Men’s Health Month: Nutrition and Fitness Info You Need to Know to About Prostate Cancer

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the 6th most common cancer overall. Your diet and exercise choices can play a large role in these statistics. Here, Revive Wellness and Blitz Conditioning show you how.

Nutrition

It is important to look at the quality of the research studies completed before we can make bold statements about what we should and shouldn’t eat. While more research needs to be done, the evidence is strong enough to recommend men to consume enough lycopene and selenium in their diet on a regular basis.

The best place to find lycopene is in tomatoes or tomato products. Carrots, red peppers and grapefruit also contain lower amounts of lycopene. (Health Canada has not set a daily recommended intake for lycopene.)

Selenium is found in abundance in brazil nuts, oysters, sardines, halibut, sea bass, cod, salmon, mackerel, liver, puffed wheat, mushrooms, and cottage cheese. 45mcg is all you need to ingest on a daily basis from your diet. 5 brazil nuts contain over 300mcg of selenium! Fish has significantly less selenium ranging in amounts but if eaten 2-3 times per week would help meet your daily targets.

On the flip side, there seems to be more evidence supporting (but still requiring confirmation) that calcium intakes of greater than 1500mg per day increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.  The studies specifically looked at calcium ingested from diet and not supplements.  But you can still enjoy a couple glasses of milk, an ounce of cheese and a serving of yogurt daily and not exceed your 1000mg per day.

If you take beta carotene supplements to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, there appears to be stacking evidence to suggest that it may not be worth it.

We are passionate about encouraging people to eat a balanced diet to provide all of the essential nutrients your body needs.  If supplements are something you feel strongly about, I would encourage you to speak to a dietitian or doctor to ensure it is necessary for you.

Fitness

We’ve been taught that exercise is something that is great for heart health and reducing the chances of some illnesses, but what about cancers and more especially prostate health?  Truth is, it’s absolutely essential.

Hormesis: physiologically, exercise creates small amounts of damage in a person’s muscle fibers.  The damage is repaired by our bodies and creates more healthy cells.  The repair happens at the DNA level and produces natural anti-oxidants that bind up things called free radicals.  You may have heard of anti-oxidants in the news and how they may assist in reducing the effects of aging and chronic health conditions.  What you may not have been told is that your body can naturally produce them with exercise!

DNA Changes:  Exercise has also been found to cause change in 180 genes related to prostate cancer!  Vigorous exercise helps both to reduce the chances of prostate cancer and if you have or is in remission.   Research on this subject is still going on since this simple lifestyle change can lead to something significant without stressing the use of drugs or medical operations.

Weight Reduction:  There is a very strong association between obesity and some cancers.  A person’s height to waist ratio is a great indicator of the potential risk of chronic illnesses like prostate cancer.  Fat cells are active!  They have been shown to send out inflammation related chemical signals that will eventually cause autoimmune diseases.  Ensuring that you are at a healthy weight is important!

Lifestyle change: Adopting exercise and proper eating ultimately leads to adopting a healthier lifestyle.  We become more aware of what we do to ourselves and how we treat our bodies.

Look at your body as an investment and a tool to leading a more fulfilling life!

 

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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