Nutrition for Prostate Health

Differences in diet and lifestyle may account for the variability of prostate cancer rates in different countries. Good nutrition may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, slow progression of the disease and prevent aggressive disease.

In this section, we discuss guidelines for a healthy diet for good prostate health and guidelines for a healthy diet while in treatment for prostate cancer. These tips, however, should never be used as a replacement for treatment

Healthy Diets

We do know that improved nutrition reduces risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, which can improve overall quality of life.  It’s estimated that a third of cancer deaths in the United States can be attributed to diet in adults, including diet’s effect on obesity.  Additionally, a healthy diet helps to increase energy levels, facilitate recovery and enhance the immune system. According to the World Health Organization, a person with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more is considered obese.

Experts now believe choices about our diet account for the vast majority of prostate cancer cases. It’s important to evaluate diet choices when it comes to risk of prostate cancer. Scientists have slowly uncovered a list of cancer super foods and supplements to optimize in your diet while also discovering foods and supplements that actually contribute to cancer risk and aggression.

Diets for Prostate Health

Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

Your diet should be:

Primarily plant based
Include plenty of fruits and vegetables
High in fiber
Low in fat
Limited in the amount of simple sugars

In addition to a Healthy Diet:

Drink adequate fluids
Be physically active to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Diet Tips for Prostate Health

Maintaining Good Nutrition During and After Treatment

Maintaining a healthy diet can help you prepare for and recover after cancer treatment.  It may also help to prevent the prostate cancer from coming back. Watching your weight may reduce your risk of dying from prostate cancer. Recent studies have indicated that the risk of dying from prostate cancer is more than double in obese men diagnosed with the disease compared with men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis. Obese men with local or regional disease have been shown to have nearly four times the risk of their cancer spreading beyond the prostate or metastasizing.

Prostate cancer treatment may affect your appetite, eating habits, and weight, but it is important for you to maintain a healthy weight, get essential nutrients, and remain as physically active as possible. If you have difficulty eating due to side effects from treatment, there are ways to make eating more comfortable. Working with a registered dietician/nutritionist (RDN) can help make sure you are getting the nutrition you need.

Unfortunately it is possible for side effects from surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy to cause you to lose your appetite, eat less and loose weight. On the other hand, some treatments, such as androgen deprivation therapy may cause weight gain for some men.

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