A plant-based diet that is high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and low in saturated fats and added sugars may be the best option for people with prostate cancer.

Research suggests that diets high in plant foods may be beneficial for people with prostate cancer, while it may be best for them to avoid diets high in red meats, saturated fats, and added sugars.

This article looks at the best foods for people with prostate cancer and those to avoid.

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According to a 2020 article, a high intake of refined carbohydrates, animal-based protein, and fat may increase oxidative stress in the body and the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Eating a diet high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals may have protective effects against prostate cancer.

The article suggests the best dietary advice for preventing or managing prostate cancer may be to:

  • consume a moderate intake of calories
  • reduce intake of carbohydrates, saturated fats, and total fat
  • replace refined carbohydrates with whole grains
  • reduce intake of overcooked meat
  • increase intake of fruits and vegetables

According to another article from 2020, research suggests that excessive intake of saturated fatty acids may lead to obesity and contribute to prostate cancer through inflammation and alterations in sex hormones and growth factors.

Some guidelines for a diet that supports prostate health include the following:

People can focus on including a wide range of fruits and vegetables that may have protective effects against prostate cancer in their diet, such as:

A person can prioritize plant-based protein sources and swap refined grains for whole grains.

Sources of plant-based protein include beans, lentils, tofu, and seeds. Limiting red meat and opting for poultry and fish may also be a smart choice.

It may be best to prioritize whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and barley over refined grains and refined grain products such as white bread.

People may also opt for organic foods wherever possible to avoid potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals.

However, although some studies suggest following an organic diet may reduce the risk of developing cancer, it is more important to eat a variety of healthy foods — such as fruits and vegetables — on a daily basis, whether organic or not.

People may want to limit or avoid the following foods:

  • red meat, including beef, pork, and lamb
  • foods containing animal fat
  • sugary drinks
  • added sugar
  • saturated fats
  • trans fats

A 2021 study also recommends people at a higher risk of prostate cancer reduce or eliminate their intake of milk or milk products. People who avoid milk products may need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.

People may wish to focus on diets that are high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and low in saturated fats, such as:

Recipe ideas

The American Cancer Society (ACS) provides a range of healthy recipes that people may want to try, including:

According to the ACS, being physically active regularly can help reduce cancer risk, alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle choices such as limiting alcohol and avoiding smoking.

The ACS recommends adults engage in around 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity weekly.

It suggests children and teens perform at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous-intensity activity per day.

People may wish to try an activity that increases their heart rate and gets them sweating, such as:

This section answers some commonly asked questions about prostate cancer and diet.

What is the best thing to drink for prostate cancer?

A 2021 study found that green tea may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer because it contains flavonoids, like quercetin, which may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

However, the study’s authors suggest that more large-scale studies are necessary to fully understand the effect of green tea on prostate cancer.

Which fruit is good for the prostate?

Pomegranates, in particular the juice of the pomegranate, may help slow prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time and prevent the recurrence of prostate cancer after treatment.

PSA is a protein that both regular and cancerous cells in the prostate gland produce. PSA levels can be higher in people with prostate cancer.

The PSA doubling time is the amount of time it takes for PSA levels to increase to twice as high as the original levels. Reducing this time slows the progression of prostate cancer.

Other fruits that may be beneficial for people with prostate cancer include:

  • grapes
  • grapefruit
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • apples
  • citrus fruits

What meat is good for prostate cancer?

People may want to limit or avoid red meat, processed meat, and charred meat, choosing lean poultry or fish instead.

Plant-based diets high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and low in saturated and animal fats may be best for people with prostate cancer.

People may wish to talk with a healthcare professional about the best diet for them and their treatment plan. They can also ask about a suitable exercise regime that may be beneficial.