Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Although some prostate cancers grow very slowly and may not require immediate treatment, a healthy diet can help reduce the risk or slow the progression of prostate cancer. A balanced diet with certain beneficial foods and nutrients may support prostate health and aid in your fight against prostate cancer.
Focus on plant-based foods. A diet high in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help lower the risk of prostate cancer or slow its progression. These foods are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents which help prevent the cell damage that can lead to cancer. Try to fill at least two-thirds of your plate with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains at each meal. Some excellent options include:
•Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc. They contain compounds like sulforaphane that have anti-cancer effects.
•Tomatoes: Cooked tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant shown to help prevent prostate cancer cell growth.
•Berries: Berries are high in anthocyanins and ellagic acid, both of which slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.
•Turmeric or curcumin: Turmeric contains curcumin, a strong anti-inflammatory compound. Curcumin supplements can slow prostate tumor growth and progression.
•Green tea: Green tea is high in compounds like EGCG that inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Aim for 3-5 cups of green tea per day.
Healthy fats and sporadic fasting. Consume moderate amounts of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado oil, and fatty fish like salmon and sardines. They provide anti-inflammatory fats called omega-3s. Intermittent fasting or sporadic 24-hour fasts may also help slow prostate cancer growth. During fasts, drink plenty of water and non-caloric beverages. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is important for prostate health and helps prevent urinary tract infections. Most experts recommend drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water per day.
Other aspects of a prostate-friendly diet include reducing sugar intake, watching your portion sizes and maintaining a healthy weight, as excess body weight also increases your prostate cancer risk. It’s best to avoid sugary beverages and many processed snack foods.
Following an anti-prostate cancer diet can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer, slow the progression of existing prostate tumors and support your body during treatment. Regular screenings, such as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, can also help detect prostate cancer early when it is most treatable. By taking a proactive approach to their health, men can improve their chances of living a healthy and fulfilling life.