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Nutrition and Prostate Cancer

Differences in diet and lifestyle may account for the variability of prostate cancer rates in different countries. Good nutrition may reduce the incidence of prostate cancer and help reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression. There are many studies* currently being conducted to further understand how diet and prostate cancer are related.

It is generally agreed that improved nutrition reduces risk and usually improves overall quality of life. It’s estimated that a third of cancer deaths in the United States can be attributed to diet in adults, including diet’s effect on obesity. Additionally, a healthy diet helps to increase energy levels, facilitate recovery and enhance the immune system.

Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

Your diet should be:

  • Primarily plant-based
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • High in fiber
  • Low in fat
  • Limited in the amount of simple sugars

In addition, drink adequate fluids and be physically active to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Plant-Based Diet

A diet that is primarily plant-based includes the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Other plant protein sources

It is important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Here are a few reasons why:

  • There is consistent evidence that diets high in fruits and vegetables are associated with decreased risks of many cancers. While results for prostate cancer risk are not yet conclusive, they are promising.
  • Men who consumed at least 28 servings of vegetables per week had a reduced risk of prostate cancer compared with those who ate fewer than 14 servings per week.
  • There is some evidence that vegetables — particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and bok choy — may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
  • Men who ate three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables per week had a 41 percent decreased risk of prostate cancer compared with men who ate less than one serving per week.
  • The benefit of fruits and vegetables in regards to cancer protection may be related to high amounts of carotenoids in certain fruits and vegetables, according to some key population studies.
  • One study indicated that fructose, or fruit sugar, resulted in a lower risk of prostate cancer.

What to Do: Consume at least five, preferably eight to 10, servings of fruits and vegetables daily for their cancer protective effects. One serving equates to:

  • 1/2 cup fruit or vegetable
  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit or vegetable
  • 6 fluid ounces of fruit or vegetable juice

*Summary – Highlights from UCSF Medical Report

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