When you’re being treated for prostate cancer, it’s more important than ever to eat healthy. Your body is working overtime to fight the cancer, while it’s performing double duty to repair healthy cells that may have been damaged as a side effect from treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. At the same time, many cancer treatments – especially chemotherapy – come with side effects that drain your strength and sap your appetite. Here are ideas on how to make sure you are getting all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to keep a balanced diet increasing your odds of beating back prostate cancer.
1. Limit your calorie intake. Excess calories are bad for cancer growth.
2. Heart healthy is prostate healthy. Heart disease is the no. 1 killer, even in men with prostate cancer. Eat heart healthy foods of avocados, salmon, flaxseed, oatmeal, berries, dark chocolate with at least a 70% cacao content.
3. Variety in the foods you eat is important. Don’t eat the same foods all the time.
4. Remember supplements are supplements. They are not intended to replace a healthy diet. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements as they can interfere with cancer treatments effectiveness.
5. A very healthy style of eating appearing to reduce the risk of prostate cancer is the Mediterranean diet. This way of eating is high in fresh fruits and vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, olive oil, and fish and low in red meat.
6. Reduce animal fat in your diet. Studies show that excess fat, primarily red meat and high-fat dairy, stimulates prostate cancer to grow.
7. Avoid foods high in trans fats known to promote cancer growth. Trans fats are found in margarines, microwave popcorn, fried and some baked foods.
8. Increase fish intake, which is high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally eat cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and trout at least two times each week. This fish should be poached, baked or grilled. Avoid fried fish.
9. Significantly increase your intake of fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables each day. Powerful anticancer nutrients are being discovered regularly in colorful fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries and seeds.
10. Avoid high-calcium diets which have been shown to stimulate prostate cancer growth. No more than 1-2 servings each day is recommended.
11. Increase your natural vitamin C consumption – this includes berries, citrus, spinach, cantaloupe, sweet peppers, and mango.
12. Drink green tea several times each week.
13. Avoid excess preserved, pickled, or salted foods.
14. Eat red grapes, drink 100% grape juice or red wine regularly.
15. Eat leafy dark-green vegetables frequently.
16. Cruciferous vegetables are cancer protective. These include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, collard greens, Brussel sprouts, and rutabagas.
17. Tomatoes and especially tomato products are very high in lycopene, a powerful anticancer substance. This includes tomato sauce, tomato paste and ketchup.
18. Use olive oil, which is very healthy and rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. Avocados are also a good source too.
19. Check with your physician about taking a vitamin D3 supplement of 2000 IU daily. This can help strengthen the immune system to fight back cancer.
20. Research has suggested that up to 4-5 cups of coffee a day may be associated with a reduced risk of overall prostate cancer and reduced incidences of fatal and high-grade prostate cancer.