Prostate cancer is a leading cause of deaths in men above the age of 50 years. The irony is that prostate cancers can be diagnosed easily at an early stage and yet many men are dying from it. Whilst medical science has reached such impressive heights as far as dealing with prostate cancer is concerned what is even more important is that simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing prostate cancers.
Aside from the usual do’s and dont’s for preventing any form of cancer like quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, beginning some form of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet there are a few simple additions to our diets that can help us prevent the onset of prostate cancer. Medical research has proven beyond a doubt that the presence of antioxidants in vegetables, especially tomatoes and broccoli, can lower prostate cancer risk, while foods with saturated animal fats can increase the risk. Many doctors and nutritionists are already very comfortable in advocating that men eat a generous amount of vegetable-based diet to lower their risk of prostate cancer, not to mention added benefits in reducing the incidences of heart disease, obesity and colon cancer.
What makes tomatoes and broccoli very useful in the battle against prostate cancer? Tomatoes especially are loaded with nutrients called carotenoids, particularly LYCOPENE. Lycopene is the major red carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes. In broccoli, a number of sulfur compounds are thought to detoxify many carcinogens. Those familiar with prostate health recommend seven to ten servings of tomatoes and tomato based products a week, which still amounts to only one serving per day, which is quite possible for most men. If you add tomatoe juice, raw tomatoes or even pasta then the daily or weekly requirement is easily met.
How the foods are prepared matters a lot for some of the natural anti-cancer agents. Carotenoids are very poorly absorbed from raw foods, so some heating really helps bring out the benefits. For example take beta-carotene from carrots. A raw carrot gives 1 or 2 percent of beta-carotene absorption. On the contrary steaming the same carrots a little bit and add a little bit of olive oil in it, you will get much more absorption of the beneficial carotenoids. The same holds good for tomatoes. Peel some tomatoes and steam them for a couple of hours till you get a sauce of tomatoes. This will ensure that you get a better amount of Lycopenes out of the tomatoes.
Several micro-nutrients in foods can lower the risk of prostate cancer. Suggestions are rife that a higher consumption of vitamin E and selenium can lower prostate cancer risk by a great extent. Vitamin E is found in many plant foods, including nuts, vegetables, vegetable oils, as well as egg yolks. Vitamin E is also present in most breakfast cereals because it is added when manufacturers fortify it. The metallic trace element selenium gets into plants from the soil, so it’s in grains such as wheat, barley, hops, and rice. There is also some selenium from animal foods products, because the food animals consume also have these grains in good amounts.
It is up to us men to choose how healthy we can be. Lifestyle changes matter a lot and simple additions of foods like tomatoes and broccoli and trace elements like Selenium and vitamins like Vitamin E can help keep prostate cancer at bay.