What do Stooges, Amigos and Musketeers have in common? If you said they all come in threes, you nailed it!
But what about adding watermelon to the mix? What does the number three have to do with this juicy fruit? Turns out there can be THREE amazing benefits of eating watermelon: A healthy sex life, a cancer-free prostate, and straight-up deliciousness!
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland located in front of the rectum and between the bladder and penis. It controls things like your pee flow and the volume of your ejaculate. The prostate grows naturally as men age, and for most guys, this isn’t a problem. But once you hit 40, it’s time to start paying attention.
After age 40 the prostate can become inflamed, grow, block urine flow, or become cancerous. In fact, prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men, with one in seven diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. That’s why it’s so important for guys older than 40 to ask their doctors about getting a blood test and digital rectal examination. This is how prostate cancer screening is done. After all, if detected and treated in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving prostate cancer are greatly increased.
Signs and symptoms
With painful ejaculation among the symptoms of prostate cancer, the disease can put a damper on your sex life. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Urgent need to urinate
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Inability to urinate or difficulty starting or stopping urine flow
- Blood in the urine or semen
It’s important to note that symptoms aren’t always present — especially in the early stages of prostate cancer — which is another reason to talk to your doctor if you’re over 40.
An ounce of prevention…
…is worth a pound of cure, as they say, and healthy eating is one example of how prostate cancer may be prevented and, in turn, how you can help keep your sex life humming along. According to Prostate Cancer Canada, a diet high in red meat or full-fat dairy products, and low in fruits and vegetables, seems to increase the risk of the disease. So there’s one cancer-preventing tip already: Out with the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and meat-lovers pizza, and in with the apples and asparagus!
Four more prostate-protecting foods
Watermelon: High in vitamins A and C, and free of fat and salt, watermelon is a delicious healthy food choice regardless of your age. It also happens to be an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that research suggests may help lower prostate cancer risk. There’s as much as 9 milligrams of lycopene in small slice of watermelon — adults should aim to consume about that much a day — and there’s way more watermelon than that in this hassle-free snack recipe. Other lycopene-rich foods include tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, guava, and papaya.
Salmon: This delicious and versatile fish joins tuna, herring, sardines and lake trout in being packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. So fire up the oven and try this awesome easy recipe for baked salmon.
Carrots: A 2014 study found that eating more carrots produced “a significantly decreased risk of prostate cancer.” This versatile and easy-to-prepare veggie was made for dipping — say, in some — and combines deliciously with salmon in this super-easy recipe.
Turmeric: This savoury spice contains curcumin, a compound that may suppress the spread of prostate cancer. Turmeric sure doesn’t suppress flavour, however, and is especially delicious when sprinkled on corn on the cob.
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.