June is Men’s Health Month! The purpose is to raise awareness of preventable health diseases. When you think men’s health, you think PSA screenings. PSA, prostate specific antigen, is a blood marker used to screen for prostate cancer, the most frequent cancer in men over age 50. While prostate cancer has a high cure rate, if undetected it can be deadly. Protect your prostate with these simple steps!
Move more! Literally, you are sitting on the gland! Regular vigorous activity defends against the development of the cancer and slows the progression. Evidence suggests that men who don’t exercise have higher PSA levels.
9 a Day
That’s nine servings of fruits and veggies daily.
Choose a diet FULL of fruits and vegetables. The more colors the better! All those colors/pigments in fruits and vegetables are phytochemicals, small powerhouses reducing your risk of cancer. The lycopene in cooked tomatoes has been proven to reduce prostate cancer – be sure to check out our delicious side dish recipe below. Studies show that eating fruits and veggies lowers your prostate risk by as much at 41%! And choose food over supplements. No study to date has shown supplements can lower your risk for prostate cancer.
Jump on the scale!
Research does suggest that excess weight is linked to higher rates of reoccurrence of prostate cancer.
Research shows that managing stress is beneficial to the health of your prostate. Meditation has also been linked with slower cancer growth. Namaste!
Spice things up!
Capsaicin, the compounds that give chili peppers their heat, has been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
Cut back on excessive booze and quit smoking! Also limit the amount of caffeine.
These simple steps, along with regular screenings, will go a long way toward preventing serious prostate problems down the road. Be sure to share your thoughts with us on this topic with a comment below, or connect with us on social media using the hashtag #MensHealthMonth.
Lycopene-Bursting Stuffed Tomatoes: A Great Side Dish!
What you’ll need:
2 vine-ripened tomatoes (beefsteak tomatoes work too!)
Salt (I like Kosher)
Pepper – freshly ground coarse preffered (or if you are feeling fancy, crushed red pepper flakes)
½ cup bread crumbs (I like whole grains but panko can work too or even Italian)
1 clove of garlic, minced (I love garlic so I’ll mince 2 cloves!)
1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped (Trick: Lay basil flat, roll up like cigar, and slice thinly. This makes chopping easier. Don’t love basil? Use parsley!)
½ cup shredded parmesan (Don’t like parmesan? Try mozzarella or even provolone)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
What you do:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Slice those tomatoes in half and scoop out the gooey middle and seeds. Sprinkle salt on the inside then lay them cut side down on a wire rack (put something underneath the rack like a plate or paper towels.) This will help get rid of excess moisture. Mix together the pepper, bread crumbs, garlic, basil, olive oil and ½ of the cheese. Stuff your tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese. I drizzle a bit of EVOO on top before placing in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!
Caroline Susie RD/LD
Manager Employee Wellness
Methodist Health System
Caroline manages the internal wellness program to improve the health of Methodist Health System’s employee and dependent population. A University of Oklahoma graduate, Caroline has 10 years experience as a registered and licensed dietitian.