The weather is still mild here in the UK, around 8C most days, give or take a few degrees, yet curiously, men all around me have started to grow moustaches.
You might initially be tempted to laugh, but then you learn that they are supporting a month-long global campaign called Movember. This is a charity that raises funds to increase awareness of mens’ health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancers. I was shocked to read that in the UK, 1 man dies of prostate cancer every hour – that’s 10,000 every year. On top of those statistics, 1 in 6 men can have a low grade form of the disease that may not be life threatening, but which will affect their daily lives.
It’s not yet established whether the disease is preventable. But I reckon anyone would want to try and reduce any identified risks if they could, wouldn’t you? Here are 8 tips for actions you can take to do just that. One of these relates to a healthy diet. Find out what the Prostate Cancer Foundation has to say about the nutritional aspects.
Although the link between prostate cancer and diet is complex and still being researched, up to 30% of deaths in developed countries are associated with unhealthy diets. Seems plain enough to me: pay attention to what you eat. Eat more veg. Besides, a plant based diet – which is high in anti-oxidants and phytonutrients – is generally deemed to be cancer protecting. If you are ready to alter your eating habits, yet not quite sure where to start, here’s some advice that will at the least improve your overall health:
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Leafy greens, and anything from the cruciferous family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, chard) especially
- Drink green tea & pomegranate juice
- Include grapefruit, cooked tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and brazil nuts
- Increase your fibre through choosing whole-grains, particularly oats
- Consume EFA’s (essential fatty acids). Healthy fats from oily fish, olives, coconut, flax
- Try unprocessed soy products (such as tempeh and tofu)
Alongside this: reduce your meat consumption, all forms of dairy, saturated fats, salt and sugar.
If you are dubious about the link between diet and disease, watch the Channel 4 series called the Food Hospital, airing weekly now. You can get further information from Movember itself, or these UK oriented sites: Prostate action, and Prostate-cancer
Often, it’s not the knowledge about what to do itself that people get stuck on: it’s the practicalities of how to make changes on a day-to-day basis. Remember, I run food preparation classes and I support people to get organised about making dietary changes. There’s no need to struggle. My next classes are Sat. 26th Nov. 2011, and every Tues. in Jan 2012.
I’d be delighted to see you at them!