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Prostate Health

7 Foods That Prevent Prostate Cancer

1. Cruciferous vegetables
A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that men who ate three servings a week of cruciferous vegetables, which include cabbage and broccoli, lower their odds of developing prostate cancer by 41 percent. These veggies contain two powerful phytochemicals, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which are believed to neutralize cancer-causing substances. Another study reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that a compound in cruciferous vegetables called indole-3-carbinol, is converted by the body into DIM, a substance which blocks male hormones and keeps prostate cancer cells from growing.

2. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. A Harvard study of more than 40,000 health professionals found that men who ate the most tomato-based foods decreased their risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent when compared to men who ate the least amount. Another study found that the odds of developing prostate cancer — especially aggressive prostate cancer — decreased with higher amounts of lycopene in the blood. Fifty milligrams of lycopene daily significantly raised the blood level of this beneficial antioxidant.

3. Fish
A study published in Clinical Cancer Research found that men who eat one or two servings of fatty fish each week have a 63 percent lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which researchers believe fights inflammation. The link was the strongest among men who had a genetic disposition for aggressive prostate cancer. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found a 41 percent decrease in risk among men who ate the most foods containing omega-3s than men who ate the least.

4. Green tea
The School of Medicine of the University of Parma, Italy, studied a group of men at high risk of developing cancer. The research found that those who took three 200 mg capsules of green tea daily for one year reduced their risk of developing cancer by 90 percent compared to men taking a placebo. A study conducted at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport found that when men who were scheduled for radical prostate surgery took four capsules containing Polyphenon E — an active ingredient in tea that was the equivalent to 12 cups of green tea — prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels dropped more than 30 percent in some patients.

5. Pomegranate juice
This juice slowed the progression of prostate cancer in a study presented at the American Urological Association's annual meeting. The PSA levels of a group of men treated for localized prostate cancer (PSA levels are used to monitor the progression of prostate cancer as well as to diagnose it) doubled every 15 months. After the men drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice each day for up to two years, it took four times as long for their PSA levels to double. "A longer doubling time indicates that the cancer is progressing less rapidly," said Dr. Erik Castle at MayoClinic.com.

6. Brazil nuts
These nuts are high in the mineral selenium, and researchers at Stanford University found that men diagnosed with prostate cancer had much lower selenium levels than healthy men years before their cancer was diagnosed. Their study found that high blood levels of selenium were associated with a four to fivefold decrease in the odds of developing prostate cancer. "This study showed that there was a direct connection between selenium and prostate cancer," lead author Dr. James Brooks said in a statement. Experts say just two freshly shelled Brazil nuts each day provide the recommended amount of 200 mcg daily

7. Scallions
Chinese researchers studied 238 men with prostate cancer and 471 healthy men and compared their intake of allium vegetables, which include garlic, scallions, leeks, and chives. Overall, the men who ate the largest amount of the various allium vegetables reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent, but the men who ate the highest amounts of scallions reduced their risk of developing localized prostate cancers by 70 percent. Only 1/10th of an ounce of scallions a day provided the huge benefit.