The Truth About Prostate Cancer and Diet Might Not Be What You Think
What men eat can make them more prone to developing cancer of the prostate. This is a known fact. Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men. The CDC notes mortality from the disease has been on the decline, but there is still more to be done to identify who is at risk. Diet could play a role in prostate cancer prevention and recurrence, but the truth may not be what you think.
One company that is promoting the message to men about prostate cancer is Naturals2go, a vending food company that is raising awareness during prostate cancer month.
The role food plays in staving off the disease and treating advanced forms of the cancer is also highlighted in the book “The Definitive Guide to Prostate Cancer”; recommended by University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Chowing down on the go isn’t the healthiest option especially when you consider calories from fast and vending machine foods. Making the right food choices is important for good, well-studied reasons.
Other risks for the disease include:
- Family history
- African American descent
- Consuming a lot of red meat and dairy
- Skimping on the whole grain and vegetable foods
- Not getting enough exercise
- Being over age 50
- Not getting enough sunshine and vitamin D
You can’t control their race, age and family history. But you can control what you eat to keep prostate cancer at bay with an anti-prostate cancer diet.
What is the anti-prostate cancer diet?
Here are four things we know for sure.
1. Prostate cancer screening is important.
2. There really are foods that possibly could keep cancer of the prostate from happening and from coming back.
3. Men can prevent the prevalent cancer by a whopping 35 to 37 percent just by staying away from fried foods and doughnuts - except for once a month, so don’t be completely dismayed).
4. Fried foods are high in calorie content and they are also bad for the heart. Keeping your heart healthy can also ensure prostate health.
Some information suggests that an anti-prostate cancer diet is one that includes nuts, veggies; especially broccoli: fish, green tea anti-inflammatory peppers and maybe the juice of one special little fruit.
Here is what you should eat, why and how much if you are diagnosed with or trying to prevent prostate cancer.
Nuts are healthy, but maybe not for prostate health. It may be best to take such claims lightly for now.
Studies link lower incidences of prostate cancer among countries where selenium intake is highest. Nuts are high in selenium, for one.
Nuts also contain vitamin E and zinc and again, some studies suggest the legumes might do more harm than good.
For men’s health, the best choice of nuts is probably soy, based on a finding published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Men should also avoid dairy to cut prostate cancer risk and soy milk is an excellent replacement.
Broccoli also might not be as effective as touted for prostate health. Studies are inconclusive. In 2011 headlines were all over the media about a type of super-broccoli developed by scientists at the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Center in the UK, sold as ‘Beneforté’ that could fight cancer.
The study fell flat because of the research methods used.
There isn’t much doubt that cruciferous vegetables are healthy however.
So, eating plenty of greens shouldn’t cause harm and will keep other unhealthy, inflammatory foods off the table - and they will keep your heart healthy.
Fish is a definite healthy eating addition for avoiding prostate cancer. The omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein combined with no saturated fat is recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as an anti-prostate cancer food.
Green Tea should also be enjoyed by anyone looking to reduce their risk of a variety of cancer types, Including prostate cancer.
The popular brew has been studied repeatedly and rates high on the list of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory beverages, highlighted in a review of studies conducted this year.
An important part of your diet is also whole grains. Enjoy whole grain cereals and breads and try to skip the sugary cereal options and white bread.
Another drink to consider is pomegranate juice. Aim for an 8 ounce glass a day, but speak with your doctor first. The juice can interfere with blood thinners. It’s also high in calories, a special note if you are trying to lose weight. (1)
Understanding how diet can thwart and, in some instances, promote prostate cancer is still under research.
Suggestions are that some foods might help, but the truth about how diet affects prostate cancer is still the subject of much study. For now, keep a balance of whole grains, vegetables and lean protein on your plate until we know more;. Get plenty of exercise, vitamin D and make sure your weight is within normal limits.
(1) Pantuck AJ, Zomorodian N, Rettig M, et al. Long-term Follow-Up of Phase 2 Study of Pomegranate Juice for Men with Prostate Cancer Shows Durable Prolongation of PSA Doubling Time. Journal of Urology 2009;181(4 Suppl): abstract 826.