Foods to Fight Prostate Cancer
Just last week a friend was asking me if nutrition or certain foods could fight or help prevent prostate cancer. Absolutely! It’s estimated that 75% or more of all prostate cancers might be prevented by easy and nutritious dietary additions and a few simple changes. Studies have shown that men who eat the most lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables were 82% less likely to have prostate cancer than those who ate the least. Another study conducted at the University of Arizona Cancer Center proved that just a couple of Brazil nuts a day, (about 140 mcg of selenium), or taking 200 mcg of this mineral, decreased the incidence of prostate cancer by 63%. These are huge numbers, and worth taking a serious look at.
What foods help protect against prostate cancer?
- Fatty fish – A study published in Clinical Cancer Research found that men who eat one or two servings of fatty fish each week have a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which researchers believe fight inflammation.
- Selenium rich foods – Selenium is a trace mineral that has been shown to suppress prostate cancer growth. Brazil nuts are one of the best natural sources of selenium. Other selenium rich foods include cod, tuna, shrimp, and turkey.
- Think red (and green) – Tomatoes and tomato products, red grapefruit, guava, and watermelon all contain lycopene, the antioxidant that colors these fruits red and is linked to prevention of certain cancers, specifically prostate. In one study, men who ate ¾ cup tomato sauce daily for just three weeks reduced DNA damage linked to prostate cancer by 28%. TIP: If you haven’t tried pomegranate juice yet, now is the time. Recent research indicates that the juice will yield those same benefits, and more. The cruciferous vegetables — broccoli, kale, and cabbage — also contain other helpful photochemicals that can ward off cancers.
- Sneak in some Soy – Soy products have been a part of the standard diet in China, Japan, Indonesia, and other countries for centuries. In these countries, it is known that soy products can play an important role in disease prevention, and they have very low incidence of prostate or breast cancers. Soy contains isoflavones that help protect against many cancers. TIP: Try low fat soy milk on cereal, or a soy-based ground meat substitute in your next chili or spaghetti sauce – he’ll never notice! TVP, (Textured vegetable protein), is sold in most stores. Just reconstitute with water, or beef or chicken broth. Soy products are usually high in protein as well. Click here for a delicious recipe for TVP tacos.
- Onion/Garlic breath is OK! – Adding just a tablespoon or so of garlic, shallots, scallions, or chives, or ¼ cup or more of chopped onions or leeks could drop the risk of developing prostate cancer by as much as 50%. The allyl sulphur components help to inhibit the growth of cells. TIP: The power of these veggies is more potent when they’re served raw, so add them to salads or toss them in at the end of cooking.
- Add flaxseed – Recent research shows that flaxseeds may prevent or slow the spread of prostate cancer. Flaxseed also decreases insulin resistance to help protect against diabetes and has been shown to work in lowering cholesterol; so it is an all-round excellent addition to any diet. TIP: Stir in to cereals, yogurt, or smoothies for a delicious nutty flavor. I grind batches in a coffee grinder and freeze in a small container so it’s readily available. Because of the oil, flaxseed needs to be refrigerated or frozen.
- Drink Green Tea – More than a decade’s worth of research about green tea’s health benefits is hard to ignore — particularly its potential to fight both cancer and heart disease. Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer. It’s still unknown exactly how much green tea should be consumed, but experts suggest up to 4 cups per day.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer in his lifetime, and 1 in 35 will die of the disease; accounting for roughly 10% of all cancer-related deaths in men. With this list, it’s easy to add prostrate protection every day.
Having a healthy approach to nutrition and lifestyle is a basic component of preventative medicine; and can also be effective in corrective medicine for many common health problems. With new research available constantly, always check with your physician before beginning a new diet.
Watch this 60 second video for a fool-proof way to eat a pomegranate.