A poor diet can easily be linked to health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, even colon cancer. And although the true relationship between nutrition and prostate cancer is not yet conclusive, more and more evidence suggests that good nutrition is a vital part of every prostate cancer prevention plan in Los Angeles.
The urological specialists at the Prostate Cancer Institute of Los Angeles encourage men to follow a mainly low-fat, plant-based diet. It helps maintain energy, strengthen the immune system, and optimize healing; it’s also believed to be instrumental in cancer prevention. If you already have prostate cancer, a good diet with low-fat, high-fiber foods, fewer simple sugars, and plenty of fluids can decrease the risk of it spreading.
How Nutrition and Prostatic Cancer are Linked
Fruits and Vegetables, Of Course!
Fruits and vegetables contribute to good overall health because they’re low in fat and full of vital vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But what is their role in the link between nutrition and cancer?
Foods with cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as:
- Lycopene (tomato, pink grapefruit, watermelon, mango, purple cabbage)
- Carotenoids (carrot, pumpkin, kale, spinach, sweet potato)
- Flavonoids (orange, blueberry, cherry, strawberry, apple, plum)
- Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale)
- Natural fructose (sugar from fruit)
Each of the above foods has been linked to lower risks of prostate tumors. In fact, several studies show that men who consume three or more servings per week of cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of cancer by more than 40% compared to those who ate one serving per week.
Overall, it is highly recommended that men consume a minimum of 8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It’s a beneficial cancer prevention method for men who don’t have it, and it helps at restricting metastasis (spread) in men who already have it.
The Benefits of Fiber
High amounts of fiber are inherent in plant-based diets and have the following benefits:
- Eliminating toxic or cancer-causing compounds
- Reducing hormone levels associated with the progression of the tumor
- Slowing tumor growth
Furthermore, the National Cancer Institute reports that eating whole grains reduces cancer mortality and that a fiber-rich diet lowers the risk and spread of the cancer.
For prostate cancer prevention, we recommend 30 grams or more of fiber every day. Whole grain bread (not those with unbleached white flour) with 3 or more grams in each slice is an excellent source, as are oats, barley, quinoa, and beans.
Low Fat Eating
A low-fat diet obviously has many overall health benefits, but what about more cancer-specific benefits?
Men in developed countries have a higher incidence of prostate cancer, so researchers studied it to determine why. They observed that these men generally have a high-fat diet, resulting in increased testosterone levels, which are linked with cancer growth. Yet, in spite of this evidence, it’s still not conclusive or consistent enough to know for sure.
What is known, however, is this—avoid saturated fats and trans fats. The link between prostate cancer and saturated fat from red meat and/or dairy is conclusive; it could even increase the risk of metastatic cancer.
Trans fats, in addition to contributing to heart disease, cause hormone irregularities that disrupt the body’s healing mechanisms or damage bodily tissue, which could increase the chances of cancer.
Another bad fat is Omega-6 because it is thought to promote the growth of prostate cancer cells. As a result, avoid the following oils: corn, sunflower, flaxseed, safflower, cottonseed, and soybean. If oil is needed, go with olive oil, but always in moderation.
Some good fats have been linked to lower risks of prostate cancer prevention and progression. Omega-3 is a healthful fat found in walnuts, soybeans, canola oil, and fish (e.g., salmon, trout, herring, and mackerel).
We recommend that you consume at least 3-4 servings of foods with Omega-3 fats to either strengthen cancer prevention or reduce the risks of progression. (Make sure the fish is grilled or baked, not fried).
Maintain a Healthful Lifestyle
If you’re over 45, it is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in Los Angeles. Cancer prevention is enhanced when you reduce sugar intake, monitor fat intake (and the type of fats consumed), and drink lots of fluids.
Here are several other benefits of good nutrition and prostatic cancer:
- Antioxidant-rich foods can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, so pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries should be a part of your diet, as well as green tea
- Reduce alcohol intake to no more than one a day to keep your cancer risks reduced
- Exercise (even if only a 15-20-minute walk every other day) keeps the body healthy, promotes strong circulation, and sustains or improves the immune system
- Yoga and/or meditation can help improve one’s mental strength, focus, and mindset – all of which are valuable in battling cancer.
Read more about prostatic cancer at WebMD.com.
To Learn More, Contact the Prostate Cancer Institute of Los Angeles
The links between nutrition and cancer are growing stronger. Preventing cancer starts with you, yet the disease can still be beaten even if you have it. To find out more, schedule a consultation online with our prostate specialists or contact our Beverly Hills office at 310.341.2557.
In a nutshell: Healthy diet and lower risk of prostate tumors
- Maintaining a healthy diet can likely help prevent prostate tumor or slow its growth
- What to eat? Fruits and vegetables
- Which ones? Tomatoes, cauliflowers, kale, melons, pomegranate, berries, kale, pumpkin, spinach, whole grain bread, green tea, sweet potato
- What’s bad for you? Saturated animal fat and trans fat
- What else to do? Exercise, relieve stress, reduce alcohol consumption
Next, read Avoid These Prostate Cancer Risk Factors