September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which is the second most common cancer among men in the US according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unfortunately, there are not usually early warning signs of prostate cancer which is why regular screening is so important. While age is the primary risk factor for prostate cancer, it is not the only one. Here are other risk factors associated with prostate cancer:
- Family history
- Genetic factors
- Dietary habits
Here are some ways to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer:
- Maintain a healthy weight thru proper diet and exercise. Increased fat, especially harmful visceral fat that surrounds the organs, has been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that are red. This red color is caused by a powerful antioxidant called lycopene which has been linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer.
- Exercise often. Even easy to moderate daily exercise like walking can help reduce blood pressure, reduce stress, and help maintain a healthy weight all of which can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- Stop smoking. Of those diagnosed with prostate cancer, those who smoke are far more likely to have a reoccurance and/or a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.
- Drink coffee. While consuming too much caffeine is not beneficial, for every 3 cups of coffee consumed the risk of prostate cancer goes down by 11%. Studies have shown that coffee brewed without a paper filter (like a french press) reduces the risk even more.
- Beef up your vitamin D. Men living north of 40 degrees latitude (North of Pennsylvania) are far more likely to develop prostate cancer. This is believed to be due to the limited exposure to sun during the winter months. Get outside and enjoy some sunshine.
- Consume healthy fats. Healthy omega fatty acids associated with consuming things like fish, avocado, and olive oil have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. On the flip side, consuming large amounts of fat from dairy and meat have shown an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
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Check out these previous posts with some holistic options for reducing the risk of Prostate Cancer