It’s easy to put off getting your prostate checked by your doctor. It’s also easy to add some healthy prostate-friendly foods to your diet. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. It afflicts 1 in 7 men in the United States. It’s believed that the high-fat, high-sugar Western diet may contribute to increased rates of prostate cancer. So while you’ll need to see a doctor eventually, you can start boosting your prostate health by trying these six foods.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes. It may help prevent prostate cancer as well as reduce tumor growth among men with prostate cancer. In a review of 11 studies published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, researchers found that men who ate more tomatoes and tomato-based products, both raw and cooked, were less likely to develop prostate cancer.
But because lycopene is tightly bound to cell walls, our bodies have a difficult time extracting it from raw tomatoes. Cooked or pureed tomato products may be better options. Look to products like these:
- tomato paste
- spaghetti sauce
- sun-dried tomatoes
- tomato juice
Broccoli is a vegetable that contains many complex compounds that may help protect some people from cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies suggest there’s a link between the amount of cruciferous vegetables you eat and your prostate cancer risk. The reasons why are still unclear. But researchers propose that one of the phytochemicals found in these vegetables, called sulforaphane, selectively targets and kills cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected.
Green tea is a large component of the Asian diet. It’s been consumed for thousands of years. It’s not clear if green tea is the reason why prostate cancer rates in Asia are so much lower than in the United States. However, components of green tea are being studied for their effects on health.