Summary: Diet and exercise play a vital role in your overall health, but did you know that eating certain foods and practicing health life habits could help you to reduce your risk of prostate cancer? Many new studies being done are proving that whole, clean-eating and reducing sugar intake is beneficial for almost every patient. Here you can learn tips on how to eat healthier and take part in everyday activities to boost your heart rate and work out your body!
Many people wonder what they can do to help reduce their overall risk for developing prostate cancer, so much so, that many doctors state that this is their top asked question: “how can I avoid getting cancer?” At this point, most patients hope that their doctor will simply hand over a list of fix-all’s with foods and activities that would guarantee a cancer free life. While certain foods and activities have been linked to the reduction of risk for prostate cancer, specific proof that they truly do work is lacking. There are many new studies being done on whole-eating, clean-eating and diets that avoid all sugar and carbohydrates.
Instead of focusing on specific diets or foods, most physicians stand by the thought that general healthy eating is the way to go. Overall, experts recommend the following:
- Choose healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (including almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados.
- Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products.
- Avoid partially hydrogenated fats like trans fats, which are in many fast foods and packaged foods.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas and many fruit juices. Eat sweets as an occasional treat.
- Cut down on salt. Choose foods low in sodium by reading and comparing food labels. Limit the use of canned, processed, and frozen foods.
- Watch portion sizes. Eat slowly and stop eating when you are full.
- Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Go for those with deep, bright color.
- Add leafy greens to your diet, daily if you can.
- Add red vegetables to your diet. Tomatoes, watermelon, and other red foods owe their bright color to a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Some recent studies show that men who consume this fruit and tomato-based products have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who do not. However, the American Institute for Cancer Research cautions that studies linking tomatoes to prostate cancer prevention are limited and ongoing.
- Choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread and choose whole-grain pasta and cereals.
- Limit your consumption of red meat, including beef, pork, lamb, and goat, and processed meats, such as bologna and hot dogs.
- Fish, skinless poultry, beans, and eggs are healthier sources of protein.
Along with diet comes activity and exercise. Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing certain deadly patterns and problems, like heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. While there have been few studies done charting the correlations between exercise and prostate health, those that have been done have shown that exercise is indeed beneficial. Here are some examples of this fact:
- Based on questionnaires completed by more than thirty-thousand men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers found an inverse relationship between physical activity and BPH symptoms. Simply stated, men who were more physically active were less likely to suffer from this condition. Even low to moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking regularly at a moderate pace, produced benefits.
- Using data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers also examined the relationship between erectile dysfunction and exercise. They found that men who ran for an hour and a half or did three hours of rigorous outdoor work per week were twenty percent less likely to develop ED than those who did not exercise at all. More physical activity conferred a greater benefit. Interestingly, regardless of the level of exercise, men who were overweight or obese had a greater risk of erectile dysfunction than men with an ideal body mass index.
- Italian researchers randomly assigned over two-hundred sedentary men with chronic prostatitis to one of two exercise programs for eighteen weeks: aerobic exercise, which included brisk walking, or nonaerobic exercise, which included leg lifts, sit-ups, and stretching. Each group exercised three times a week. At the end of the trial, men in both groups felt better, but those in the aerobic exercise group experienced significantly less discomfort, anxiety and depression, and an overall improved quality of life.
If you already have prostate cancer, following a healthy diet and lifestyle can still be very beneficial for your overall health. If you have questions about diet and nutrition, reach out to your doctor who can set you up with a nutritionist in your area. A nutritionist can help to tailor a special plan to meet the requirements your body needs to best function.
Remember, never begin or stop any medical treatment without your doctor’s input and advice.
Health Professionals Follow-up Study
American Institute for Cancer Research