Men who eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans could have a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and Kentucky reported 14,076 cases from 2004 to 2008. Risk factors for prostate cancer include age, ethnicity and family history.
About 62 percent of all cases occur in men older than 65, and African-American men are more likely than other men to develop the disease.
However, some lifestyle factors can modify the risk of developing prostate cancer, such as maintaining a healthy weight and including physical activity into your daily routine.
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Some scientific studies are investigating the probability that including specific foods in a diet could help protect men from developing prostate cancer. Other foods might increase the risks.
Here are some recommendations:
Tomatoes and red fruits: Tomatoes (and some other red or reddish fruits, including papaya, apricots and pink grapefruit), get their red hue from a carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene has been shown in several studies to act as an antioxidant. The best source of lycopene is tomatoes. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating tomatoes that have been cooked, because lycopene is absorbed better when it has been processed.
Pomegranate fruit and juice: Pomegranates are high in a phytochemical called ellagic acid. Research suggests that ellagic acid might slow the growth of some tumors. Pomegranates also have been found to reduce prostate- specific antigens in patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Selenium: Selenium is a naturally occurring trace mineral found in Brazil nuts and oatmeal. Selenium might decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer; however, studies have been inconsistent. At this time, experts do not recommend any selenium supplements.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is often called the "sunshine vitamin" because most people acquire it naturally with about 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily. Vitamin D has been suggested to decrease the risk of several cancers, including prostate cancer. Food sources of Vitamin D include salmon, mackerel and tuna, and fortified dairy foods.
High fat intake: A diet high in fat over a long time will increase the risk of prostate cancer. Fats from animal sources tend to have the highest influence on prostate cancer risk. Eat lean meats such as poultry and fish more often to reduce risk.
Calcium and dairy: The National Cancer Institute states that diets high in dairy foods and calcium might slightly increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who consume the recommended 2 to 3 servings of low-fat dairy foods a day seem to be safe, because calcium in these foods has many other health benefits.