Diet for Prostate Cancer

Diet for prostate cancer – does it really help?

Cancer of the Prostate gland is one of the most common cancers affecting men in the western world, second only to lung cancer. Extensive research has been conducted to try and determine underlying risk factors associated with developing the condition and so far the theorised link between nutrition and diet has held to be true.

There is no proven prevention or strategy, but the risk of developing prostate cancer may be reduced by making healthy choices such as:

  • exercising regularly
  • maintaining a healthy weight, and
  • eating a nutritionally balanced diet

Study results often conflict with each other and while there are no clear leading causes of prostate cancer it appears the incidence is higher in men who consume quantities of dietary fat, specifically saturated fats derived from animal products such as red meat and dairy. Animal fats from fish on the other hand contain omega-3 fatty acids which have demonstrated to actually provide positive preventative effects.

This hypothesis that dietary fat increases the risk of malignancy means that a balanced diet should consist of more plant derived fats instead, and there are many ways to enjoy an appetising diet without red meat.

We know that diet heavily influences cancer risk, no matter the type of cancer, and knowing exactly which foods are beneficial and which ones are harmful can help to shape a diet plan. It is one thing to lower your intake of red meat, but knowing what to substitute in order to generate more protection is better still. We know fish is great, a While a tuna steak may not exactly resemble a juicy rib fillet but the good fats it provides makes it worth the effort – and it’s delicious.

In terms of dairy products, try to seek low fat variations.  There are a multitude of options available in supermarkets and if research has leant us any wisdom, it’s that soy products contain active Isoflavones that have demonstrated protective properties against many cancers - thankfully tofu too has come long way.

When considering a diet for prostate cancer, there are some other foods that contain known anti-cancer agents such as:

  • tomatoes
  • flaxseed
  • green tea, and
  • cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts
  • select a wide variety of different coloured vegetables and fruit, the brighter in colour the better

What will you include in your diet for prostate cancer?

Tomatoes contain an antioxidant compound called Lycopene. This widely studied phytochemical is particularly  interesting as heating (cooking) releases greater amounts and adding fat in the way of oils also improves absorption.

Both flaxseed and its oil have been promoted as anti-cancer substances since the early 1950s, high in omega-3 and lignans, which are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens this powerful antioxidant can be incorporated into a healthy balanced diet as an extra degree of protection.

By controlling certain factors such as nutrition, physical activity and body weight, the risk of developing prostate cancer may be modified. But it is important to understand that the best prevention is by generating better overall health through healthy diet and exercise. A balanced diet low in fat, salt, sugar and alcohol and rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is ideal. Eat more fish, reduce the amount of dairy products you eat each day, drink green tea regularly and try incorporating soy into your diet.

Drink alcohol in moderation, opting for the anti-oxidant qualities of red wine where possible and focus on reaching and maintaining a healthy weight through regular daily exercise. If you have a family history or are concerned in any way, discuss what extra measures you can possibly take with your GP.


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