Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in Western society and accounts for 25% of all new cancer
cases in men. Prostate cancer is not nearly as common in Eastern society. By looking at worldwide differences in cancer rates, we see that prostate cancer is related either to a) environmental factors, such as diet, or b) to the unique genetic make-up of a country’s citizens. It may be a combination of both a) and b), however the good news is that environmental factors, such as diet, can be modified. Below are 5 types of foods that have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk!
- Cooked tomatoes & tomato-based foods are nutrient rich, particularly in an antioxidant called lycopene.
- Lycopene is best absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked rather than raw.
- Studies show that men who consume 15 mg of lycopene/day may be beneficial in slowing down the progression of prostate cancer
Sources (eat 5 x week)
- Vegetable juices (250 mls) = 22 mg lycopene
- Tomato sauce (125 mls) = 22 mg lycopene
- Tomato soup (1 cup) = 9 mg lycopene
- Fresh tomato (1 medium) = 3 mg lycopene
- Soy foods have been found to provide some protection against prostate cancer development as it may decrease Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA).
- Soy is often used as a substitute for meat or dairy products. It’s high in protein, calcium, fibre and other nutrients.
- Soy has also been found to be beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol.
3.Vitamin E Rich Foods
- There has been mixed results with supplement studies (75 IU/day may decrease risk, however more than 400 IU/day adverse effects with heart disease and diabetes)
- Instead, choose vitamin E rich foods – aim for 22 IU (or 15 mg/day)
- Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup)– 13 IU Vitamin E
- Almonds (1/4 cup) – 11 IU Vitamin E
- Cooked spinach (1 cup, cooked) – 5.5 IU Vitamin E
- Ground flax added to the diet of men awaiting prostate surgery was shown to slow prostate cancer progression
- Flax is food for general health, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids, lignans (phytoestrogens) and fibre
- Choose ground flaxseed – whole flaxseed is indigestible & flaxseed oil does not contain fibre or lignans
5. Selenium Rich Foods
- Some research supporting selenium had benefit in preventing prostate cancer
- Selenium supplement containing 200 micrograms but not more than 400 micrograms could be consumed per day
- The selenium content in food varies depending on the selenium content of the soil. Aim for 55 micrograms/day
- Brazil nuts (5 nuts) – 340 mcg selenium
- Mixed nuts (1/4 cup) – 50-150 mug of selenium