As many as one in seven men gets a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime. It’s the most common cancer among men. And it strikes in the prime of life, with 66 being the average age of diagnosis.
But here’s the thing about prostate cancer. The five year survival rate is an impressive 90 percent. And if you don’t have an aggressive case, prostate tumors are often so slow growing that your doctor is likely to opt for “watchful waiting” if a tumor is discovered.
But you know what’s better than having a non-aggressive case of prostate cancer? Never getting the diagnosis in the first place.
And it turns out you have the power to make that far more likely. You simply need to make a few easy tweaks to your diet.
Prevent prostate cancer with food? Experts say, “Yes!”
Following are our top five picks for foods that can help prevent prostate cancer…
You know what they say about an apple a day. Well in this case it’s true. An apple a day could keep the oncologist at bay.
Research has found that pectin—a type of fiber found in the peel and pulp of apples and other fruits—can help kill cancer cells and reduce their spread. In a study MCP—pectin tweaked to be more digestible—slashed cancer cell spread by 20 percent, and invasion by 40 percent.
You’ll also find pectin in apricots, plums, and citrus fruits. And MCP is available as a supplement.
Experts say phytochemicals found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, collard greens and cabbage can help prevent prostate cancer.
When you chew the vegetables, the phytochemcials break down into a number of active compounds, including cancer-fighting Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.
Both compounds fight cancer before it starts. And if a tumor has already formed, they could help keep the cancer from spreading.
In a study conducted at the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii, researchers uncovered a link between eating cruciferous veggies and a lower rate of prostate cancer.
3. Egg yolks:
If you’ve only been eating egg whites, it’s time to quit and reclaim the whole egg. Experts say healthy vitamin D levels could lower your risk of prostate cancer. And egg yolks are a good source of the sometimes hard to get vitamin.
A study out of Chicago found men who were deficient in vitamin D were significantly more likely to have a positive prostate cancer biopsy then men who were getting enough of the vital vitamin.
Since natural dietary sources of vitamin D are limited, along with your whole eggs make sure you’re getting 15 minutes of sun every day to help prevent prostate cancer. After all, vitamin D’s called “the sunshine vitamin” for a reason.
4. Green tea:
Packed with antioxidants, green tea can be a healthy part of any diet. But when it comes to prostate cancer, researchers say there’s reason to start getting really excited.
Early studies have linked the chemical compound EGCG, found in green tea, to reduced inflammation, and lower prostate cancer rates.
In a breakthrough study conducted at the University of Wisconsin, researchers say volunteers who received a green tea supplement had 90 percent fewer cases of prostate cancer. Scientists need to conduct more studies before they can say there’s a cause and effect relationship between the tea and the lower risk.
But since green tea is tasty, and linked to all kinds of other health benefits, it just makes sense to start drinking more now.
In a meta-analysis of eleven different studies, guy’s whose diets included more lycopene-rich tomatoes were significantly less likely to develop prostate cancer.
Experts believe the lycopene both slows the growth of cancer cells, and limits the damage done to healthy cells to help prevent prostate cancer before it starts.
While both raw and cooked tomatoes were effective, cooked ones had a bit better results. So feel free to eat them both ways. But cooking the tomatoes will help break down the cell walls, releasing more lycopene.
Keep your prostate healthy from the very start, with these five foods that help prevent prostate cancer.