Editor’s Note: Guest contributor Derrick Cruise works to actively raise awareness for both breast and prostate cancer. In his free time, he enjoys having fun with his family and writing for his own site http://eatbreatheblog.com/.
Prostate cancer represents the most common form of cancer in American men. While it develops slowly, not detecting it early can lead to serious complications. Many factors can act as possible causes for prostate cancer, but two of the biggest factors include diet and heredity. Obviously, you can’t do too much about the hereditary component, so focusing on prevention; especially a diet designed to prevent prostate cancer, provides a good place to start in preventing the disease. Currently, no clinically proven ways exist to effectively prevent prostate cancer, but a healthy diet and regular exercise may reduce the risk. If nothing else, a healthy combination of diet and exercise can improve your overall health and make your body better able to fight the disease as well as other illnesses.
Preventing Prostate Cancer Through Diet
Although available information about diet and prostate cancer can sometimes seem contradictory, research indicates that a low fat diet, rich in fresh produce, can reduce prostate cancer risk. To cut down on the percentage of fat in your diet, monitor your intake of fatty foods, such as meats, nuts, and whole dairy products. In some cases, simply switching to a lower fat version of a favorite food, or a leaner cut of meat can make a big difference.
Make sure your diet includes a variety of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables: these wholesome foods fill you up quickly, and contain several natural chemical compounds believed to improve overall health and reduce the risk of all cancers as well as other diseases. You need not avoid all fatty foods; some actually provide vital health benefits. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna or trout can contain omega-3 fatty acids, proven to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Use careful moderation when indulging in alcohol and ask your doctor about taking daily multivitamins and any individual supplements he may recommend.
Preventing Prostate Cancer Through Exercise
Obese men (with a body mass index over 30) have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. You must work to maintain a healthy weight and shed any excess pounds. Diet, of course, represents just half of that equation. Set a schedule and commit to exercising daily. Even if you start out with only a few minutes of exercise, you’ll quickly build stamina and fitness, allowing you to increase your workout duration. Check with you doctor and get his official stamp of approval for starting an exercise program. Remember, you don’t have to run right out and join a gym—you can start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking further away at the supermarket. Then you can add long walks or bike rides and possibly even mix in some light calisthenics or weight work. Remember, don’t push too hard at first. You want a challenge, but an achievable one. Plan to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.
More than 33,000 American men die of prostate cancer each year, and while no empirically based, proven formula exists to prevent it, improving your overall health through diet and exercise may help. Not only will you begin to feel markedly better as you continue to improve your diet and build physical fitness, you’ll certainly improve overall health and enjoy a higher quality of life – while possibly reducing your risk of prostate cancer as well.
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