Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men in the United States. Most frequent in men over the age of 40, this deadly disease can cause symptoms such as difficulty passing urine and lower back pain. As a general rule, diets high in plant foods can help reduce your risk for cancer, while promoting good overall health.
Plant foods contain classes of substances known as phytochemicals, which can help block the actions of cancer-causing substances. While all fruits and vegetables contain some types of these micronutrients, a 2013 article published in "The AAPS Journal" suggested that the phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables may be particularly effective in preventing prostate cancer. Examples of cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale.
Fiber is a crucial component of a balanced diet. According to UCSF Medical Center, fiber can work in a number of ways, including binding to toxic compounds and removing them from the body and reducing levels of certain hormones that may be involved in the progression of prostate cancer. In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains are a good source of fiber in your diet. A study published in 2012 in "Prostate Cancer" concluded that consumption of dietary fiber and grains was inversely associated with aggressive prostate cancer.
Foods High in Lycopene
Lycopene, a class of phytochemical found primarily in red-colored fruits and vegetables, is particularly noted for its potential to reduce prostate cancer risk. Lycopene is found in watermelon, apricots and guava. Because the majority of the lycopene consumed in the United States comes from tomatoes and tomato-based products, tomatoes have been studied for their relationship to prostate cancer. According to a 2004 article published in "The Journal of Nutrition," both population-based studies and clinical trials have shown that tomatoes are useful in reducing prostate cancer risk.
Green tea has been widely studied for its potential to promote health and reduce the risk of various diseases. According to the National Cancer Institute, a 2011 meta-analysis that analyzed a number of population-based studies found a significant inverse relationship between prostate cancer and green tea consumption. Another study, published in 2006 in "Cancer Research," found that green tea catechins were able to help prevent prostate cancer in men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia – a pre-cancer condition.
- National Cancer Institute: Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements: Introduction
- MedlinePlus: Prostate Cancer
- The AAPS Journal: Phytochemicals from Cruciferous Vegetables, Epigenetics, and Prostate Cancer Prevention
- UCSF Medical Center: Nutrition and Prostate Cancer
- Prostate Cancer: Intake of Grains and Dietary Fiber and Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness by Race
- National Cancer Institute: Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements: Lycopene
- The Journal of Nutrition: Tomato Phytochemicals and Prostate Cancer Risk
- National Cancer Institute: Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements: Green Tea
- Cancer Research: Chemoprevention of Human Prostate Cancer by Oral Administration of Green Tea Catechins in Volunteers with High-grade Prostate Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Preliminary Report From a One-year Proof-of-principle Study
- American Cancer Society: Phytochemicals