Can adding tofu and other soy products to your Mediterranean diet be beneficial to your health? Well, you may be glad to know that the regular consumption of soy products can be good for your heart and bones. It can also help reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes among menopausal women, help prevent obesity by suppressing appetite, protect you against type 2 diabetes by minimizing insulin resistance and protect you from certain forms of cancer as well. Moreover, recent studies indicate that eating tofu and other soy products, especially in its whole food form, can also help keep your prostates healthy.
Prostate Cancer – Interesting Facts and Figures
Prostate cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer affecting men all over the world. In fact, experts claim that one in every six men is expected to be diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime. Prostate cancer mainly affects men aged 65 and older, although it is not uncommon for men below the age of 40 to exhibit the symptoms of the disease.
It is also interesting to note that there seems to be a great geographical disparity regarding the incidence of the disease – with the United States claiming one of the top spots. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and about 28,000 men in the US will die as a result of the disease for this year alone. On the other hand, Asian countries were observed to have significantly lower rates of prostate cancer. What could be the cause of such disparity? Let’s try to find the reasons why, shall we?
Soy Products and Prostate Cancer – Results of Related Studies
According to experts, there are a number of factors that can cause such significant differences. These include genetics, screening and other environmental factors such as diet.
According to a report published by the Urological Sciences Research Foundation in October 2004, Japanese men who migrated to the US and adopted a highly Westernized diet are more susceptible to prostate cancer as compared to those who managed to stay with their usual diets. Interestingly enough, the same trend was observed in men of Chinese descent. This only goes to prove that diet may really have a lot to do with the incidence the disease.
A lot of related studies regarding the effect of soy on prostate health have already been made and most of the results have been very promising. One study found solid evidence that the risk of prostate cancer among Japanese men living in Hawaii was reduced by as much as 65% by eating tofu at least five times during the week. Another research indicated that drinking at least one glass of soy milk on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 70%. Aren’t the results of these studies quite interesting?
While earlier studies produced some promising results, recent studies further added solid evidence attesting to the benefits of eating a soy-rich diet in promoting better prostate health. According to a report published in the September 2004 issue of the journal Urology, eating a soy-rich diet can effectively reduce the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) by as much as 12.7% while eating a Western-type diet can increase the PSA levels by as much as 40%.
Additionally, recent research shows that eating curried tofu may offer a yet better protection against prostate cancer. According to a report published in the 2010 issue of the journal Prostate, supplementing the effects of the isoflavones found in tofu and other soy products with curcumin found in turmeric resulted in a 46% reduction in PSA levels. As you probably know by now, the higher the PSA level, the higher the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Taking all these things into consideration, the American Cancer Society recommends adding soy to your daily Mediterranean diet to promote better prostate health. According to the American Dietary Guidelines, you should eat about 3 cups of legumes and soy products on a weekly basis to ensure better health. However, several studies claim that the ideal consumption should be between 4 to 8 cups per week.
Adding soy products to your Mediterranean diet can bring a lot of healthy benefits but you need to know that eating such foods alone couldn’t treat your prostate cancer if you have already been diagnosed with it. As such, you should work with your urologist to find the best treatment plan that will suit your individual needs.
I hope you learned something of value from this post.
Here’s to your better prostate health,