Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (not counting skin cancer). It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men. Many of the risk factors for prostate cancer, such as your age, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there are some things you can do that might lower your risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer can often be found early using a simple blood test, but it’s not clear if the benefits of testing all men for prostate cancer outweigh the risks, such as finding (and treating) cancers that probably never would have caused any problems.
By following a healthy diet, you can help lower your risk of developing prostate cancer and improve overall prostate health. There’s no definitive evidence that good nutrition can prevent prostate problems, but eating a healthy balanced diet may reduce your risk. Try adding the following 10 prostate-friendly foods to your diet.
Foods that promote good prostate health
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain lycopene—an antioxidant that may help prevent prostate cancer and reduce tumor growth in men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Broccoli. Studies have shown that men who eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) tend to have a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
- Legumes. Phytoestrogens, a type of biologically active plant compound, have cancer-fighting properties that can suppress tumor growth in prostate cancer cells. Good sources of legumes include beans, peanuts, and lentils.
- Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent both the development and progression of prostate cancer. Good sources of these healthy fats include cold water fish (such as salmon, herring, and mackerel), flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and omega-3 fortified foods (such as eggs, margarine, and yogurt).
- Sesame seeds. Men with prostate cancer have lower levels of zinc in their bodies than do men with healthy prostates. Zinc found in food is easier for our bodies to absorb than zinc supplements. Good sources of zinc include sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oysters, crab, lobster, beef, and poultry.
- Bell peppers. Vitamin C found only in certain vegetables may help lower risk of an enlarged prostate. The vegetables with the most vitamin C are bell peppers, but other vegetable sources include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts. Fruits high in vitamin C include citrus fruits (oranges, kiwifruit, lemons, guava, and grapefruit), strawberries, and papaya.
- Avocados. Avocados contain beta-sitosterol which can help with an enlarged prostate, strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation and pain. Other sources of the plant sterol are pumpkin and sesame seeds, nuts, peanuts, wheat germ, and dark chocolate.
- Dried beans. Substitute red meat (which has been associated with cancer) occasionally with a healthy portion of fiber-rich beans.
- Garlic. Garlic has an anti-inflammatory effect that may help with prostate cancer prevention. Research suggests that garlic has the ability to block the formation of certain cancer-causing substances and decrease the activation of such substances.
- Limit processed foods, and consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.
WebMD says the two diets known to be associated with longevity and reduced risks for prostate cancer are the traditional Japanese diet and a Southern Mediterranean diet.
You can reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking.
Ref. MSN/health/healthcentral.com, cancer.org, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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