Research shows that regular consumption of colorful fruits and vegetables can decrease the risk of prostate cancer in men. A variety of micronutrients found in a rainbow of foods can not only prevent prostate cancer but also help in the recovery of men who have had radiation treatment for prostate cancer. The study highlights the significance of adopting a Mediterranean style diet that incorporates these foods.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
In comparison to a healthy control group, prostate cancer patients were found to have low levels of selenium, alpha-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, while having high levels of calcium sulfur, and iron in their plasma concentrations.
Furthermore, men with plasma concentrations lower than 0.25 micrograms/milliliter for lycopene or/and lower than 120 micrograms/liter for selenium have an increased prostate cancer risk and may be more radiation sensitive.
Increased DNA damage was also linked to low levels of selenium and lycopene in blood plasma after radiation exposure. This highlights the importance of including these micronutrients in the diet, especially for men who have undergone radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
Lycopene-rich foods include cranberries, watermelons, peaches, grapes, papayas, melons, and tomatoes, while foods rich in selenium include nuts, eggs, shellfish, fish, and white meat. However, the study recommends eating naturally rich foods over taking supplements as their benefits are limited.
While the study recommends a Mediterranean, it is essential to note that people absorb nutrients differently, depending on factors such as food, digestive system, genotype, and microbiome. Therefore, enlisting the help of a dietician can ensure that individuals absorb nutrients in the best possible way.
Although prostate cancer is one of the most fatal and common cancers in men, the nutritional deficiencies linked to it are not well known. While other risk factors which include age, ethnicity, and family history, have been associated with prostate cancer, being tall and overweight, and diets low in vitamin E and high in dairy products could also increase the risk.
It is important to note that vitamin E is found in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and plant-based oils, and its intake should be considered when preventing prostate cancer.
In conclusion, the study suggests that including colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in selenium and lycopene, in the diet can help prevent prostate cancer and improve men’s overall health. Adopting a Mediterranean diet, enlisting the help of a dietician, and avoiding supplements in favor of naturally rich foods can significantly decrease prostate cancer risk.
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