Contributor: Luke Corey, BA(H), BScAHN, Registered Dietitian
November is a time of the year when fall begins its transition to winter, temperatures drop below zero, and people are eagerly starting to plan for the Holiday season. But, the month of November is also quickly becoming best known for the widely-popular event called ‘Movember’, where men across the country grow their moustaches to raise money for cancer research.
Movember was started as a way to promote men’s health, and, specifically, prostate health. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men and is the second largest cause of male cancer deaths in Canada1. Movember is a fun and innovative way to raise awareness about prostate cancer, and to both help men take measures to reduce their risk, and take action to fight the disease.
One way that men can reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer, and also ensure a healthy, functioning prostate, is to establish healthy eating habits and proper nutritional intake. These measures, along with regular check-ups, can be just what you need….for a Healthy Prostate!
The most effective nutritional approach for a healthy prostate is to consume a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. You can easily do this by preparing and consuming meals that meet these three criteria:
- One or more servings* of fruits and vegetables
- One serving** of lean meat such as chicken or other protein source such as eggs, beans or lentils
- A source of healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts
* 1 serving of fruits and vegetables = ½ cup or 1 medium piece of fruit or vegetable
** 1 serving of protein = 3 oz of lean meat, ¾ cup of beans or lentils, 2 eggs, ¼ cup of nuts or seeds
Here is just one example of a series of balanced meals for a healthy prostate:
Breakfast – Low-fat yogurt with fresh berries and granola
Snack – Apple slices with peanut butter
Lunch – Spinach salad with kiwi, strawberries, avocado & sliced almonds
Snack – Carrots & sliced bell peppers with hummus
Snack – Whole grain toast with almond butter
Some additional measures that one can take to reduce their risk for prostate cancer are to cut back on both caffeine and alcohol. In moderation, these can be consumed as part of a healthy diet, but many people exceed the daily limit. In terms of caffeine intake, the recommended daily allowance is 400 mg, which is the equivalent of three cups of coffee. This also includes energy drinks, which can contain anywhere from 9.5 mg/fluid ounce (or 72 mg/cup) to 100 mg/fluid ounce (or 800 mg/cup).
For alcohol, it is recommended that you consume fewer than three drinks per day, where one drink is equal to a 12 oz bottle of beer (5% alcohol), 5 oz glass of wine (12% alcohol), or a 1.5 oz serving of spirit (40% alcohol). The best approach is to replace these items with plain water. Get into the habit of drinking 2-3 litres (8–12 cups) of water per day.
By establishing healthy eating habits, consuming nutrient-rich foods, and limiting caffeine and alcohol, you are giving your prostate the attention and care it deserves. We can fight prostate cancer by growing moustaches and raising money for Movember, but we can also do so on a personal level by making simple changes to our diet.
1. Prostate Cancer Canada