Did you know that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States? Or that over 70% of such cases occur in men 65 years old and older? Or that African-American men are at higher risk than other ethnic groups of developing the disease?
Looking at those facts, you’d probably say that cancer of the prostate only affects older men so why bother? The hard truth is this disease can strike anyone at any time, including you.
While there is still no smoking gun when it comes to the specific cause of this type of cancer, there are predisposing factors that have been linked to increase your risk of developing cancer of the prostate. I’m talking about age, ethnicity, heredity, high testosterone production, diet, and lifestyle. While there’s nothing much you can do to most of these, certainly something can be done to correct your diet and lifestyle. Modifying those two contributing factors may allow you to lower your risk of developing this cancer. So let’s take a closer look at the role diet might play in prostate cancer.
Several studies suggest that maybe up to 75% of all cases involving cancer of the prostate can actually be eliminated by a change of diet. The researchers discovered that patients who have changed to low-fat diet along with fish oil supplements have observed a slowing of development or growth of the cancer cells. The slower it is the lesser chance for the cancer cells to spread and the better your chances for survival. Makes sense.
Here are suggested changes in the diet that may reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Avoid a diet high in fat. A number of studies suggest that diets high in saturated fats are linked to higher incidences of the cancer. So here are the foods you need to take off the menu – fried foods, processed meats (yeah bacon and pepperoni are out), potato chips, cakes, butter, margarine, cream, dairy products, coconut oil, and palm oil. Eating foods like these say you are daring the Big C to strike.
Love fish. Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can keep your prostate healthy. And your heart too.
Go for healthy oils such as canola oil, olive oil, and flaxseed oil.
Substitute high fat milk, yogurt, and cheese with their low-fat counterparts.
Try soy. Soy is found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer because it contains phytoestrogens that fight off the cancer or slow cancer growth. Readily available soy products include tofu, soybeans, and soymilk.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes. Tomatoes, along with other fruits such as apricots, pink grapefruits, watermelon, raspberries, and papaya, contain lycopene. That is a proven, very potent antioxidant. Not only does it fight off certain cancers, but lycopene is also your heart’s best friend. Extra tip: Eat cooked rather than raw tomatoes to better absorb lycopene.
Stuff your fridge with pomegranates. Pomegranate fruits and juices contain phytochemicals found to reduce PSA levels of patients with prostate cancer.
Become a green tea lover. Green tea contains catechins that help prevent certain cancers. Weight management is also often advised for those at high risk of prostate cancer. And drinking green tea can help promote weight loss.
Other foods most beneficial for prostate health are cereals, whole grains, lentils, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and other fruits and vegetables.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in selenium and Vitamin D may reduce the risk of prostate cancer development as well. Selenium can be found in food sources like oatmeal and Brazil nuts. While Vitamin D can be found in tuna, mackerel and salmon. Although you may also enhance your natural Vitamin D production through sun exposure for about 15 minutes a day.
Naturally a change in diet that goes heavy on food items mentioned here should only be a part of your efforts in changing your lifestyle. It would be wise to also engage in regular exercise and learn how to manage stress in order to improve not only your prostate health but your overall health as well. Still there are no guarantees that even if you do follow such a healthy lifestyle and diet that you won’t be smitten. Sometimes things just work out that way.