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The Healthy Prostate: Tips for Reducing Risk for Prostate Cancer

  • Cruciferous Vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale) Aim to eat these daily. Men who ate three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables per week had a 41% decreased risk of prostate cancer compared with men who ate less than one serving per week.

  • Lycopene (found primarily in tomato sauce, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes and tomato juice). Aim to consume daily. The nutrients absorb within your system better if eaten with a healthy fat, such as olive oil. Men who consumed tomato sauce 2-4 times weekly had a 34% lower risk for prostate cancer in a large prospective study. We recommend a heaping scoop of marinara sauce over whole wheat pasta.

  • Pomegranates Aim to consume a few times per week. Research suggests that pomegranates exhibit strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some data suggest that pomegranate fruit extract may significantly inhibit tumor growth, while also significantly decreasing PSA levels.

  • Omega-3 (EPA and DHA found in cold water fish and supplements). Aim to eat twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce risk for prostate cancer as well as reduce the risk of cancer progression.

  • Green Tea Green tea contains phytonutrients known as polyphenols that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. Add lemon to increase nutrient absorption. Aim to consume 1-4 cups daily.

  • Soy Foods Focus on whole soy foods, such as tofu, soy, and miso. Research shows that consuming 2 or more times per week showed decrease risk. Soy supplements and isoflavone extracts are not recommended.

  • Flaxseed Known as a superfood, for containing omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, potassium, B vitamins, iron, and boron. Opt for ground flax seeds rather than whole flax seeds, flax seed oil, and flax supplements. Aim to consume 2 tbsp. daily. Try sprinkling it over your morning oatmeal or cereal.

Additionally, a healthy diet can help to increase energy levels, facilitate recovery, enhance your immune system and may decrease your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and obesity.

Tips for a Healthy Diet:

  • Eat a plant based diet, rich in vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish and low-fat dairy

  • Make sure you get 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. A serving consists of a medium piece of fruit (about the size of your fist) and/or ½ cup of steamed vegetables

  • Consume healthy fats rich in omega-3, found in salmon and tuna

  • Limit processed foods made with refined grains and flour

  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day

  • Achieve or maintain your healthy weight by staying active at least 5 days per week

The guidelines for prostate cancer screening have recently changed. Consult your doctor to find out if you have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, and if you may need to be screened.

Source: Sarah Schutzberger, RD, CSO, El Camino Hospital Cancer Center

This article first appeared in the September 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.

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