with Rogers Foods Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Tammy-Lynn
Heart disease is the no. 1 killer, even in men with prostate cancer. Eat heart-healthy foods that will also benefit your colon. Foods like avocados, salmon, flaxseed, oatmeal, berries, and dark chocolate with at least a 70% cacao content.
Prostate cancer is one of the leading types of cancer in men, and its prevalence continues to increase globally. According to statistics, prostate cancer affects one in nine men during their lifetime. While treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can help manage the disease, certain dietary practices can slow its progression or prevent its development. One such practice is the consumption of oats. This article explores the benefits of oats for men with prostate cancer.
Oats and Prostate Cancer Prevention
Oats have numerous health benefits, and one of them is their ability to prevent cancer. Oats contain a type of fibre known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to reduce the risk of different types of cancer, including prostate cancer. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that men who consumed oats regularly had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who did not. The study attributed this to the beta-glucan in oats, which has anti-cancer properties.
Oats and Prostate Cancer Treatment
Oat consumption can also aid in the treatment of prostate cancer. Oats are rich in selenium, which is an antioxidant mineral that has been linked to a lower risk of cancer. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that selenium supplementation could reduce men’s risk of advanced prostate cancer. Furthermore, oats contain lignans, plant compounds with anti-cancer properties. Lignans have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including prostate cancer cells.
Oats and Prostate Cancer Management
Men with prostate cancer who consume oats regularly have a better chance of managing the disease. This is because oats contain high levels of fibre, which aids in digestion and bowel movements, preventing constipation. Constipation can be a common side effect when undergoing prostate cancer treatment, leading to discomfort and even pain. Eating oats can alleviate this discomfort and improve the patient’s quality of life. Additionally, oats are a low glycemic index (GI) food that can help manage blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is linked to inflammation, worsening the cancer’s prognosis. Men with prostate cancer can keep their blood sugar levels in check by consuming oats, reducing inflammation and potentially improving the treatment outcome.
Ways to Prepare Oats
- Oatmeal: A breakfast favourite, cooked oats pair well with fruits, nuts, and seeds. Follow package directions for exact cooking times. Generally, less-processed oats, such as steel-cut, take 25-30 minutes to cook, whereas instant oats take 1-2 minutes.
- Overnight Oats: A quick, easy no-cook solution for a nutrient-dense breakfast or snack. In a medium glass jar, add ½ cup of whole or rolled oats (not instant), ½-1 cup of liquid such as dairy, soy, or nut, and ½ cup of any chopped fruit (banana, melon, apple, grapes). Additional optional ingredients include a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons of chia/flaxseeds, nuts, or any spices. Tightly screw on the lid and shake the jar vigorously until all ingredients are incorporated well. Refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours. The oats will soften, thickening the mixture into a pudding-like texture.
- Oat Flour: These oats have been ground to a flour-like consistency. Although it may be tempting to substitute oat flour for regular flour in baked recipes, keep in mind that oat flour lacks gluten, a crucial component that adds structure, moisture, and volume to a baked product; without it, cookies would crumble, and bread would become dense and lack volume. However, oat flour can add chewiness to cookies and boost nutrients to pieces of bread. Substitute 25-30% of the flour in a recipe with oat flour for the best results.
- Oat Risotto: Oats are also delicious in savoury dishes. An example is replacing rice in risotto with whole oat groats or steel-cut oats. The oats are typically toasted in hot oil with aromatics like shallots or diced onion for a few minutes. Then stock and/or water are added, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition, until the oats are cooked (about 25 minutes).
- Other Ideas:
Add ½ cup dry oats to batter for bread and cookies.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of oat bran to any hot or cold cereal.
Oats are a superfood with numerous health benefits for men with prostate cancer. Consuming oats can help prevent the development of prostate cancer, aid in its treatment and slow its progression. Additionally, men with prostate cancer who consume oats can better manage the disease by alleviating discomfort and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. As such, it is imperative for men with prostate cancer to incorporate oats into their diet regularly. It is worth noting that other dietary and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and consuming other cancer-fighting foods, can also complement the consumption of oats in managing prostate cancer.
- Diet For Cancer Treatment Side Effects – UCSF Health – https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/diet-for-cancer-treatment-side-effects
- Harvard Health – https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/