Prostate Cancer and Nutrition
Five Foods to Protect Your Prostate
Good news if you’re worried about your prostate health: What you eat can make a difference. “There is plenty of strong evidence that good nutrition and an active lifestyle can reduce the likelihood of prostate cancer and slow its progression,” says Mitchell Sokoloff M.D., Chair of the Department of Urology and Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
There are a few categorical changes you can make to your diet that make a big difference in overall health, as well as prostate health. The Science of Living Well, Beyond Cancer recommends a diet that is high in colorful vegetables, low in sugar and processed carbohydrates and moderate in animal-based protein (taking advantage of the health benefits of beans, nuts, soy and certain fish).
Here are the top five foods you can eat for a healthy prostate:
- Cruciferous Vegetables -This class of vegetables includes things like cabbage, bok choy, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
- Berries - Antioxidants help to neutralize and remove free radicals from the body. Berries are a great source, particularly strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. These fruits offer up powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins.
- Fish - Certain fish (especially cold-water fish like salmon, sardines and trout) provide “good fats” that don’t trigger inflammation the same way as saturated animal fats (e.g., beef fat).
- Cooked tomatoes - Tomatoes are one food that’s been on prostate cancer researchers’ radar for a long time and here’s why. Lycopene is another powerful antioxidant and is found in the cell walls of tomatoes.
- Coffee & Tea - You might have heard about green tea as a source of antioxidants such as catechins (the most important are two called EGCG, for epigallocatechin-3-gallate and epicatechin), which are believed to be anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic (preventing healthy cells from mutating). “Coffee is looking more and more promising,” says Dr. Mucci, “There are now a number of studies that suggest drinking coffee regularly, one to two cups a day, can help prevent prostate cancer.”