The current statistics regarding prostate cancer don't seem to be improving much. About 1 in 7 men will contract the disease, making it number two with a bullet behind skin cancer in America. The American Cancer Society translates that to be about 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer – with about 26,120 deaths – for the U.S. by the end of 2016. The real tragedy in these numbers is that many of these cases may be preventable with the right diet!
You have probably already heard that a tomato-rich diet slows the enlargement of the prostate -- pizza's one redeeming nutritional virtue. It's all because tomatoes are rich in the nutrient lycopene, which is also what makes them red. Lycopene is also found in watermelons and apricots, but it is not easily absorbed into the blood. This means you can't use “prostate cancer prevention” as an excuse for wolfing down a whole pizza, as an over-indulgence in tomatoes will not necessarily help. Also note that cheese and other saturated fats have been linked to aggressive prostate cancer, so pizza may not be the best source of your tomatoes.
But that popular red fruit/vegetable is only one of the foods men should have on their plates regularly if they want to ward off the spectre of prostate cancer.
Green tea is 99.9 percent water, devoid of any nutrients, and chock full of caffeine. Yet researchers found that those receiving the tea had an improved quality of life in as little as six weeks, as well as improved urine flow and decreased urological inflammation. More importantly, green tea contains substances known as catechins, which were found to reduce the chance of early-stage prostate cancer from progressing to a full blown prostate cancer diagnosis.
One food that you can eat in large amounts, to the benefit of your prostate health, is soy. Various studies have indicated that soy can decrease the incidence of prostate cancer in men who consume it in large amounts and even aid in preventing the cancer from recurring. It's a unique dietary source of isoflavones, which includes genistein. This compound inhibits prostate cancer cell growth and also induces cellular death. And it's a force-multiplier should your cancer progress to where you need treatment: studies have demonstrated that genistein enhances the ability of radiation to kill prostate cancer cells.
The pomegranate: It was big in Greek mythology and it is big today among people who are serious about fending off prostate cancer. Even a small amount – 8 ounces – of pomegranate juice consumed daily can slow the progression of the disease, according to the American Urological Association. A 2009 study found that men who drank the juice experienced a growth in prostate-specific antigen that was four times slower than before they started.
Finally, there is broccoli. Well, all cruciferous veggies, really. A 2013 study found that these contain compounds called glucoinsulates, which produce cancer-inhibiting phytochemicals. Other veggies in this family include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, aikon, watercress, and bok choy.
The five foods to avoid if you don't want to tempt the prostate cancer Fates? The Usual Suspects: red meat, cheese, sugar, milk, and beer.