Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. The good news is that about one third of all cancers can be prevented with healthy eating and lifestyle habits. All men need to take charge and engage in a lifetime of being physically active, keeping a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet.
Try some of these great food ideas to help decrease your risk of prostate cancer:
- Eat more red fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, watermelon, guava and red/pink grapefruit. They contain lycopene, which helps protect against prostate cancer. Try a toasted tomato sandwich for lunch. Spread a little tomato paste on a whole grain cracker and top with cheese for an appetizer or enjoy whole grain pasta with a tasty tomato sauce for dinner. If you like ketchup on everything – it’s OK! More lycopene is absorbed when the food is heated or processed and eaten with a little fat. However, for heart health, watch your salt intake and choose lower sodium versions of your favourite tomato products.
- While it may be tempting, don’t take your tomato in a pill! When lycopene is made into a supplement it leaves a lot of its food pals behind and you may need the whole team for maximum benefits.
- Whole grains, wheat germ, seafood, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts have selenium which may be another prostate protector. This is an important mineral and antioxidant but you don’t need a lot and too much of it can be toxic. Eating just 6-8 roasted Brazil nuts a day can put you over the limit. If you do take selenium in a supplement, check the label and make sure it is well under 400 ug (micrograms).
- Beans can do more than help keep you regular. Dried peas, beans, lentils and soy may be good for prostate health too. They also contain protein and fibre, which makes them filling, and filling foods can help with weight control. Not only does a healthy weight help keep you feeling great, but it also helps decrease overall cancer risk. Toss beans or lentils in soups, stews or mixed dishes or eat them as a snack. Ever try eating chickpeas right out of the can? Give them a little rinse and start snacking! Toasted soy nuts or hummus and whole grain crackers make a great snack too.
There is no one food or nutrient that will guarantee you won’t get cancer. However, a lifetime of being physically active, keeping a healthy weight and eating healthy foods can help decrease overall risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity!
WRITTEN BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITIONISTS OF SASKATCHEWAN AND SUPPORTED BY
Originator: Kathleen Hangs, Kelsey Trail Health Region
Adapted from: Heather Petrie MSc, PDt. “Mostly for Men: Can Nutrition Play a Role in Prevention of Prostate, Bladder or Testicular Cancer?”, March 31, 2008 (Dietitians of Canada, Frequently Asked Questions)
Editing Buddies: Alison Amundrud, Kelsey Trail Health Region
Dietitian of Canada , “Eating Guidelines for Cancer Prevention Prostate Cancer”, Practice-Based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) October 27, 2008.
Heather Petrie MSc, PDt., “Mostly for Men: Can Nutrition Play a Role in Prevention of Prostate, Bladder or Testicular Cancer?” Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Dietitians of Canada, March 31, 2008, www.dietitians.ca/.