I have touted healthy eating and healthy diets as the best ways for optimal health in my previous work. It’s true, I believe our best medicine lies in a healthy diet. Modern science has proven to be ineffective against diet linked non-communicable diseases. One of which is prostate cancer. That’s, why I decided to write about 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention.
It must be understood that most of the information about prostate cancer and nutrition links is inconclusive and confusing. However, I tried my best to get you the best!
We cannot discuss 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention, without knowing a few facts.
Table of Contents
A few facts about prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. Its incidence is 6 times higher in developed than non-developed nations. However, it’s slowly encroaching on the unsuspecting developing world. This makes it a worldwide problem.
Various factors affect cancer risks. Black ethnicity has a higher predisposition to prostate cancer development. Obesity, environments and dietary behaviours are the others. It’s the possibility that the diet can help prevent prostate cancer that’s fueling research. Well, it inspired this article too! That’s why I wrote about these 5 healthy foods for prostate prevention.
5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention
You are surprised, right? Me too! How can simple tomatoes to make the list of 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention? Well, here is the reason why!
Tomatoes are rich in carotenoids. The chief carotenoid being the red pigment of tomatoes. It is called lycopene. Several studies show that lycopene reduces prostate cancer risks. This may be due to the high antioxidant properties of lycopene.
Also, cooked tomatoes have a higher protective effect against prostate cancer than raw. Surprised? Yeah, most nutrition articles, say raw is better. But that doesn’t work here. Here, is the reason why?
Lycopene is a fat-soluble molecule. And tomatoes are cooked with other foods most of the time. The cooking process usually involves the addition of oil. It is believed that the oil and cooking processes enhance lycopene absorption into the body. And the more lycopene in your blood the higher the protective effects!
Also, lycopene is highly protective against aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
So to round it up. High lycopene concentration in the body has higher protective effects. And this results in low risks of prostate cancer development. So, this means increasing intake of tomatoes and their products increases lycopene intake. And high lycopene intake is good for prostate prevention. This is why tomatoes made the list of 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention.
Caution: Don’t overeat tomatoes it’s unhealthy!
2. Fish ( healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention)
The second healthy food on this list is fish. Marine foods have been gaining popularity in nutrition over the years. This is mainly due to their healthy protein and fats. That’s why fish is part of the 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention.
Regular consumption of fish in a balanced diet reduces prostate cancer risks. It also decreases the risks of the aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Studies suggest the role of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids in prostate cancer prevention.
These fatty acids are usually omega 3 fatty acids. Which are docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. They have anticancer properties. They have also shown protective effects against metastatic forms of cancer.
Some studies show that eating fish more than 3 times a week reduces risks.
Incorporating marine oils and fish in your balanced diet can help prevent prostate cancer. Marine fish oils show lower protective effects when eaten with other foods. This suggests some other components of fish may be important to cancer prevention.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, kale, Brussels sprouts and radishes are cruciferous vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables have protective effects against prostate cancer. They are rich in various active phytochemicals with potential anticancer properties.
The most studied phytochemicals in these vegetables are isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanate has antioxidant and detoxification properties. These properties have protective effects against cancers.
Another phytochemical is sulforaphane. Brocolli is the richest source of this compound. It induces the production of detoxifying enzymes that are down-regulated in prostate cancer. Therefore it has cancer preventative effects. It also improves the body’s defence against carcinogens. (Carcinogens are cancer-causing compounds).
Also, induction of the detoxifying enzymes is accompanied by increased production of glutathione in the body. Of which, glutathione is a powerful and beneficial antioxidant to health.
This is why cruciferous vegetables have a spot on 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention.
4. Soy Foods
Number 4 on 5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention is soy foods.
There are limited researches and a lot of confusing results. However, soy foods are rich in isoflavones. And these isoflavones reduce risks of prostate cancer. However, the association was found in Japanese men only.
5 Plant-based foods (5 healthy foods for prostate cancer prevention)
Number 5 is not a single food but a lifestyle. Plant foods have high phytochemical and phytonutrient profiles. These were shown to reduce the risks and aggressiveness of prostate cancer. Specific fruits and vegetables have protective effects against this cancer. Some studies pointed out pulses and oranges as having protective effects.
Some studies show the protective effects of soy foods and legumes. And also those of yellow-green vegetables and carrots.
So what are my views on diet and prostate cancer? Well, it’s simple. I believe the diet is still our biggest chance. Different foods have different benefits to the body, hence the need for a balanced diet. A balanced diet rich in these foods may just give a chance against prostate cancer.
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