Seven Nutrition Tips to Include in Your Prostate Cancer Treatment

February 13th, 2013

Richard Beven-Thomas Urologists at USMDPCC
By: Dr. Richard Bevan-Thomas

As you undergo prostate cancer treatment, it is vital that you maintain a healthy diet to help your body battle cancer. Your body is in overdrive fighting the cancer. It is also repairing healthy cells that may be damaged as a side effect of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. A healthy diet strengthens your immune system, helping to prevent a secondary infection; yet, eating correctly during treatment is often a challenge, as patients in often have a diminished appetite A prostate healthy diet, low in fat and high in fiber coupled with regular exercise can slow prostate cancer cell growth by up to 30 percent, according to a study by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and UCLA's Department of Physiological Science. So what steps can to take to fuel your body properly during and following prostate cancer treatment?

1. Green is your friend.

A prostate healthy diet consists of dark-green vegetables, like spinach, cabbage, and broccoli. Green tea is also a powerful antioxidant and has been shown in some studies to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells.

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2. Tomato tomahto.

Tomatoes and tomato based products like tomato paste and pasta sauce are very high in lycopene. While direct correlation to prostate health has not been established, a relationship between lycopene and heart health has been established. This is something that shouldn’t be ignored, as heart disease is still the number one cause of death of men, even men with prostate cancer. Lycopene, however, is best activated when it has been heated. Think hot tomato sauce but hold the pizza dough.

3. Watch your meats.

Red-meat, particularly beef fried or charred, should be eaten in very limited quantity. Grass-fed beef causes less of an inflammatory response in the body than corn-fed beef for those meat lovers. Better choices of protein come from fish--like salmon, sardines, tuna and trout--and fowl—particularly white meat. Also, consider eating limited amounts of soy, tofu, and legumes to acquire your needed protein.

4. Caution with the cow.

Not only is too much red meat bad for your body, so too, is consuming excessive amounts of dairy and calcium. Calcium is needed for bone health, but massive amounts of calcium should be avoided, as there are some indications this can accelerate cancer cell growth.

5. Partake of the vine.

Red grapes, grape juice and limited amounts of red wine are recommended. These have the powerful antioxidant Resveratrol.

6. Don’t rely on supplements.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are just that, supplements. A sound nutrition plan gains the body’s needed nourishment primarily from the foods we eat. Taking daily vitamins will not overcome the deficit caused by eating a diet of primarily fatty fast-food.

7. Get that body moving.

Couple your healthy nutrition with exercise. Include weekly cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises into your lifestyle. Exercise improves your overall health, fights depression and anxiety, and has been shown to increase the rate of survival after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Please read the articles found on the websites listed below:

If you have any questions regarding your specific dietary or exercise needs during treatment, your USMD Prostate Cancer Center physician will be glad to advise you.

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