An enlarged prostate, while not necessarily dangerous or indicative of cancer, can be a problem for men. The enlargement can cause a wide range of urinary problems, from incontinence to dribbling to difficulty urinating. Because cells in enlarged prostates tend to have a low level of zinc, it is thought that eating foods rich in zinc can help shrink the prostate naturally and relieve symptoms.
Some of the best foods that have the highest levels of zinc include shellfish, especially oysters, which can contain as much as 25 mg or more of zinc per every 100 g. Certain grains can also contain good levels of zinc. Wheatgerm and wheat bran are both good choices, with 16 to 17 mg of zinc per 100 g. All-bran cereal is also a good choice. If you like beer, you’re in luck--brewer’s yeast has high levels of zinc, with as much per 100 g as wheatgerm. Pine nuts and pecans are also good choices. Many protein-rich foods are also rich in zinc, including ham, beef and lamb.
If none of the foods above appeal to you, or if you need additional choices, some foods have lower but still adequate levels of zinc. For example, liver has about 6 mg of zinc per 100 g. Cashew nuts have only a little less zinc than liver, and parmesan cheese has only a little less than the cashews. If you do not like shellfish, try regular fish, which tends to have about 3 mg of zinc per 100 g. Eggs have only 2 mg of zinc per 100 g, but are also a decent source, especially considering that the average person probably eats more eggs than cashew nuts, fish or liver.
Things to Avoid
Multivitamins containing zinc might sound like a great idea, but because the zinc compounds in the multivitamins are inorganic, they are actually much harder for your body to absorb, and the zinc that you take in can pass directly through your body without actually helping you with your prostate problems. If you are taking a calcium or iron supplement, or have a large amount of copper in your bloodstream, speak with your doctor to find out if they will inhibit zinc absorption. You should also avoid foods that make your prostate or bladder problems worse. Caffeinated drinks can be bad for an enlarged prostate, and drinking too much of any liquid at any one time can exacerbate your problems. Spread your liquid consumption throughout the day, and avoid drinking two hours before bed.