A Plant-Based Diet May Slow The Progression Of Prostate Cancer

A Plant-Based Diet May Slow The Progression Of Prostate Cancer

One of the primary concerns with prostate cancer is that the disease can progress to an advanced stage and become life-threatening. That is truly the case for most cancers, which is why medical experts stress the importance of early detection. They also harp on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle habits to reduce the risk of cancer. And new research further amplifies this point, showing that eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds can reduce the risk of prostate cancer spreading. 

The study, which was recently published in JAMA Network Open, made an interesting discovery. Researchers noted that men with prostate cancer who consume a high amount of plant-based foods can cut their risk of cancer growth by nearly 50% compared to those who don’t eat a lot of plant-based foods. Consuming a predominantly plant-based diet has been associated with better prostate cancer-specific outcomes. It may also help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality. Making small changes in your diet to focus on more plant-based foods can do more good than you know!

Plant-Based Diet May Control Prostate Cancer

The study involved more than 2,000 men who were at an average age of 65 years old at the start. They all had a diagnosis of non-metastatic prostate cancer, meaning it hadn’t spread to other parts of the body. Each participant completed a comprehensive diet and lifestyle questionnaire to provide details about their eating habits. 

During an average 6.5-year period, 190 participants experienced a progression in prostate cancer, and 61 died from prostate cancer-specific causes. Study authors then determined that the participants who consumed the highest amounts of plant-based foods experienced a 47% lower risk of prostate cancer spreading than the men who ate fewer plant-based foods.

Small Dietary Changes Can Make A Difference

It can be difficult to make the complete switch to plant-based, but you don’t have to. Ideally, you simply add more plant-based foods to your diet and if you consume meat, focus on lean protein that is high-quality. Study authors noted that in comparison to the lowest level of plant-based consumption, the highest meant eating 1.9 more portions of vegetables, 1.6 more servings of fruit, and 0.9 more servings of whole grains per day. 

What does that mean in relation to a plate of food? Well, a standard serving of fruit, for example, can be one medium apple, banana, orange, or pear. A half-cup of brown rice is a single serving of whole grains, while a half-cup of cooked or one cup of raw broccoli or carrots counts as a single portion of vegetables. People who eat higher quantities of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits on a regular basis also eat fewer animal-based foods, on average. That could mean that they eat fewer eggs, one less serving of dairy, and marginally less meat. And since a growing body of research indicates that eating more plant-based foods reduces the risk of prostate cancer, you may want to consider eating more of these foods. 

A Plant-Based Diet Offers Numerous Benefits

There have been many previous studies and reviews related to the potential protective effects of plant-based foods for prostate health. Why is a plant-based diet so beneficial for the prostate? Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, which may prevent free radical damage that can harm cells. Animal-based foods, such as processed meats and red meat, are carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Consuming dairy products also increases the risk of worse prostate cancer outcomes. A plant-based dietary program helps you steer clear of harmful foods and shifts your focus to foods that help the body. 

Prostate Cancer Is Most Common Among Men In the United States

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is still the most common cancer among men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 299,010 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2024 alone; roughly 35,000 men will die from the condition. Even though six out of every 10 prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65, dietary changes early on in life can make a big difference. 

It is never too late to make a dietary change. You don’t have to become a vegan straight away, but including more plant-based foods in your daily diet can help a lot. Incorporate more of these foods daily and try out one day of complete plant-based eating every week. Try for two days a week if you can! Greater consumption of plant-based foods may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and improve overall quality of life.

2024-05-09T11:36:03-07:00

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