Because of its size (it is approximately the size and shape of a walnut) it is easy to disregard. Its position in the male anatomy, sitting conveniently against the rectum, lends further to its lowly reputation. And the very fact that it can be easily checked by nothing more sophisticated than the examining finger of a doctor further causes it to lose credibility. But for all its lowly credentials, it remains an amazing piece of engineering.
The prostate has been carefully designed with a small channel through the center which forms, a comfortable collar around the outflow-neck of the bladder. Comfortable, that is, as long as this tiny bit of anatomy is taken into consideration when the lifestyle is being established. You see the prostate can be, and probably will be, affected by the lifestyles of most males. And if it is affected by the lifestyle while this organ is growing and maturing during the spring of a young man's life, it will certainly in turn affect the lifestyle when a man reaches the autumn of his years.
By virtue of its location, if the prostate becomes dysfunctional, real problems invariably develop. Swelling is the most common manifestation of a malfunctioning prostate. With swelling come problems with urination and discomfort in the rectum, both painful consequences of a lifestyle that has been far less than kind to this small organ. Thus the lowly prostate looms up ever larger in the minds of men as they pass through the portals of middle age. It is then that yesterday's naive boast "it will never happen to me" comes back to haunt with the sobering reality "it is happening." It doesn't take long to live a lifetime.
By age 60, about half of all men will have developed some enlargement of the prostate, by 80, almost all. This can make them rise several times each night to urinate, and may eventually result in acute urinary retention and pain.
Massage of the prostate can afford a great deal of relief and can postpone surgery, and in some cases, prevent it.
Just as the thyroid requires iodine and the bone marrow must have iron, the prostate cannot function properly without adequate zinc. The prostate gland contains more zinc than any other organ in the body.
~Drawn from www.ucheepines.org Media Statement, 12 April 2007
Zinc is a trace metal needed in only very small amounts, but a deficiency can lead to major medical problems. About 10-14 milligrams are the recommended daily allotment, and most people on a natural diet will receive sufficient zinc from their food.
As used by the body, zinc is found in high concentration in sperm and seminal fluid. The brain must also have adequate zinc in order to keep the thoughts organized and balanced.
Excessive sexual activity may lead to depletion of zinc stores which may be followed by both prostatic disease and neurologic and mental disorders, all functions which depend on adequate availability of zinc.
Many prostate patients who have taken high zinc foods or zinc supplements, report improvement.
Zinc is almost non-existent in refined, processed foods. If the soil is low in zinc, fruits and vegetables grown on it will also be deficient. Zinc-rich foods include the following: nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat bran, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, onions, molasses, peas, beans, lentils, and gelatin.1
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Some are encased in a yellow-white husk, although some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells.
Subtly sweet and nutty with a malleable, chewy texture, the roasted seeds from inside your pumpkin are one of the most nutritious and flavorful seeds around.
Evidence shows that pumpkin seeds have a variety of health benefits of which promoting prostate health is well known. Other less known benefits of this humble seed are increased bone mineral density, anti-inflammatory benefits in arthritis, lowering blood cholesterol, are a good source of minerals, protein and monounsaturated fat.
A few quick serving ideas: Add pumpkin seeds to sautéed vegetables. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads. Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing. Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal. Add pumpkin seeds to your oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe. Next time you make burgers add some ground pumpkin seeds.2
1 www.ucheepines.org Media Statement, 12 April 2007
Recipe of the Month
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
1 kg cooked pumpkin
200g pumpkin seeds
3 cloves garlic
2 T Olive oil
400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
salt to taste
Roast seeds in oil until they have begun to pop, being careful not to burn them. Blend with the pumpkin, tomatoes and peeled garlic until smooth. Add salt. Serve warm with corn chips or fresh vegetables, or cool and use as a spread.