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Feel empowered: Lifestyle changes to support benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

 Feel empowered: Lifestyle changes to support benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Navigating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate can be challenging. For many, BPH can trigger frustration, embarrassment, and anxiety. It can even create barriers between loved ones and lead to avoiding medical examinations.
The natural ageing process is often behind BPH, which explains its prevalence in men over 50. Despite this, there are still many lifestyle interventions to help manage enlarged prostate symptoms. These small tweaks and habit changes can improve your quality of life and empower you to take control of your health.

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland located just below the bladder. As you age, it’s normal for the prostate to grow in size. In some cases, however, it can increase so much that it causes benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As it enlarges, the prostate presses against and pinches the urethra, leading to the urinary issues seen in BPH.
The symptoms of BPH include:

  • Have a weak or slow urine flow that starts and stops

  • Dribbling at the end of urination

  • A sudden urge to pass urine

  • Passing more urine during the day

  • Inability to fully empty the bladder

  • Frequent urination at night (nocturia)

If you’ve noticed these changes, rest assured, you’re not alone. More than 1 in 3 men over 50 have enlarged prostate symptoms, making it a common condition associated with ageing (1).
Benign prostatic hyperplasia isn’t usually serious and doesn’t increase your risk of developing other prostate concerns (that’s why it’s called ‘benign’). Still, the urinary issues linked to BPH can often affect your quality of life, self-esteem, and emotional health, so getting enough support is essential. 

Lifestyle changes for BPH

If you’re finding the symptoms of an enlarged prostate challenging, try not to worry. In most cases, simple lifestyle changes can help enormously.

Adopt a Mediterranean style diet

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is crucial for managing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and supporting the rest of your body as you age.
Many experts believe the typical Western diet, which is high in saturated fat, refined sugars, and ultra-processed foods (UFPs), may contribute to poor prostate health. And this isn’t surprising. Most recently, the British Medical Journal published a study highlighting the relationship between UFPs and adverse health outcomes (2).
When it comes to supporting prostate health, the Mediterranean diet – naturally rich in plant foods and micronutrients – offers incredible nourishment and protection (3). Studies suggest men who consume colourful fruits and vegetables regularly, which underpins this age-old way of eating, are much less likely to develop prostate concerns (4).
Aside from celebrating plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, the Mediterranean diet also centres around omega 3 rich oily fish (around two portions per week, to be precise), plenty of herbs and spices, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, and a small amount of red meat occasionally.
A typical Mediterranean diet also generally includes specific foods known to support prostate health, like cooked tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant known to support prostate gland cells in the body.
Berries are another staple of the Mediterranean diet. Like tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage that may otherwise impact prostate health. 
Explore more about prostate health and diet here.

Best vitamins for prostate health

Besides adopting a Mediterranean-inspired diet, you may also want to incorporate the following nutrients for targeted prostate support.

  • Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone, fertility, and reproduction. It also helps protect cells from oxidative damage. High levels of stress, caffeine, smoking, and drinking can deplete zinc levels in the body. Meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains, eggs, cacao powder, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of zinc.

  • Vitamin D3 plays a critical role in immune function, which supports many areas of men’s health. The best way to synthesise vitamin D3 is from direct sunlight. However, this isn’t always possible in winter, so the NHS recommends supplementing with 10µg from October to March. You can also find small amounts in meat, oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods.

  • Beta-sitosterol is a sterol found in almost all plants and often recommended for mature men. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are naturally rich in beta-sitosterol.

  • Quercetin is a widely researched bioflavonoid and remains a popular choice for men’s health. Good sources include apples, red onions, parsley, sage, tea, red wine, blueberries and dark cherries.

Explore our range of expert nutritional formulas for men aged 50 and above here.

Avoid common culprits

Of course, eating for prostate health doesn’t just mean following a balanced, whole food diet; it also means avoiding certain foods and substances that can exacerbate BPH.

Red meat

Red meat contains high levels of saturated fat, which can aggravate BPH symptoms and worsen overall health outcomes. Studies suggest reducing red meat consumption can positively impact prostate growth and muscle tone (5).
Alongside reducing red meat, it’s also worth watching your processed meat intake, as it has been associated with poor prostate health (6).


Caffeine is a well-known diuretic that increases how much, how often, and how urgently you need to urinate. If you’re struggling with BPH and urinary symptoms, it’s worth reducing or eliminating your caffeine consumption. Chicory ‘coffee’ and herbal teas are great caffeine-free options. 

Dairy products

Consuming large quantities of dairy may also affect your prostate health, so try to limit your dairy consumption (7). Dairy alternatives like almond milk or coconut yoghurt can help reduce your intake.


Research continues to highlight how excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect various body systems, including the prostate (8). Curbing your intake is one of the best ways to support your prostate health.
You can read more about the ten worst foods for prostate health here.


Exercise is critical for good health – and many of its benefits extend to supporting your prostate. Evidence suggests a few hours of movement every week can keep symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in check.
One study found that active men were 13% less likely to report nocturia (frequent urination at night) and 34% less likely to report severe nocturia compared with men who did no physical activity (9).
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate movement most days of the week. Activities like walking, swimming, and running are excellent choices. However, you may want to avoid exercises that involve sitting for long periods, such as cycling or rowing, as it could put unnecessary pressure on your enlarged prostate.
Learn more about prostate health and exercise here.

Stress management

Many men with benign prostatic hyperplasia often find the condition hugely stressful – and it’s not surprising. Night-time urination can disrupt sleep, sapping energy and causing emotional reactivity the following day, while urinary urgency can trigger anxiety while out and about.
Yet, it’s also true that stress may exacerbate BPH symptoms, perpetuating a vicious cycle. All this is to say that finding effective stress management techniques is essential as you age.
Practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress levels, as can engaging in hobbies or activities. Everyone is different, so find what works best for you and your lifestyle. Just make it a priority.
For more inspiration, read our favourite self-care rituals to help you relax and unwind here.

Sleep hygiene

Quality sleep is vital for good health and wellbeing, including managing BPH symptoms. And yet, frustratingly, nocturia (frequent urination at night) can often prevent you from getting sufficient rest. 
Aside from following basic sleep hygiene principles – maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and disconnecting from electronics before bedtime – refrain from drinking any liquid a couple of hours before bedtime and avoid sipping water throughout the night. Reducing caffeine and alcohol can also help.
Make an effort to use the bathroom just before bed, too. You may even want to try the double-voiding technique. Go to the loo, take a short break (cleanse your face, for instance), and then use the loo again.
Read more about supporting your sleep hygiene on our dedicated Sleep Health Hub.

Avoid smoking

Beyond dietary and lifestyle changes, quitting smoking is also essential for those with BPH. We understand that giving up can be exceptionally challenging, but it’s entirely possible with the proper guidance. A cigarette-free life can significantly improve your symptoms and support your overall health.
For more help and advice on smoking cessation, have a chat with your healthcare professional or visit the NHS website.

Seek support

If you experience any signs of urinary discomfort, such as nocturia (frequent urination at night), a sensation of incomplete bladder emptying, or a weakened or interrupted urine stream, it’s important to consult your doctor for medical advice. They can help determine if you have benign prostatic hyperplasia or another prostate condition that may need prompt medical intervention.
Besides consulting your doctor, you may also want to lean on your loved ones. Although we recognise discussing enlarged prostate symptoms with your partner and family members isn’t always easy, they can be valuable sources of comfort and support.
If you’re feeling apprehensive about broaching the conversation with your partner, don’t worry. We have plenty of tips here.
Of course, if you need further guidance, you can always seek support from a Pharmacist or contact our expert Nutrition Advice team, who are on hand to offer confidential guidance and support. 

Want to find out more?

Living with an enlarged prostate doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to discomfort and limitations. As we’ve outlined, simple adjustments to your lifestyle can support your health and improve your symptoms. Of course, always keep your doctor in the loop if you’re struggling with BPH. 
Finally, please reach out to our team of expert Nutrition Advisors, who are on hand to provide free, confidential advice via email, phone, and Live Chat* if you have any questions. You can also read more about supporting your prostate health on Nutrition Buzz.
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  1. NHS Choices (2019). Prostate problems. [online] NHS. Available at:

  2. ., Ultra-processed food exposure and adverse health outcomes: umbrella review of epidemiological meta-analyses. BMJ. [online] 384, e077310.

  3. ., Relationship between Dietary Patterns with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Erectile Dysfunction: A Collaborative Review. Nutrients. ;13(11):4148.

  4. ScienceDaily. (2023). Mediterranean diet the best prevention against prostate... [online] Available at:

  5. ., Relationship between Dietary Patterns with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Nutrients. ;13(11):4148.

  6. ., Association Between Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk of Prostate…A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Nutr. ;9:801722.

  7. (2022). New study associates intake of dairy milk with greater risk of prostate… News. [online] Available at:….

  8. ., Alcohol and Prostate…Time to Draw Conclusions. Biomolecules. ;12(3):375.

  9. ., Physical activity and benign prostatic hyperplasia-related outcomes and nocturia. Med Sci Sports Exerc. ;47(3):581-92.


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Disclaimer: The information presented by Nature's Best is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

Our Author - Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.

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