Foods That Reduce or Increase the Risk for Prostate Cancer
What a person eats contributes to increasing or decreasing his risk for prostate cancer. In this article, you will learn about specific foods that are best to eat and things to do to avoid prostate cancer.
Based on analyzing the data of approximately 70,000 men, the American Cancer Society states that obese men with a BMI of over 30 have a higher risk of getting advanced prostate cancer and dying from it. There is a 17% increased risk of advanced prostate cancer for men with a BMI of 27.5 to 30 compared to men with a BMI of below 25. Since aggressive prostate cancer seems to be associated with obesity, men are cautioned to watch their calories and avoid eating too much food.
Foods That May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
People often associate tomatoes and tomato-based products with a lower risk of prostate cancer because of the substance they contain called lycopene. Lycopene is the chemical that gives tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon their pinkish-red color. It has been credited with the ability to prevent not just prostate cancer but other types of cancer as well. There’s no proof that points to the cancer-fighting property of lycopene, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged that tomotoes may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Now, whether it is lycopene or not that has cancer-fighting properties, we know that tomato products are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, both of which are substances that protect against cancer.
Dietitian Shayna Komar of Cancer Wellness at Piedmont in Atlanta advises cooking tomatoes prior to eating them to get the maximum cancer-fighting benefits. By crushing or heating the tomatoes, you release all the lycopene that the tomatoes have to offer.
Many also say that vitamin E and selenium supplements may benefit prostate cancer patients. But after many research studies, it is still not proven that taking vitamin E and/or selenium supplements can lower prostate cancer risks.
Foods That May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk
Many foods are regarded as culprits with regards to the incidence of prostate cancer among men. Men are advised to avoid processed red meat products, whether pork, beef or lamb, because they are known to moderately increase prostate cancer risk. There is no set limit for the recommended intake amount of these types of food. The only advice is to cut back on consumption.
Calcium is essential for bone health; however, it has been linked to an increased risk for prostate cancer. Men taking high doses of calcium from supplements have been found to have increased cases of prostate cancer. Health experts, therefore, recommend getting calcium from natural food sources to be safe and to follow the recommended daily intake for calcium.
General Guidelines for Cancer Prevention
Here are three general tips for reducing the risk of prostate cancer:
Eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.
Drink only up to 2 glasses of alcohol each day.
Engage in physical activity for 30 minutes to 1 hour per day 5 times a week.
Photo credits: By Alan Hoofring (Illustrator) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons