Special Men’s Health Issue: Prostate Cancer Prevention
Greetings friends! Welcome to another installment. This week’s issue is going to be a little different. This week, we’re going to be talking specifically to the men. This doesn’t mean that if you lack a Y chromosome you should stop reading. This issue will be about men’s health. Specifically, we will be talking about prostate cancer awareness. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found in men. In fact, the only type more common is skin cancer. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. This year alone, more than 242,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 28,000 will die from it. Those are some scary numbers…
There are a few things that we can do to help prevent prostate cancer. This week, we will be focusing on some of the foods that can help keep you healthy and strong. We’ll be giving you some tips on how you can make some very minor changes to your daily routine that will help keep you healthy. Let’s talk about five foods you should be eating more of.
1.) Tomatoes. When it comes to keeping prostate cancer at bay, there are few foods that work harder than tomatoes. Tomatoes are chock full of lycopene. Lycopene is one of the antioxidants that just about everyone agrees is a powerful cancer fighter. You can find more information about lycopene elsewhere. What I want to do is give you a few ideas about how you can incorporate more tomatoes into your diet. Try eating a meal at least once a week that is very high in tomatoes, such as tomato soup, or pasta with a marinara type sauce. You could always drink a small glass of tomato juice in the morning, or have a bloody mary in the evening, but go light on the alcohol. Excess alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. You can always add tomato to a salad, or even just have some slices with your meal.
2.) Green Tea. Green tea has been a tough sell for me. I really do prefer black tea, but it’s tough to argue with the health benefits of green tea. It just can’t be beat. Here’s what I started doing. I used to be a two cup of coffee a morning kind of guy. Now, after my first cup, I switch to green tea. By that point, I’ve had enough coffee to wake me up, and the green tea is just a hot beverage. If you really don’t like the flavor of green tea, you can always take a supplement. The only issue I take with the supplements is they can be quite spendy. I don’t like spending more money than I have to, so the one cup a day thing is working for me. Give it a try!
3.) Fish. It seems the more we learn about fish the more we realize how good they are for us. When it comes to fighting prostate cancer, you want a fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna. At least once a week, we eat salmon burgers. We buy them at Costco and we think they are pretty good. Serve them on a thin sandwich bun with tzaziki sauce and a slice of tomato. Try and eat fish at least once a week, although more is better. Again, you could take a supplement, but these can also be pricy. More importantly, scientists are discovering that eating the fish is much more effective than the supplements.
4.) Pomegranate. I’ve liked pomegranates ever since I was a kid. I like the tartness, and acidity. I like that people are starting to realize their health benefits because it means they are easier to come by, and are getting cheaper. What are really nice are the pomegranate juices you can buy. Make sure to buy a brand that is 100% pure pomegranate juice. It’s pretty strong stuff all by itself, so I wouldn’t recommend downing a glass of it. You could always have a small glass in the morning if you like. My favorite thing to do with pomegranate juice is serve it over ice with seltzer water. It’s like soda, but about 100 times better. Again, you could add some vodka to that, but remember, too much alcohol will increase your risk. Seeing as we’re trying to lower it, let’s not take too many steps backwards.
5.) Scallions. When I was researching this week’s post, I was surprised to learn how good scallions are for you. I’m quite pleased with their health benefits because they are cheap, and really easy to use. You can add scallions to just about any savory recipe you’re cooking. You can also add them right to your salad. Keep scallions in your fridge at all times, and you shouldn’t have a hard time using them up.
Do your best to work these awesome foods into your diet as often as possible. A healthy diet is one of the first steps to preventing cancer. I think you’ll find that it’s pretty easy to incorporate most of these into your diet.
Even with proper diet and lifestyles, it’s still possible to be diagnosed with cancer. The key to beating cancer is early detection. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, or are African-American, doctors recommend that you start receiving annual prostate exams at age 40. If you aren’t high risk, doctors recommend starting at age 50. Encourage your loved ones to get their prostates checked. There’s also more you can do to help. For the past four years, some of my friends and I have participated in Movember. During the month of November, we all grow mustaches for men’s health. The mustaches are like the pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness. We explain to people why we wear them. The goal is to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Earlier in the post, I gave a few starting statistics about prostate cancer. Doctor’s are doing their best to help those with prostate cancer, but they need more help. Below, you will find a link to my Movember page.
See Jeff’s mustache! Donate to Movember!
Help me change the face of men’s health with a small donation. Every little bit helps. Until next time, stay healthy!