The bottom line? You are responsible for maintaining your health through the choices you make every day: what you eat, how much exercise you do, how you handle stress, what risk factors you allow yourself – like alcohol, the wrong foods, cigarettes, lack of exercise. The responsibility to maintain your good health as you get older ultimately rests with you.
If it seems like a lot of work to consciously make those positive choices every day, then consider putting habits in place that effectively make some of those daily choices for you. Then all you have to do is follow your habit.
Take food shopping for example. How and when do you shop? You are literate and smart. You read and care about your health, or you wouldn’t be here. You already know it’s not wise to shop when you are hungry. So don’t do it. Take the time to plan better, and have an option in place for when your plan falls through. Make it a habit to shop after you’ve had a meal, or at least have a snack available that doesn’t sabotage you.
When you are hungry, it’s so much easier to grab the first package of highly-processed deep-fried salty carbs you come across, than to think about buying the fresh ingredients to make a healthy snack when you get back home. So don’t go into the store hungry. Your back-up plan, your new habit, is to keep a protein bar, or baggie of mixed walnuts and almonds in the car, in your gym bag, and at work. The vegetable fats in the walnuts and almonds are a positive boost to your prostate health, and the protein helps satisfy hunger. So if you have to go grocery shopping after work, you can give yourself a little protein boost before you are subjected to the temptations of the grocery store.
And grocery stores are designed to tempt you, make no mistake about that. But you can recognize the strategy and have your own plan to counter the temptations. Grocery stores stock almost everything you need along the outside perimeter of the store, but make their money by getting you into those inner aisles. That’s where the highly processed packaged, canned and frozen products live.
You need some of the staples from those inner aisles, but try to stock up on these staples once a month. And use a list. If it’s not on your list, and it isn’t a great special, don’t buy it. Walk away. If you resist right there in the store, then you don’t have to resist again and again after that not-so-good-for-you item is back on the shelf at home.
Fruits and vegetables are your natural allies. Researchers at the University of San Francisco Medical Center found that men who ate 28 servings of vegetables per week had a reduced risk of prostate health problems compared to men who ate less than 14 servings per week. Cruciferous vegetables appear to be especially effective. Men who ate three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables per week had a 41 percent decreased risk of prostate health problems compared to men who ate less than one serving per week.
Learn which vegetables appear to offer the most benefits and stock up. There is a bountiful variety of these vegetables readily available. Reach for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cress, Chinese or napa cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, arugula, radishes, bok choy, turnip roots and greens, romanesco. Keep them on your grocery list and freshly available in your refrigerator. Get creative. Learn how to bake kale chips and try mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.
So shop smart. Educate yourself on prostate healthy foods, because it’s your responsibility to pursue wellness, and then shop smart:
Photo credit: © Ron Chapple