I can't say I love how moustaches look, but I do love what they are supporting during the month of November, which is men's health.
This year the average life expectancy for men is 79 years and 83 for women, which means men are typically dying earlier. In addition, both prostate and testicular cancer have been on the rise with testicular cancer rates doubling in the last 50 years (Movember Canada, 2017).
In honour of men and their health (including my moustache man) this blog post is sharing 5 ways to promote men's health and reduce risk of chronic disease and more specifically prostate cancer.
1. Maintain a healthy body weight (get moving and eat healthy)
Having a healthy body weight and body fat distribution is an important part of maintaining good health. Being active regularly and eating a well balanced diet are two great ways to promote health and maintain a healthy weight for your body. In fact, improved nutrition has the ability to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and overall can improve your quality of life.
2. Fill have your plate with fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables are a great sources of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like fibre. Aiming to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at each meal is a great to ensure you are getting enough nutrients each day. For example, have steamed veggies with your dinner, fruit with nuts as a snack, or veggies in your morning omelette.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives red fruits and vegetables their bright colour. You can find lycopene in watermelon, tomatoes, papaya, grapefruit, red peppers, red cabbage, mangos and carrots. Interestingly, lycopene becomes more available when it's cooked, for example tomato sauce will contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes. In experimental research studies, lycopene was associated with reduced inflammation, prevention of oxidative damage, and inhibited cell growth. Due to its strong antioxidant properties, it has been associated with reduced risk of cancer (Wertz et al., 2009).
Bottom line: fruits and veggies contain large amounts of antioxidants, polyphenols, fibre, vitamins and minerals, all of which play important roles in fighting disease and reducing inflammation. Aim to fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and veggies each day. To boost your antioxidant intake fill your plate with a variety of colours throughout the day (e.g., peppers, carrots, peas, pomegranate, banana etc.).
3. Include omega 3s in your diet
Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce risk of chronic disease. You can find omega 3s in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines. You can also find omega 3s in plant based sources like seeds (flaxseed, hempseed, chia seed, pumpkin seed) and squash.
4. Drink green tea
Green tea is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) which help reduce risk of chronic disease. Various studies have found associations between green tea consumption and slowed progression of prostate cancer as well as reduced risk of prostate cancer. However, further research is needed to support these findings (Zero, 2017).
5. Limit processed foods and enjoy meatless meals at least twice a week
Research identified links between diets high in processed and red meats, eggs, high in fat dairy products, refined grains and desserts and increased risk of prostate cancer. Overall health and dietary intake for 900 men were tracked and those who consumed a typical Western diet (high in meats, eggs, high fat dairy, refined grains, etc.) and those who consumed a "prudent" diet (high in fish, poultry, plant based protein, fruits and veggies, whole grains etc.) were compared. Researchers found that men who had diets more representative of a typical Western diet had increased risk of dying from prostate cancer. In addition, men with a more "prudent" dietary pattern were less likely to die from prostate cancer or other causes (Yang et al., 2015).
To read a brief summary on this study, click here.
Bottom line: try to include more plant based protein sources into your diet. Aiming to have 1-2 meatless meals each week is a great starting point. Meatless meals can include (vegetarian stews or chilis, veggie stir fry's , bean burritos, lentil tacos etc.).
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy the rest of Movember!
Cheers to happy and healthy eating.
Until next time,
Eat Right Feel Right - Angela Wallace and Benish Syed
Zero (2017). The End of Prostate Cancer. Diet and Nutrition. Retrieved from: https://zerocancer.org/learn/current-patients/maintain-qol/diet-and-nutrition/
Movember Canada (2017). Retrieved from: https://ca.movember.com/about/cause
Statistics Canada (2015). Life Expectancy. Retrieved from: https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-645-x/2010001/life-expectancy-esperance-vie-eng.htm
Yang et al (2015). Dietary Patterns after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis in Relation to Disease-Specific and Total Mortality. Retrieved from: http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/8/6/545
Wertz, K. (2009). Lycopene effects contributing to prostate health. Nutrition and Cancer, 61(6), 775-783.