Foods that pack a punch against prostate cancer
Tomatoes and other red foods
Tomatoes, watermelon, and other red foods owe their bright color to a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show that men who consume this fruit and tomato-based products have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t.
Other findings suggest that cooking tomatoes makes it easier for your body to absorb lycopene. The redder the tomato, the better because lycopene accumulates during ripening. That means that pale, store-bought tomatoes that are picked too early have less lycopene than vine-ripened tomatoes.
Nutrients and vitamins contained in fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of getting prostate cancer. Green vegetables contain compounds that help your body break down cancer-causing substances called carcinogens. A nutrient-rich diet may also help slow the spread of cancer.
By eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to fill up on processed junk food.
Fatty acid, known as omega-3, may help reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer. Omega-3 is found in certain fish including sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout, and salmon.
When compared to a high-fat diet, eating a low-fat diet and taking fish oil supplements has been found to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. It’s easier to treat cancer that hasn’t yet spread outside the prostate.
A nutrient called isoflavones has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Isoflavones are found in:
- tofu (made from soybeans)
- alfalfa sprouts
Some studies have shown that men who drink green tea, or take green tea extract supplements, have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t.
Decades of studies suggest that indulging a serious coffee habit is linked to a decreased risk of fatal prostate cancer:
- Drinking four to five cups of coffee every day can lower your chances of fatal and high-grade prostate cancer.
- Regardless of how many cups you drink overall, every three cups of coffee you drink can reduce your risk of fatal prostate cancer about 11 percent.
This describes a dose-response relationship between prostate cancer and coffee. That means the effect on prostate cancer goes up or down with the amount of coffee you drink. These effects may not extend to someone who only grabs an occasional cup.
However, high doses of caffeine can cause major health issues, such as irregular heartbeat and seizures. According to Mayo Clinic, the daily recommended amount of caffeine for most healthy adults is 400 milligrams — or about 1 1/2 cups.
How coffee is prepared can also be a factor. A study in Norway looked at coffee brewed with a filter, and boiled coffee, which doesn’t use such a filter. Men who drank boiled coffee seemed to have a lower risk of prostate cancer than men who drank coffee prepared another way or not at all.
The chemicals cafestol and kahweol have well-known cancer-fighting abilities. Researchers believe these chemicals are trapped when coffee runs through a paper filter. Boiled coffee may allow these cancer-fighting chemicals to stay in your daily brew.