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6 Foods to Boost Prostate Health

Posted by Geoff Beaty on 16 July 2021
6 Foods to Boost Prostate Health
Foods can significantly affect your health, including that of your prostate.

By adding healthy, prostate-friendly foods to your diet, you may be able to reduce your risk of prostate problems, including prostate cancer.

When making dietary changes, you'll still need to see your healthcare provider for regular prostate cancer screenings, but you can start supporting your prostate health by adding the following 6 foods to your diet.

1. Tomatoes

Certain fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Some research suggests that a diet high in lycopene may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. 

Further research is needed to confirm a benefit, but in a review of 24 studies, researchers suggested that males who ate more tomatoes were less likely to develop prostate cancer. 

Lycopene may decrease cell damage and slow cancer cell production. It's an antioxidant, meaning it protects cells from damage. 

Because lycopene is tightly bound to the cell walls of raw tomatoes, your body has trouble extracting it. Cooked or puréed tomato products may be better options, such as the following products:

  • tomato paste
  • spaghetti sauce
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • tomato juice

How to add more tomatoes to your diet. Incorporating more tomato-based recipes into your diet is simple.

There are many nutritious tomato dishes to try. For example, adding some sun-dried or fresh tomatoes to salads with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil which helps release Lycopene from aw tomatoes, eating your eggs with sliced tomatoes or salsa, and enjoying tomato-based soups are excellent ways to boost your lycopene intake.

In the summer months, you can buy fresh, local tomatoes to add to sandwiches and chop into salads.

Drinking plain tomato juice each morning is another good option. Just make sure to pick a low sodium variety.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is a vegetable that contains many complex compounds that may help protect some people from cancer.

Some studies suggest there's a link between the amount of cruciferous vegetables you eat a group that includes broccoli and a lower prostate cancer risk .

The reasons are still unclear, but researchers propose that some phytochemicals in these vegetables including sulforaphane, which broccoli sprouts contain concentrated amounts of selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected 

Other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

How to add more broccoli to your diet
You can add broccoli to stir-fries, soups, and salads, or simply eat it raw or steamed.

If you worry about fresh vegetables going bad, consider buying frozen broccoli so that you can cook it whenever you have the time. 

3. Green tea

People have been using green tea for its health benefits for thousands of years. Researchers have conducted many studies on its effects on cancer.

Evidence suggests that special compounds in green tea may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by influencing tumour growth, cell death, and hormonal health.

The following compounds could explain the health benefits of green tea: 

  • xanthine derivatives
  • epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
  • epicatechin

How to add more green tea to your diet. 
If you like the taste of green tea, start by drinking a cup each morning in place of your regular coffee.

If you prefer to skip caffeine, try a decaffeinated version. If you don't like warm tea, try cooling it in your refrigerator and adding ice for a refreshing beverage.

If you aren't a fan of the taste, try using cooled green tea as the liquid in homemade smoothies, or adding green tea powder.


4. Legumes and soybeans

Legumes are a food group that includes beans, peanuts, and lentils. Legumes contain biologically active plant compounds known as phytoestrogens.

Isoflavones are one such phytoestrogen. One review found that people who ate the most phytoestrogens had a 20% reduced risk of prostate cancer than the group with the lowest intake 

The cancer-fighting effects of phytoestrogens may come from their antioxidant properties and effects on hormone regulation and cell death.

While there's still a need for more conclusive research, some research has linked soybean isoflavones with reduced prostate cancer risk. 

The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) shows a link between the consumption of soy and reduced levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). 

PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. The PSA test, which measures the level of PSA in your blood, is used as a screening test for prostate cancer.

This research also seemed to indicate that soy was more effective when eaten along with other cancer-fighting foods.

How to add more legumes and soybeans to your diet
To add more legumes and soybeans to your diet, consider swapping meat for plant protein in at least some meals. 

Try making a black bean burger with lots of veggies. Alternatively, homemade hummus made with blended chickpeas makes a delicious dip for vegetables or toasted paleo bread.

5. Pomegranate juice

Like green tea, pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants.

Pomegranate juice has a reputation as a super fruit due to its high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants may help prevent chronic diseases related to oxidative stress.

The NCI says that pomegranate juice and some of its bioactive components may help inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells. 

Animal and test-tube studies have found that pomegranate juice and extract inhibits the production of some prostate cancer cells, though more research is needed in humans. 

How to add more pomegranate juice to your diet
You can buy pomegranate juice at most grocery stores. If drinking the juice plain is too intense, consider diluting it with plain water or adding some sparkling water.

You can also add pomegranate seeds to homemade salad dressing to sweeten up your favorite salad.


6. Fish

Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3s and omega-6s, are essential fatty acids found exclusively in the diet. They are not synthesized by the body.

The traditional Western diet has a lot of omega-6 fatty acids but not many omega-3s. Having a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is linked to better health outcomes. 

Several reviews have reported that while there may be a link between higher omega-3 fat consumption and a lower risk of high-grade prostate cancer and prostate cancer mortality, more research is needed, especially human studies. 

Fatty fish have plenty of other health benefits. Try eating fatty fish found in cold waters to increase your omega-3 intake. These include:

  • salmon
  • herring
  • mackerel
  • sardines
  • trout

How to add more fish to your diet
Adding more omega-3s to your diet can be as easy as cracking open a can of sardines or tuna. 

If you haven't enjoyed fish in the past, try a different type. Each one has a unique flavor. The flavor is also milder if the fish is fresh, so you may enjoy fish more if you buy it from a fish counter and make it that day.

Red Emperor, Snapper, Whiting and Flathead have milder flavors. Try topping your fish with a lemon sauce or adding it to another prostate-friendly food. For example, you could try baked Snapper in a tomato sauce.

Wild caught is best and eating these foods as part of a healthy lifestyle can help keep your whole body healthy.

 

Author:Geoff Beaty
Tags:NewsCancerfoods & cancer treatmentProstate cancer

Associations

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australasian Integrative Medicine Association
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia