Diet is one of the most important components of a persons health, if not the most important. Just about any physical ailment can be traced directly or indirectly to what someone does or does not eat. People who are not adequately nourished are not only more susceptible to diseases such as prostate cancer; they are also more likely to succumb under its effects.
People who eat well, as a rule, stand a much better chance of resisting diseases. They will also recover faster than those who do not follow a balanced, nutritionally optimal diet.
Nutrients are important because they profoundly affect how the body functions. If given the proper ingredients, the body essentially takes care of itself, producing the materials that it needs to survive and thrive. However, when it is deprived of proper nutrients, or infused with detrimental substances, the body weakens, thus opening the door to all sorts of disease, prostate cancer included.
Unfortunately, no single factor has been isolated as the predominant cause of prostate cancer. The scientific establishment is still divided over what can be done to prevent it. However, past and ongoing researches indicate that certain nutrients may contribute to the prevention of prostate cancer, as well as help slow down the progression of the disease. By making certain dietary changes, you will not only lessen your chances of contracting prostate cancer, you will also lessen the chances of contracting other ailments as well, such as heart disease.
Getting Protected: Lycopene
Certain foods are considered by researchers as being cancer protective. Of these, one particular substance stands out: lycopene. Almost all of the recent studies in cancer prevention show that lycopene is a veritable godsend. Lycopene does not only help prevent prostate cancer, it helps prevent all types of cancer. It may also help slow down the aging process.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that is found in tomatoes, papaya, guava, and watermelons. It can also be found tomato products such as ketchup or spaghetti sauce. If you are not the type who eats a lot of fruits and vegetables (though you really should be), opting for pizza or pasta may be a good choice, provided that they are generously laced with tomato sauce.
Studies have shown that processed tomatoes contain up to 4 times more lycopene that natural ones one of the rare instances when cooking actually increases nutrition content. To attain lycopenes benefits, most experts recommend that you eat at least two servings of ketchup or tomato sauce per week. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant one of the best.
During the course of normal cellular processes, the body produces extra oxygen atoms called free radicals. Free radicals are utilized by the body to destroy invaders such as germs, viruses, and bacteria. However, if the free radicals are not used up, they will roam the body and eventually cause cellular DNA to break down, precipitating a mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones. Antioxidants like lycopene prevent this mutation by cleaning up excess free radicals, thus protecting the body from cancer cell growth and preventing prostate cancer.