Monday, November 19, 2012

Pulses, Plants, and Prostates

Perhaps you or the men in your life are sporting a 'stache for Movember.  It's great to see people supporting men's health issues such as prostate cancer and bringing these issues to the forefront so that people feel comfortable talking about them.

As a dietitian, my first instinct is to look for ways to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and other chronic conditions with food.  It is often impossible to pinpoint one particular cause and as new research comes out, we may find new strategies.  However, often times the recommendations for one disease state are applicable to others, so we can all start eating to prevent disease and/or reduce our risk.   

To make the most of your food choices:
  • increase your intake of fruits and vegetables (include a variety of colours)
  • reduce your fat intake (this is also beneficial for heart health and weight management)
  • increase your intake of plant foods (vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, chickpeas, lentils...) and reduce your intake of animal foods (dairy, meat...); it's still important to get adequate calcium and vitamin D, just don't overdo it
  • include fish to make sure you're getting omega-3 fatty acids
  • if consuming alcohol, do so in moderation
  • increase your intake of isoflavones (soybeans, tofu, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts)
  • maintain a healthy diet
  • include regular activity/exercise
Certain foods may offer extra protection against prostate cancer including lycopene (found in tomatoes, tomato sauces, watermelon, grapefruit...), selenium (Brazil nuts, fish, poultry, sunflower seeds...), and vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables...).  As always, include a variety of different foods as no one food can give us everything we need.

Only a few more weeks until the razors come out!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching