15 Foods That Help Fight Prostate Cancer
If you are looking for information about the best foods to fight prostate cancer, you've come to the right place. This section of HealWithFood.org's Guide to Preventing Prostate Cancer presents 15 awesome prostate cancer fighting foods that may help reduce your risk of developing this dangerous disease which affects millions of men around the world (as of today, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide).
Tomatoes possess several extraordinary properties that make them exceptional at preventing prostate cancer. Their most notable quality: they provide lycopene which is a very strong antioxidant. One study with 47,894 male participants found that consuming 10 or more servings of tomato products per week was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer by 34%. Lycopene from processed tomato products — such as tomato paste, tomato juice, and catsup — appears be more bioavailable than that from raw tomatoes. Furthermore, lycopene is better absorbed by the body in the presence of beta-carotene. Coincidentally, tomatoes also contain beta-carotene! In addition to lycopene and beta-carotene, tomatoes contain vitamin C and are typically low in pesticides.
#2: Green Tea
Although not a food, green tea is included in this list of foods that fight prostate cancer because it offers many extraordinary health benefits. Green tea is commonly used as a weight loss aid, but scientific evidence suggests that it may also help prevent certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Catechins, the same compounds that are responsible for green tea's weight loss promoting properties, have been shown to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as other biomarkers of disease in men with prostate cancer. To maximize the release of catechins, choose loose tea leaves instead of tea bags and let the tea steep for five minutes. Further, research suggests that complementing green tea with a substance high in vitamin C, such as lemon juice, can increase the amount of catechins available to the body.
Raspberries are bursting with nutrients and flavor, yet they are very low in calories. They may also be one of the best foods to fight prostate cancer is they are loaded with ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a natural anti-carcinogen, anti-mutagen, and an inhibitor of cancer. In some cases, it has also been able to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. Ellagic acid is found in a number of foods, red raspberries being by far the best source of this miraculous substance (1,500 mcg per gram of dry weight fruit extract). Further, the ellagic acid found in red raspberries retains its potency through heating and freezing. So, regardless of whether you eat your raspberries fresh, frozen or heated, you will reap their cancer-fighting benefits.
Although used much in the same way as salad greens, arugula is actually a cruciferous vegetable and a relative of other nutritional superhero vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Like other cruciferous vegetables, arugula is loaded with health promoting nutrients and thus makes a great substitute for lettuce. It is an excellent source of glucosinolates, natural compounds that turn into isothiocyanates when arugula is chewed. Isothiocyanates are known to neutralize carcinogens and to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. The high concentration of chlorophyll, a plant pigment with strong anti-cancer properties, also contributes to the anti-cancer and prostate cancer fighting activities of this super food. What's more, arugula is brimming with vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Here's yet another excellent prostate cancer fighting food: turmeric, the spice that gives its yellow color to curries and many other foods. Turmeric has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat a vast range of conditions and diseases. In recent years, also western medicine has started to pay attention to this extraordinary plant of the ginger family. Several recent studies have found that turmeric can induce apoptosis, a process that triggers the self-destruction of cancerous cells. Furthermore, turmeric contains antioxidant compounds and may prevent nitrosamine formation and inhibit aflatoxin production — two processes that have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Horseradish can add a special kick to salads, scrambled eggs, and vegetable dishes, but its benefits are not purely culinary. Horseradish also makes a great anti-prostate cancer food, as it is a very source of glucosinolates, phytochemicals that have been shown to boost the liver's ability to eliminate carcinogens that could cause prostate cancer. Research also suggests that the glucosinolates in horseradish may also be able to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. Glucosinolates are abundant in many cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and Brussels sprouts, but the amount of glucosinolates in horseradish is exceptionally high (horseradish has been shown to contain up to 10 times more glucosinolates than broccoli).
In traditional folk medicine, garlic has been used as a cure for numerous ailments, but in recent years also the scientific community has recognized garlic's health promoting powers. Research credits garlic with the ability to promote heart and cardiovascular health, but it has also been shown to be able to prevent and treat cancer, including prostate cancer. One study found that men who ate more than 10 grams of garlic a day were 50% less likely to get prostate cancer than those who did not. The ability of garlic to reduce prostate cancer risk is believed to be attributable to the organosulphur compounds contained garlic. Additionally, garlic — especially fresh garlic — contains a fair amount of vitamin C. It is also a good source of selenium, with one cup of raw garlic providing almost 30% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult.
Watercress is a prostate cancer fighting food par excellence. Watercress and watercress extracts have been shown to prevent DNA damage that triggers cancer cell development, to halt uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, and to prevent the spread of cancer cells. Watercress extract has also been shown to induce self-destruction of cancerous cells (process known as "apoptosis"). You can purchase watercress in larger supermarkets or you can grow your own crop in your garden. Watercress is delicious in salads and sandwiches, but it also makes great soup.
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