those in some pesticides and plastics. So try to eat organic whenever possible, and avoid plastic packaging, microwaving in plastic dhishes and allowing clingfilm to touch the surface of stored foods. Natural plant substances found in lentils and soya can help counteract these oestrogen-like chemicals, so be sure to add these to your menus.

Otherwise, go for a sensible overall diet: avoid meat and milk, due to their hormone content; keep saturated fats very low; and eat wholegrains such as rye, good proteins such as tofu and other soya products, and plenty of fruit and vegetables which are high in the antioxidant vitamins A and C - sweet potatoes, carrots, watercress, broccoli, melon, pumpkin, tomatoes, cabbage, courgettes, apricots, cauliflower, lemons, mangoes, peppers, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit and kiwi fruits, among a host of others.

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