Up to a third, if not more, of all cancers are diet-related. Although there is much in life we cannot control and there is no guarantee a diet change will prevent cancer, there is enough science to support a plant-based diet for prevention.
The most potent phytonutrient antioxidant compounds are found in plants. In fact, animal products (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy) have very little antioxidants, if any. The only source of fiber in the diet is from plant foods. Fiber plays such an important role in the body. It literally feeds the gut and promotes healthy bacteria, changing the structure of plant compounds into useable cancer-fighting antioxidants. Fiber helps remove excess toxins like bad cholesterol and hormones out of the body. Eating foods rich in fiber is the most important aspect of a healthful diet. Men are recommended to obtain 40 grams per day, and women 25 grams daily. Although many plant-based diet come with labels, at Blue Cure, our sole mission is to promote the inclusion of more plant-foods in your existing diet. That’s very important. We understand diet is very personal and everyone is at a different stage in their lives. Regardless, prostate cancer is a very real concern for men and youth. There’s an estimated 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer this year, 2016. And 26,120 men will die in 2016 from prostate cancer. Even though many men will not die from their cancer, still 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime, a burden no family wants to face. Although we all want a cure for cancer and strive to get there thru more research, there is still an awful lot of information about strategies to prevent prostate cancer that we already know!
For example, people following a strict plant-based diet tend to have some of the lowest rates of cancer. Large epidemiology studies such as the Adventist Health Study-2 have been tracking men and women for decades and monitoring who gets sick and who doesn’t. This is a very good population to study because Seventh Day Adventists don’t typically smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, but the key is about half of them eat a plant-based diet. Those eating plant-based have less risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.
Dr. Dean Ornish, a speaker at the Blue Cure Benefit Dinner, mentioned research in 2005, a lifestyle intervention study where his team put men with prostate cancer on a plant-based diet and found that after one year their PSA levels dropped and no one needed surgery. Now this is absolutely remarkable work. Why aren’t more doctors and dietitians and cancer organizations talking about this? That’s why Blue Cure needs to spread a message of awareness. Because those adopting a more plant-based diet have been found to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. Plant-based diets have even been found helpful for cancer survivors. In fact, the same diet for cancer prevention is prescribed for cancer survival. Plant-centered diets have been shown to double one’s fiber and triple one’s lycopene intake, which is exactly what we want to see for cancer prevention!