Whether you’re looking to decrease your risk of prostate cancer or help your body fight the disease while you’re in treatment, your diet is important. What’s the connection between diet and prostate cancer? In short, what you eat can have a significant effect on your body’s ability to avoid or address the disease.
What’s the right diet for a prostate cancer patient after surgery? The right diet for prostate cancer radiation treatment? Your doctor can talk with you about your specific health scenario but, in general, a prostate cancer diet can ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
Diet Considerations to Help Prostate Cancer
The prostate cancer diet includes both foods you should be eating more of and foods you should avoid. Adhering to these guidelines may decrease your risk of prostate cancer and help you address it more effectively if it does develop.
Here are some dietary considerations to help prostate cancer:
- Make vegetables and fruits the core of your diet. There are a number of different benefits that can be gained from the substances in these foods, including:
- Tomatoes (lycopene that fights free radicals)
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale (phytochemicals that reduce what’s called oxidative stress)
- Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons (many bioactive compounds like flavonoids that protect against free radicals)
- Mushrooms (proteins called lectin that attack cancer cells)
- Apples (substances with both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties)
- Grapefruit (phytochemicals like naringenin)
- Blueberries and raspberries (a variety of powerful antioxidants)
- Limit animal proteins. Prostate cancer has been associated with diets high in animal fat.
- Increase plant-based protein. Foods like beans and nuts supply protein and also have cancer-suppressing substances like quercetin and lignans.
- Increase whole grains. Foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and quinoa provide protein and also fiber and magnesium, which are essential to good health.
- Limit sugary drinks. Replacing beverages high in sugar with water helps flush cancer-causing substances out of the body.
- Drink green tea. The polyphenols and flavonoids in green tea are powerful antioxidants. Green tea may help reduce risk or slow the growth of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Diet: Beyond Food
In addition to the changes you make to adhere to a prostate cancer diet, there are other steps you can take to decrease your prostate cancer risk. They include:
- See your doctor regularly. Preventative care and early detection are crucial to good health.
- Get regular exercise. This doesn’t have to be an intense workout. Something as simple as taking regular walks at a moderate pace is helpful.
- Manage your caloric intake. What you eat is important, but so is how much you eat. Focus on consuming the amount of food you need to make it to your next scheduled meal and not on appeasing your taste buds.
- Eat a diverse diet. Consuming a variety of healthy foods is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the substances your body needs to stay healthy.
Learn more about prostate cancer symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment from Baptist Health.