Nutrition and Prostate Cancer:
There is no question that our diet influences the way that our body functions. People often ask "Is there a diet that can cure me of prostate cancer?" or "Is there a diet that can keep prostate cancer from growing?" Believe it or not, this is a very complex question!
There is no one single food or food substance that can protect you against prostate cancer. The same is true regarding a cure for prostate cancer. What we do know is that there are lifestyle choices that can do 2 things:
- Reduce your risk of getting prostate cancer or reduce your risk of prostate cancer coming back.
- Improve your quality of life
The Most Important Diet Risk Factor:
The most crucial dietary risk factor for prostate cancer is excess weight gain. Being overweight or obese not only increases risk for prostate cancer, but also may cause a delay in diagnosis and treatment because of falsely low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) results.
Regardless of the approach used to manage weight, what is most important is that you are doing something to keep weight gain to a minimum. This includes dietary choices as well as daily physical activity.
Foods to Fight Prostate Cancer:
The most recent research suggests the following foods can affect prostate cancer risk:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Include 4-5 cups of fruits plus vegetables every day and focus on getting cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts) 5 times a week.
- Tomatoes: Lycopene found in tomatoes and pink fruits helps protect the body against cancer. Cooked tomato products are one of the best sources of lycopene and should be consumed twice per week.
- Green Tea: Polyphenols in green tea, red wine and pomegranate juice have shown some indication of reducing risk of prostate cancer.
- Soy: Isoflavones found in soy may slow progression of cancer cells. Choose soy foods prepared in a low fat way.
- Meat: Consuming too much meat, especially red meat, is associated with increased risk of cancer. Limit meat consumption to 6 ounces per day or less.
- Grilled Meats: Avoiding charred meats can reduce risk for cancer. The best way to grill is to marinate and prevent the flame from touching the meat.
Next time we’ll focus on specific nutrients, like omega-3 fats and selenium, to discuss how they affect prostate cancer risk.
Stay tuned for Diet and Prostate Cancer Part 2!
[Reference: Nutrition and Prostate Cancer by Peter Gann and Edward Giovannucci]