Ward Off Prostate Cancer Starting With Your Diet
One out of six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men, but researchers believe it can be slowed or halted by making lifestyle changes.
Researchers have concluded nutrition and lifestyle are the most important risk factors associated with prostate cancer. There is a strong link between what we’re eating or not eating and the chance of getting cancer.
After reviewing 112 studies, researchers estimated that 75 percent of all cases of prostate cancer could be prevented by changes in diet and lifestyle. High fat diets, high sugar intakes, excess alcohol, high iron levels and obesity, especially abdominal obesity will all increase the risk of prostate cancer.
If you are overweight, lose weight. Reduce fatty foods and avoid harmful trans fats found in snack foods, processed bakery items and deep fried foods and meat that has added hormones. There are certain nutrients that may protect against prostate cancer:
Omega-3 fats found in salmon, halibut and sardines are helpful. Eat about three servings aweek. Have two tablespoons of flaxseed a day. Having too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 fat increases the risk of prostate disease. Vitamin D found in sardines, herring, cod liver oil and egg yolks is also beneficial.
Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of most cancers. Also, get a daily dose of selenium. You can get all the selenium you need if you eat fish three times a week, or just have two brazil nuts a day.
A study published in September in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that neither vitamin E or lycopene reduced the risk of developing malignant prostate cancer. Have five ounces of vitamin D found in almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds every week. Avoid alpha tocopherol supplements. It's more beneficial to use mixed tocopherols since gamma tocopherol inhibits production of cancer cells.
Lycopene is found in tomatoes and tomato sauce, watermelon and red grapefruit. Try to get five servings a week. Recent studies found no benefit from lycopene supplements. Cooking tomatoes with olive oil increases the benefit. Lycopene was found to reduce the severity of prostate cancer and reduced the progression to an advanced stage
Certain foods actually reduce prostate cancer. First of all, eat more vegetables. Men who ate 28 servings per week had a 35 percent reduction vs. men who ate 14 servings per week. Cruciferous vegetables produced the most benefits. Eat at least three servings a week. Men who drink at least three cups of green tea daily have a lower risk of prostate disease.
Data from a long-term study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health found a strong correlation between eating dairy foods and prostate cancer. The researchers believe the calcium suppresses levels of the most active form of vitamin D. The current recommendation is that you not exceed 2000mg calcium per day from food or supplements.