Zinc and Selenium may be key trace minerals in keeping the prostate gland healthy. Of the two, selenium is the lesser known having been discovered just a little more than 30 years ago. Included in Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible, selenium is classified as an anti-oxidant, which prevents or slows down the aging process and hardening of the tissues through the oxidation process.
Mindell writes, “Males appear to have a greater need for selenium. Almost half of their body’s’ supply concentrates in the testicles and portions of the seminal ducts adjacent to the prostate gland. Also, selenium is lost in the semen.” Zinc, the second element, is also believed to be key to prostate health. It exerts a normalizing effect on the prostate gland.
The major enemy of these two essential minerals is food processing. Both Mindell and Bellevue, WA nutritional counselor Sam Zeiler agree that today’s food processing techniques are destroying the mineral value and content of our foods. “Our foods are ‘cooked to death,” believes Zeiler. We over cook and over process our foods today to the point very little, if anything, of value is left. He also points out that government reports released in 1936 already stated that our soils were nutritionally lacking.
Like with women and osteoporosis, men are also experiencing prostate problems at early ages. It is not uncommon to find problems developing in the early 40’s and 50’s. “Our bodies are doing the best they can without the right materials,” comments Zeiler. Today’s stresses, not just emotional, but physical toxins that stress our bodies’ systems are important factors.
“We live in a caustic environment,” he continues, “and things get out of sync. The endocrine (glandular) system is doing the best it can, but we just keep pushing our systems.” Men, says Zeiler, are often less open to self-care and taking care of themselves. Many still have the attitude of “stay strong or grin and bear it.”
Zeiler stresses that ignoring the warning signs does not help. He gives the example of a car’s warning indicator light. If the oil light comes on, we address the problem by adding oil. We could also just cut the wire to the light. No longer would the light be a problem, but that doesn’t change the fact that the engine needs oil. The same principle holds true for one’s body. Ignoring warnings doesn’t make the problem go away.
Basic steps in prostate health include increasing the zinc and selenium intake as well as herbally including saw palmetto. Zinc and selenium can be found in broccoli, kale, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds also contain the omega 3 fatty acids. Zeiler recommends an individual dietary program to address an individual’s specific needs, exercise, eating raw fruits/vegetables if possible, and taking responsibility for our health!