It’s the month of Movember, and despite some of our countrymen’s ridiculous attempts at growing a moustache, the cause behind this hairy communal effort, is one of great importance. We look into the specifics of prostate cancer and explore how a balanced diet might be the most effective way to promote men’s health.
Facts and stats
According to cansa.org.za, the lifetime risk for prostate cancer for men in South Africa is 1 in 27. The biggest risk factors that contribute to contracting the potentially life-threatening disease are age, family history, genetics, diet and lifestyle.
Prostate cancer is an age-dependant disease. The risk of getting cancer dramatically increases from the age of 75, and then again, at the age of 85. If a male relative is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s a good idea for the rest of the men in the family to have themselves checked out. Even though we may not be able to control or improve our genetic predispositions, there are numerous controllable risk factors that could save your or your loved one’s life. A diet free from processed meats and excessively fatty foods, being active and minimal alcohol consumption, are all beneficial to reducing risk. Lastly, quit smoking! Cigarettes not only increase one’s chances of getting cancer, they also lead to cardiovascular issues, premature aging and decreased immune function.
Eating for health
A wholesome, nourishing diet is one of the most important factors to maintaining a healthy and happy body, and mind. Here are our top tips for a cancer-fighting, balanced diet:
1. Eat enough, but not too much. Consuming too many extra calories could potentially lead to cancer growth. Eat until you feel full and wait until hunger strikes before indulging in your next meal.
2. Consuming a variety of food means ingesting a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that will boost your immune system. Don’t neglect any part of the food pyramid. Make sure you eat grains, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
4. Try to avoid processed meats and foods. These are dangerously high in saturated fats. Stay away from deli meats, too much cheese and deep-fried foods.
5. Up your intake of fruits and veggies. We also recommend eating a handful of berries a day, they are incredibly rich in healthy antioxidants. The lycopene found in tomatoes are also known to promote prostate health.
6. It’s wise to limit alcohol, sugar and salt. Excessive consumption of boozy, salty or sugary treats can put extra pressure on the regulation processes of the body.
Feeling inspired to spread the word and show support to those being affected by the cancer? Head to the official page for Movember in South Africa.