Few men meticulously monitor their own health and hormone levels, regularly visiting an andrologist or urologist. Meanwhile, various prostate-related diseases occur at an increasingly young age. Today, scientists are closely studying the properties of foods that can help maintain men’s health. The role of some vegetables, soy products, vitamins in the prevention of serious health problems — adenoma and prostate cancer has been clarified.
Male hormones and their effects
The role of the hormone testosterone in the development of prostate cancer is no longer in doubt. With age, as hormone levels decrease, prostate cells get out of control, which leads to an increase in the size of the prostate. Researchers believe that 30% of fifty-year-old men have latent prostate cancer.
Soy isoflavones can help in the prevention of cancer. They occupy a place on testosterone hormone receptors in prostate cells and block androgens (male sex hormones), preventing them from interacting with prostate cells. This reduces the risk of uncontrolled cell growth, which androgens hormones can stimulate.
Cancer cells, regardless of where they are formed, need nutrients for growth. Tumor cells secrete a chemical that stimulates the growth of blood vessels around them to nourish the tumor (a process called angiogenesis). If cancer cells starve, they practically do not grow and die. Soy isoflavones help significantly slow down angiogenesis by suppressing tumor growth.
Natural soy is an excellent source of nutrients that work together with each other, showing anti—cancer properties. It takes about 11-15 g of soy protein or about 20 mg of isoflavones to prevent prostate diseases. They are provided with several servings of soy products per week.
Valuable “male” vegetables: tomatoes
Tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant. In studies, lycopene reduces the formation of harmful cholesterol in plasma, which forms atherosclerotic plaques. It is important to eat fresh vegetables not only to protect against atherosclerosis. Tomatoes also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease due to their low sodium content and high potassium concentrations. He is the leader in the amount of potassium among vegetables, and a glass of tomato juice supplies more potassium to the body than a large banana.
But especially interesting for men is a study that links frequent consumption of these vegetables with lower rates of prostate cancer. Separately, lycopene does not have an anti-cancer effect, but the use of dehydrated tomato juice (in the form of capsules) revealed an anti-carcinogenic effect. While the mechanisms of their work are not exactly clear, but lycopene in combination with other compounds that these vegetables are rich in has a preventive effect.
Lignans, vitamin D and omega-3 acids for men
Lignans are estrogen—like compounds found in plant foods, they are considered useful in the prevention of prostate cancer. Lignans can be found in flax seeds, sesame seeds, rye, wheat and oat bran, with the best source being flaxseed. Flax seeds should be crushed before consumption in order to obtain not only lignans, but also alpha-linolenic acid with their consumption. But linseed oil is devoid of lignans.
Vitamin D, which comes with nutrition or is produced after exposure to the sun, is converted into a hormone called calcitriol. Many body tissues, including the prostate, have receptors for vitamin D. These tissues can convert vitamin D into calcitriol, which has been shown to reduce the formation of “precancerous” cells in the prostate gland. Calcitriol has a direct effect on these cells, and can also have an anti-cancer effect by strengthening the immune system, whose task is to search for and destroy cancer cells.
It is important to ensure that fat-soluble vitamins are regularly supplied with food. If the diet is not rich in animal fat products and oils, you need to take vitamins additionally in capsules.
Omega-3 in the prevention of diseases of men
The body receives omega-3 polyunsaturated acids in several forms:
- EPA (eicosopentaenoic) or DHA (docosohexaenoic) acids, which are the most abundant in fish;
- alpha-linolenic (or ALA) acid predominates in plant products.
They are all related to the prevention of heart disease and prostate cancer, can help in the prevention of colon cancer. All omega-3 acids will be beneficial to men’s health in at least two ways:
- By reducing systemic inflammation;
- Due to the fact that they are included in cell membranes (structural functions), they can participate in the transmission of signals to cells.
Only a small amount of ALA is required for health (1.1-1.6 g per day). Walnuts, ground flaxseed, soybeans are good sources.
What dietary changes will be beneficial?
It is recommended for men to prevent prostate problems:
- Include a small handful of nuts and seeds in your daily diet (walnuts, cashews, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seed).
- It is useful to consume at least two servings of oily fish every week.
- Get vitamin D daily with nutrition, or staying in the sun during the summer months.
- Consume soy products at least once a week, enrich your diet with ground flaxseed, adding it to smoothies, oatmeal, apple juice, fruit salad with yogurt or even a glass of water.
- Reduce salt intake to reduce the risk of hypertension and heart disease.
- Try switching to green tea: daily, if possible, replace some of your coffee or water with it.
- Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, radishes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and greens have anti-cancer properties. It is worth eating half of them raw, enriching their nutrition as often as possible.
In addition, you need to set a goal — to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Excess body fat can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoarthritis. Obesity is one of the risk factors for cancer. In addition, it is important not to neglect medical examination, especially after 30-35 years.