Wednesday, November 12, 2014

‘Mo’ Food for Thought

Below the Moustache blog series focusing on men’s health

By Dr. Greg Trottier, urologist, 
Rouge Valley Centenary

Maintaining good prostate health may be as close as your refrigerator. There’s evidence to show a link between certain naturally occurring food compounds and health benefits for the prostate, the walnut-sized gland responsible for the male reproductive system.

Called nutraceuticals, these extracts, derived from natural food products, can be consumed as part of your regular diet or as a dietary supplement. Just remember, supplements are no replacement for a good diet.

Vitamin D and fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants prevent free radicals from forming, keeping cancer cells at bay. For example, it is generally accepted that lycopene, the compound that gives foods such as tomatoes and sweet red peppers their brilliant red pigment, as an antioxidant minimizes the risk of cancer and other diseases.

In some studies, isoflavones, present in soy products such as tofu or edamame, have also offered protection against both prostate and breast cancers, and are considered a healthy alternative to red meat.

While Movember allows us to focus on foods that benefit men below the belt, we recommend you regularly manage your portions so your belt doesn’t need loosening after meals. Following the Canada Food Guide is a good start as it will help you control your weight, which is important since being overweight is a contributing factor for developing prostate cancer. As a rule: more vegetables, less meat.

Our goal is to keep your prostate, urinary tract and love life all functioning well. Small changes to your diet can yield huge benefits. Consider my FARM formula when making prostate-healthy food choices:
Fresh is always best — organic if possible; fish as a first choice
Antioxidant fruits and vegetables
Red pigment in foods, like tomatoes — that’s what to look for
Moderate portions; keep meat to a minimum

Recipe: Dr. Greg Trottier’s Below the Moustache Prostate-Healthy ‘Mo’rinara Sauce

This sauce is rich in lycopenes, natural compounds that promote prostate health. It’s also really easy to prepare, which makes it good any day of the week.

12 to 14 ripe plum tomatoes chopped, blanched with the skin removed (or two large cans of diced tomatoes)

1 – 5 oz can of tomato paste
1 red pepper, chopped finely
1 medium onion, chopped finely
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 to 2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon of chili peppers
½ cup red wine (optional; substitute with chicken or vegetable broth if desired)
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup fresh parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon flax seed
Garlic salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat onions and red peppers with the olive oil in a large pan. Add chopped garlic and stir regularly. Add tomatoes, then paste. Chop the fresh herbs and add to pan. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.  Stir in red wine, honey and season with chili peppers. Cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Blend together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, flax seed and garlic salt in a bowl. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add bread crumb combination to lightly toast for five minutes. When brown and slightly crispy, remove from heat.

Serve sauce over your favourite pasta. Sprinkle topping to add flavour and texture. Serve with chicken breast or fish, green salad with pomegranate garnish and cherry tomato pesto bruschetta.

What foods are rich in lycopene? 

  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Pomegranate
  • Guava
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Purple cabbage
  • Sweet red peppers 

Read Below the moustache: Early detection of prostate cancer can save lives

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