It is estimated that close to 5,000 cases of cancer are registered at the Uganda Cancer Institute and lately, prostate cancer is on the rise among men. A study by the institute reveals that eight out of every 10 men are diagnosed with the cancer every month.
Prostate cancer starts in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland found right below the bladder. The gland secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. Dr Fred Okuku, a consultant oncologist, says men should embrace early screening so that treatment for those found to be sick can be started early to increase chances of healing.
Nutritionist and dietetics specialist, Amanda Twebase, says men approaching or in the prostate cancer bracket should consume more plant-based foods. “Look for bright coloured foods such as purple cabbage, green pepper, eggplant and beetroot,” Twebaze says, adding that coloured foods contain a lot of pigment chemicals that act as protective components in our bodies preventing oxidation.
Herbs and spices
Twebaze says one should also take natural herbs and spices such as ginger, garlic and turmeric and less oily foods. Christopher Sengendo, the founder of Doctor’s Organic Pharmacy, explains that prevention and inhibition of prostate cancer can include a number of lifestyle changes and actions, which may involve starting a vegetarian diet, doing moderate exercises and making certain food and nutritional supplement choices.
“More specifically, there are various nutrients that are effective in protecting against prostate cancer and inhibiting its progression,” he adds. Sengendo also says that using natural organic methods and following a healthy diet can increase the chances of better recovery among prostate cancer.
Omega 3 and vitamins
“The most effective remedies for prostate cancer include the use of fish oil (omega 3 supplements), foods rich in vitamin C, pomegranate juice, foods rich in zinc (pumpkin seeds, spinach, beans, mushrooms), cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger, green tea, apples, broccoli, cauliflower and stinging nettle among others,” Sengendo says.
The foods, he adds, contain natural cancer killing substances, which have been shown to inhibit cancer cells, induce cancer cell death, or inhibit cancer cell multiplication.
Twebaze and Sengendo point to detoxification as a way to rid the body of toxins which may interfere with our ability to heal.
“Removing toxins from our bodies can be accomplished by mild exercises, sweating, and regular bowel movements. Also eat fruits and vegetables such as beetroot, carrots, spinach and broccoli,” Sengendo says.
Avoid these foods
Dairy: Consuming high quantities of dairy produce per day raises levels of a protein called insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1), high levels of which are linked to increased cancer risk.
Red meat: You should also limit your consumption of animal protein from beef, pork, bacon.
Saturated fats: Saturated fat is needed in moderation, but excessive consumption may increase the risk of prostate problems.