Prostate Cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, but studies suggest that factors like diet and lifestyle changes can make a bigger impact than you might think. That's why the Prostate Cancer Foundation is sponsoring the 30 Foods in 30 Days Healthy Eating Challenge throughout September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, encouraging everyone to learn what foods can help prevent prostate cancer and nourish your body, prevent other chronic diseases and improve your quality of life.
When something as simple as food can make positive changes in your body (and tastes delicious!) why wouldn't you eat them daily? The payoff is your health and longevity.
Let's learn more about how valuable these foods are and start eating them every day this month! Begin with the tasty broccoli marinara recipe featured in the video above, or try foods from the list below:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Consumption of these veggies is consistently linked with a decreased risk for prostate cancer as well as recurrence and metastasis. Components in these foods have been shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells (among other cancer cells). Include at least one serving per day of arugula, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, horseradish, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, turnip greens or watercress.
- Allium vegetables: This group includes garlic, onions, leeks, and chives, have been shown to help kill prostate cancer cells.
- Tomatoes: Contain lycopene, which slows prostate cancer growth and metastasis. Your body absorbs more lycopene from cooked tomatoes and those consumed with oils.
- Plant-derived fats: Good sources of omega-3 ALA include ground flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. Avoid sources of trans fats like margarines and fried and baked goods. Limit whole milk dairy products, red meats, processed meats, poultry skin and baked goods (all of which contain saturated fats).
- Fish: Higher fish consumption is correlated with a lower risk for prostate cancer and recurrence. Include at least two servings per week of salmon, sardines, black cod, trout, or herring (all good sources of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids). Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish due to high mercury levels.
- Soy: Components in whole food soy food (not processed soy) may block hormone-like compounds which contribute to inflammation and may help kill prostate cancer cells.
- Other plant-derived foods and compounds being studied for anti-prostate properties: Green tea, coffee, flaxseed meal, pomegranate, milk thistle and turmeric. They can help prevent DNA mutations that may initiate cancers, stop the formation of blood vessels amongst cancer tissue, reduce inflammation, help repair irregular cells and kill cancer cells. Evidence suggests there's more benefit to obtaining these compounds from whole food rather than by taking supplements.
For more information about nutrition services for patients with cancer, talk with a dietician at The Christ Hospital Cancer Center:
- Sarah Heffron, M.Ed., RD, CSO: 513-585-4340
- Kristen Leavitt, MHA, RDN, CSP: 513-585-4495
- Laura Loch, RDN, LD: 513-585-4250