RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—A new report, which analyzes decades’ worth of research on the role of foods in prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, finds that eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat and dairy is an important way for men to lower their risk. Prostate cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in men, and the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer overall.
THE DETAILS: Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the Cancer Council of New South Wales scoured studies published between 1965 and 2008 on the topic of diet and nutrition and their effects on prostate cancer. The goal was to see if enough evidence existed in support of or against the inclusion of certain foods and nutrients (such as alcohol, meat, fat, lycopene, selenium, calcium, and various vitamins) in a diet aimed at reducing prostate cancer risk. While evidence proved inconclusive for many of the nutrients, the researchers did find a connection between phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, as well as polyphenol compounds in beverages like tea, and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Conversely, eating more meat and dairy products seems to increase a person’s prostate cancer risk.
WHAT IT MEANS: The authors of this review concluded there wasn’t enough definitive evidence to prescribe a specific diet that has the power to reduce a person’s risk of prostate cancer. But that doesn’t mean that eating well won’t positively affect your prostate—and overall—health. “Certainly, diet is not the only factor that affects the development of prostate cancer and its treatment, but striving for a healthy diet is an important step that people can take to reduce their cancer risk,” says Kathy Chapman, chair of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee for the Cancer Council, and one of the study’s authors.
So just what does a healthy prostate diet include? Here are some foods you should strive to eat more of, along with a few to start limiting.