Just as United States medical experts are waging their war against the number one killer in the country, heart disease, another threat is slowly creeping up behind. Already having made to the second place nationwide and even to the first place in twenty one states, cancer is steadily killing off the population.
And even though a great amount of resources is going into finding a treatment for the condition, it’s certainly going to be a while before any definitive solution is found for the rapidly spreading collection of diseases. But that’s not to say that some forms of cancer aren’t preventable. In fact, according to a recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, red vegetables diminish risk for prostate cancer.
Red decreases PSA
What do red vegetables have in common that can be used as a cancer prevention tool? Well, according to the team of researchers, it’s lycopene. Lycopene is a substance often present in red fruit and vegetables, as it is part of the natural pigment that gives these foods their coloring. It is also good at keeping PSA levels at bay.
PSA, or prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by cells in the prostate. According to the National Cancer Institute, high levels of the protein have been associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. It is still unclear how exactly lycopene decreases the PSA levels, but scientists are working on it.
Ways of lycopene ingestion
The team suggests eating a lot of red vegetables and fruit if you believe you are risk of developing prostate cancer. These foods include tomatoes, guavas, watermelons, and even apricots. They also believe the substance to be far more effective if consumed cooked with healthy fats.
So, the ideal would be to eat more tomatoes that were cooked in olive oil rather than eating them raw, at least for the cancer prevention abilities. Plus, vitamin D is yet another substance generally present in red vegetables and fruit that is known to reduce the risk for prostate cancer, so you’ve two for the price of one.
Cancer around the nation
It’s understandable why scientists are so driven to find a solution for preventing cancer or any new forms of treatment. And seeing as the condition is so specialized, it’s once again easier to analyze each condition separately. Prostate cancer, for example, is the second most common form of the disease in the United States after lung cancer.
With somewhere around three million currently living with the condition, 180,000 new cases expected to pop up this year, and about 26,000 expected deaths a year, it’s understandable why prostate cancer is treated as a priority. In the meanwhile, we can just try to keep a healthy lifestyle and hope that the disease doesn’t go after us anyway.
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