Diet & Nutrition
Men's Health Overview
Foods That Can Help Fight Prostate Cancer
Can diet help fight prostate cancer? According to the experts from Harvard Medical School, it’s a question worth investigating.
Several studies have already demonstrated that the incidence of prostate cancer is higher in countries where men eat a diet containing large amounts of meat than in countries where there is more of an emphasis on plant-based foods.
The Harvard experts say that investigators have now begun a federally funded national study to see whether a diet that emphasizes plant-based foods over animal-based foods can help control tumor growth in men with early stage prostate cancer.
The participants in the Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) study will try to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily as well as two servings of whole grains and one serving of beans or other legumes, according to the Harvard experts.
This clinical trial will include men 50-80 years old who have small, low-grade tumors and who have opted to have their condition followed closely (active surveillance) rather than undergoing immediate treatment.
During the two-year study, the investigators will collect blood samples and then monitor the men with PSA tests and prostate biopsies. To learn more about the larger phase III MEAL study, or to enroll, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov and search for Trial NCT 01238172.
The Harvard experts say that men can also implement the MEAL plan on their own.
If you’d like to try to implement the MEAL eating plan on your own, you can find the basics below, according to the Harvard experts. (Editor’s note: as always, check with your doctor before beginning any nutrition program.)
Whole-grain cereal with ½ cup to 1 cup berries, plus almonds or walnuts
1 apple or orange, or ½ cup baby carrots or broccoli florets with hummus
Tuna or sardine or salmon sandwich on whole grain bread with dark-green lettuce (darker lettuce is healthier) plus tomato
1 medium banana or orange; or a bowl of grapes; or other fruit
Rice (preferably brown) studded with at least ½ cup chopped carrots or other vegetable such as cauliflower or spinach, possibly garnished with 2 – 3 oz. of lean beef, poultry or fish
Pasta with marinara sauce containing a little ground turkey and grated carrots, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.
At least 2 cups tossed salad featuring cruciferous vegetables (arugula, cabbage) and/or dark greens like spinach plus other vegetables of choice and a vinaigrette dressing.
½ grapefruit or other fruit, or a couple of whole-wheat crackers dipped in hummus, peanut butter or tabbouleh.
For more information, buy the Harvard Health Publications 2015 Annual Report on Prostate Diseases; click here to order.