10 Best Foods for Prostate Health
Jacqueline Ho | July 24, 2014
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men (after skin cancer), according to the American Cancer Society. By following a healthy diet, you can help lower your risk of developing prostate cancer and improve overall prostate health. Try adding the following 10 prostate-friendly foods to your diet.
Tomatoes contain lycopene—an antioxidant that may help prevent prostate cancer and reduce tumor growth in men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The lycopene from cooked or pureed tomatoes—such as tomato paste, pasta sauce or tomato juice—are more easily extracted by our bodies than lycopene in raw tomatoes.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, contain certain phytochemicals which some studies show may help fight cancer cells. Other studies have shown that men who eat more cruciferous vegetables tend to have a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
Studies have found that certain phytoestrogens, a type of biologically active plant compound, have cancer-fighting properties that can suppress tumor growth in prostate cancer cells. Good sources of legumes include beans, peanuts and lentils.
Consuming both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is important, as they are found only in foods and are not made by the body. Studies have shown that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may help prevent both the development and progression of prostate cancer. Good sources of these healthy fats include salmon, herring, mackerel and trout.
Zinc has been found to be an essential mineral when it comes to prostate health. Researchers have determined that men with prostate cancer have lower levels of zinc in their bodies than do men with healthy prostates. Zinc found in food is easier for our bodeis to absorb than zinc supplements. Good sources of zinc include sesame seeds, adzuki beans and oysters.
Consuming soybean products such as tofu may help lower risk of an enlarged prostate and developing prostate cancer, according to one study published in the journal The Prostate. Other soybean products include soy milk, tempeh and soy-based yogurt.
While many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, the vitamin C found only in certain vegetables may help lower risk of an enlarged prostate. The vegetable with the most vitamin C is bell peppers but other vegetable sources include broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts.
Avocados contain beta-sitosterol, which has been shown to help reduce symptoms associated with enlarged prostate. Beta-sitosterol can also help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation and pain. Other sources of the plant sterol are pumpkin seeds, pecans and wheat germ.
A diet rich in fiber can help protect the body from certain types of cancers. Beans are not only a great source of fiber, but they also provide a healthy alternative to red meat as a source of protein. Eating too much red meat has been linked to increased risk of prostate cancer.
Consuming garlic may help reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Studies have shown that garlic has the ability to block the formation of certain cancer-causing substances and cut in half the activation of such substances.