Food Choices for a Healthy Prostate

June 5, 2019 Providence Health Team

[4 MIN READ]

A well-balanced diet is an important tool in preventing chronic health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Some research also shows that what you eat could play a role in your risk for developing cancer, including prostate cancer. But what does a well-balanced diet look like for men, especially for those who have or are at risk of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, and approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes.

Located just below the bladder, the prostate is a gland that is an important part of the male reproductive system. While regular prostate cancer screening is crucial, maintaining a well-balanced diet also important. Whether you’re hoping to lower your risk or maintain good health after prostate cancer treatment, nutrition should be top of mind. Here are a few tips for a well-balanced diet that can protect your prostate from developing cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Web MD

Can certain foods lower your risk for prostate cancer?

Some studies have shown that green tea, pomegranate, tomatoes and other foods with lycopene (like watermelon) may be linked to lower prostate cancer risk.

Since research is ongoing, most doctors and nutritionists recommend sticking to a heart healthy diet to help reduce your risk.

A “heart healthy, prostate healthy” diet should include:

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. One serving of vegetables is about a cup of raw, leafy vegetables or ½ cup of other vegetables (cooked or raw). One serving of fruit is about the size of one medium apple, orange, banana or pear, or ½ cup of chopped or blended fruit.  

Healthy carbs. Pure grains that haven’t been stripped of their nutrients include unprocessed oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and even popcorn.

Healthy fats. Try incorporating more olive oil, nuts and avocado into your meals.

Lean meats. Instead of choosing a hamburger or a steak, try making meals with more poultry, eggs and fish.  

Another way to think of your healthy diet is to picture it on a plate. 

If you want to lower your risk for prostate cancer, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends building a plate that includes:½: Fruits, veggies or legumes (beans) | ¼: Whole grains or starches | ¼: Lean protein (tofu, chicken or fish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Harvard.edu

Are there certain foods you should avoid?

Saturated fats, trans fats and hydrogenated fats. Research has shown that these unhealthy fats—which can be found in red meat, fast food and dairy products—may increase your risk for developing cancer. 

Processed meats. The ingredients used to preserve meat—such as hot dogs and sausage—may aid cancer cell growth.

Sweets. Sugar has an indirect link to cancer growth. The AICR warns against too many high-sugar foods and drinks, such as soda or sugar-sweetened fruit juice. This added sugar can lead to excess weight and body fat, and excess fat is a major risk factor for developing cancer.

So, although it may be hard to give up, you may want to cut back on the steak, hamburgers and hot dogs when you break out the grill. Instead, opt for chicken, fish or grilled vegetables. Check out these tips for hosting a healthy cookout. And for dessert, go for a sorbet dairy-free ice cream or fresh fruit cobbler.

What foods should I eat during and after prostate cancer treatment?

Maintaining a well-balanced diet during and after cancer treatment can help you feel better and reduce side effects from chemotherapy or surgery.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends sticking to a few specific foods to help you recover during and after prostate cancer treatment and reduce your side effects from chemotherapy or surgery. Be sure to include these daily:

Lean meats and plant-based proteins (like beans). Eating too much fat from red meat or processed meat may increase your risk for cancer recurrence.

Cruciferous vegetables. Veggies like broccoli and cauliflower include lots of antioxidants, which can help keep you healthy as you recover.

Vitamin-rich foods. Avoid taking supplements and try to get your nutrients from natural food sources to regain your health and lower risk for recurrence.

There are also dietary changes you can make depending on your symptoms.

Control nausea

  • Incorporate ginger or lemon
  • Eat foods that are easy on your stomach, like toast, rice, or broth
  • Stay hydrated; drink eight or more glasses of water a day
  • Avoid milk products and sugary foods
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine

Combat taste changes

  • Incorporate lemon or other tart flavors
  • Try different spices or herbs
  • Marinate lean meats and vegetables for flavor

Alleviate dry mouth

  • Incorporate lemon or other tart flavors
  • Stay hydrated; drink eight or more glasses of water a day

During and after prostate cancer treatment, you will want to avoid weight loss or gain. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, or you need some guidance about the ideal weight for your recovery, your doctor and nutrition counselor can give you some tips.

Looking for more advice on how healthy eating can prevent prostate cancer or help with treatment side effects? You can find a doctor or nutritionist in our provider directory. Or you can search for a doctor near you:

Alaska

California

Montana

Oregon

Washington

 

Resources:

Do You Know the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer?

A Proactive Health Guide for People 40+

10 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk Right Now

 

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