Healthwise for Guys: Prostate Cancer

(FN1870, Reviewed Jan. 2023)
Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Other Authors

Jeremy Maanum, Dietetic Intern (former)

Web only
Publication Sections

Quick Quiz

  1. True or false: Eating a diet with plenty of fiber may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  2. Good food sources of fiber include: (circle all that apply)
    a. Fruits
    b. Vegetables
    c. Beans and other legumes
    d. Whole-grain foods
  3. True or false: Prostate cancer only occurs in men over the age of 60.

Answers: 1. True; 2. a, b, c, d; 3. False

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the development of cancer cells in the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that lies under the bladder. In the early stages, prostate cancer shows no signs or symptoms. Prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease but as it progresses, a man may have trouble passing urine, pain in the low belly, sexual problems and loss of sex drive.

How common is prostate cancer?

Besides skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among U.S. men. In the U.S., about one in five men will develop prostate cancer. It is more common among older men, but it also occurs in younger men.

Should I be screened for prostate cancer?

Visit with your health-care provider to determine when you should be screened for prostate cancer. Answer these questions:

Risk Factor



I have trouble passing urine.



I have a family history of prostate cancer.



I have rectal pressure or pain.



I have a strong, frequent urge to pass urine.



I have pain in the low belly or groin, or behind the scrotum.



I am over age 55.



* Even one “Yes” indicates you could be at risk for prostate cancer. Check with your health-care provider about your screening options.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer

  • Consume 5 to 6 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Consume 6 to 8 ounce equivalents of grains per day (at least half whole grains).
  • Engage in 30 minutes of physical activity on most days.
  • Limit sugar, saturated fats, processed meats and alcohol in the diet.
  • Have yearly physical examinations.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in the pigment of red fruits and vegetables, and it may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Guava, watermelon, tomatoes and red peppers are excellent sources of lycopene. The most readily absorbed form of lycopene is found in canned or heat-processed foods, such as tomato sauce.


These recipes were selected because many of their ingredients are associated with reducing the risk for cancer.

Key to abbreviations:

  • c. = cup
  • Tbsp. = tablespoon
  • tsp. = teaspoon
  • lb. = pound
  • g = gram
  • mg = milligram

Creamy Broccoli and Apple Salad

Creamy Broccoli and Apple Salad
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension
Creamy Broccoli and Apple Salad

6 c. broccoli florets
¾ c. dried cranberries
½ c. sunflower seeds
3 medium green apples (peeled and sliced)
½ c. chopped red onions
1½ c. low-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. honey

Combine broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, sliced apples and chopped onion in a large serving bowl. In another mixing bowl, blend yogurt, mustard and honey. Add dressing to salad mixture and mix. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

Makes 18 servings. Each serving has 100 calories, 2.5 g fat, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 65 mg sodium.

Lean and Spicy Tacos

Lean and Spicy Tacos
Lean and Spicy Tacos

1 c. tomatoes, diced
1 medium avocado, chopped
1 Tbsp. cilantro flakes
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
3 Tbsp. low-sodium taco seasoning mix
3 Tbsp. onion, minced
10 whole-wheat tortillas
2 c. shredded lettuce
½ c. fat-free shredded cheese
Optional: favorite preferred taco sauce, refried beans or black beans

Mix tomatoes, avocado and cilantro flakes in small to medium-sized bowl. Spray frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and turn to medium heat. Add ground beef and taco seasoning. Use a spoon or spatula to break up ground beef. Cover pan and let cook for a few minutes, then add minced onions. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until beef is browned and fully cooked (about 10 minutes). Warm tortillas in microwave about 15 seconds. Prepare each taco by placing beef in taco shell, then lettuce and tomato mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and serve.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 240 calories, 8 g fat, 16 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 410 mg sodium.

Raisin Power Poppers

Raisin Power Poppers

2 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. creamy peanut butter (or another sunflower or other nut butter)
½ c. honey
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¾ c. raisins (chopped in half or thirds)
¼ c. chia seeds (can substitute ground flaxseed)

Mix all ingredients in a medium- to large-size mixing bowl. Chill ingredients in refrigerator for one hour. Roll into tight balls (a little smaller than a golf ball, about a tablespoon in size). Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to seven days.

Makes 40 servings. Each serving has 90 calories, 4 g fat, 3 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 50 mg sodium.

See www.ag.ndsu.edu/healthwiseforguys for more information about men’s health.


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