HEALTHY LIVING: What’s good for the heart is good for the prostate

You are what you eat” is a saying that can mean so many different things to people.

You are what you eat” is a saying that can mean so many different things to people. With the increasing amount of information about food and nutrition, it is difficult to know what to choose.

As the awareness of health increases, most people understand that food can impact the chances of developing certain conditions and diseases as they get older. As men age, the risk of prostate cancer rises each decade. It is thought to be a lifestyle disease similar to heart disease, diabetes and other forms of cancer.

Therefore, following a heart healthy lifestyle has been shown to protect men from developing this most common form of cancer.

General recommendations for a cancer prevention diet include eating more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans (legumes), avoiding sugary drinks and high calorie foods, limiting consumption of red meats, while avoiding processed, cured meats, such as salami, bologna and pepperoni and limiting salty and packaged high sodium foods.

Vitamin D

There is evidence suggesting a lack of vitamin D (sunshine vitamin) may be a risk factor for developing prostate and other forms of cancer. A third of the Canadian population has a vitamin D deficiency, and therefore it’s recommended to take a daily supplement of 1000IU vitamin D for good health and cancer prevention.

Tomato Products

Risk of developing prostate cancer may be lowered by eating tomato-based foods, such as pasta sauce, tomato juice/soup and paste. These foods are high in lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant. Studies show that it’s more beneficial to eat foods rich in lycopene than taking the supplemental/pill form.

Soy

Including tofu, soy milk and other foods made with soy beans has been shown to give men a protective advantage against developing prostate cancer. Evidence suggests that soybeans have hormone-like qualities called isoflavones that may be responsible in delaying prostate cancer development.

Research indicates that food sources are safer than supplemental doses.

Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed is another food source of isoflavones in the diet. Flaxseeds also contain other protective qualities, such as omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fibre which have heart healthy benefits. Flaxseed oil doesn’t contain the plant estrogen or fibre and isn’t a good replacement for the ground flaxseeds.

Fish

Heart healthy diet includes eating fish regularly for their omega-3 fatty acid nutrition. Intake of fish twice weekly, such as salmon, sardines, oysters or tuna will offer these important cardiovascular benefits.

If eating fish is not part of your regular diet, taking an omega-3 or fish oil supplement will provide these essential fatty acids.

Selenium

Selenium deficiency may be a risk factor for developing prostate and other cancers in North America. This may be related to the fact that there is a lack of this trace mineral in the soil in the Pacific Northwest and some locally grown foods may not have much selenium content.

The greatest benefit of the addition of selenium-rich foods are shown in those men who are deficient.

A brazil nut will provide 100 per cent of the recommended daily allowance. Small amounts of selenium are also found in whole wheat, barley, tuna and turkey (depending on where the food was grown or raised).

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that works in concert with selenium. If an individual is following a low fat diet, their intake of foods rich in vitamin E may be too low. A couple of surefire ways to get some vitamin E through diet would be to eat ¼ cup of almonds or sunflower seeds regularly. Also, a general multiple vitamin/mineral would offer a reasonable amount of this important vitamin, along with a small amount of selenium micromineral.

A single dose supplement of vitamin E is generally not advised, as it has been associated with adverse effects in those with heart disease and diabetes.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, which act as potent antioxidants. There is emerging evidence that demonstrates that this fruit can offer some protection for men and prostate cancer.

Green and orange vegetables

Dark, colourful vegetables and fruits are a powerhouse of nutrition due to their phytochemical (or plant chemical) content. Phytochemicals are responsible for the flavour, colour and odor of plant foods.

To ensure adequate levels of these potent antioxidants, include a dark orange and a dark green vegetable daily. A minimum of five different colours of produce daily will give the body a good variety of healthful phytochemicals.

Get active

Daily activity is also an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Men are encouraged to find ways to have regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, and cycling. Plus, to help prevent bone loss and strengthen lean muscle, some form of regular weight training will help to reduce fatique and maintain good quality of life in men of all ages.

With the amount of recreation programs and sports club drop-in opportunities in Port Alberni, there is no excuse for not having fun while being active.

 

Sandra Gentleman, RD, is an Alberni Valley-based registered dietitian and steward of Canal Beach.

Just Posted

Port Alberni prepares to welcome hundreds of Indigenous youth delegates

Gathering Our Voices event will take place in the Alberni Valley from March 19-22

Beaver Creek club looking for name for new park

The Beaver Creek Community Hall is holding an online contest

Franklin Expedition exhibit opens at Alberni Valley Museum

Echoes in the Ice: Finding Franklin’s Ship runs until June 8 in Port Alberni

Port Alberni’s Smood skates with Vancouver Canucks

Minor hockey player chosen as ‘seventh man’ for NHL game

Port Alberni’s art centre welcomes $19K donation

100 Women Who Care choose Rollin Art Centre for latest donation

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

Most Read