Prostates are having a news moment. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was treated for it. King Charles doesn’t, but he’s being treated for an enlarged prostate. No man is immune to it.

Men may not talk about prostate cancer (the other “PC”), but ALL men over 30 think about it. Regardless of age,  there are plenty of steps men can – and should – take to cut their risk of PC.

(Everyone wins here — good foods for the prostate benefit everyone’s health.)

PC 101

Until recently, PC was low on the media radar, because it usually progresses slowly. “You won’t die FROM PC, you’ll die WITH it,” is a common saying. Not entirely true – PC can spread to other organs, and no one wants ANY cancer, let alone one that impacts sex organs! Even after men are done having kids, they’re not done having sex. (Men under 50, fear not – the libido continues!)

Prostate Cancer Stats

According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, PC is:

• The 2nd most common cancer in men.
• The 4th most common cancer OVERALL.
• 5-year survival rate for PC in the US: 98%

Don’t’ let that survival rate give you a false sense of security. Even if PC doesn’t kill you, the medications and treatments sometimes have some nasty side effects, like impotence and urinary incontinence, among others.

Taking Aim At PC

There are lots of measures men of all ages can – and should – take to lower their risk of prostate cancer, and just foster good prostate health. AND THEY’RE ALL SIMPLE!

Fruits & Veggies = Man Food:  YES — & you’re NOT eating enough of them, if you’re like 9 out of 10 people. F & V lower your risk for pretty much ALL cancers.

Eat AT LEAST 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies daily. I don’t care whether they’re fresh, frozen, cooked, canned, or dried. I don’t care which ones you eat, either (one exception – read on). Just eat them daily. The benefits are indisputable.

TOMATOES: Your PC AmmoTomatoes are loaded with LYCOPENE — a potent antioxidant.  This 2000 review found that serum and tissue levels of lycopene were INVERSELY related to PC — i.e. the more lycopene, THE LOWER YOUR RISK for PC.

More good lycopene news:

           Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash

PROCESSED IS GOOD!  When tomatoes are cooked or canned (think tomato sauce, paste, canned crushed tomatoes, and juice, they have MORE lycopene than fresh! Cooking makes lycopene more bio-available. Other factoids:

  • Fresh tomatoes are still fine! Get tomatoes any way you can.
  • Watermelon and pink grapefruit are other lycopene sources.
  • There’s little downside to eating more lycopene-containing foods, so have at it.

PASTE UP!  Tomato paste is just concentrated tomatoes. It’s super-versatile and a terrific way to amp up daily lycopene (& my personal fave way to eat processed tomatoes). See below for how I use tomato paste. 

Love Your Heart – It Powers Your Prostate!

No disputing that eating fatty fish 2 or 3 times a week cuts your heart disease risk, and cardiovascular disease kills nearly 8x more men than PC. Fish consumption in Japan is 2½ times higher than in the US. PC prevalence in Japan is 1/7th what it is in the US.

EASY, DELICIOUS, CONVENIENT ways to get more lycopene AND fatty fish into your diet:

Go to the can! Fresh salmon is expensive, but CANNED salmon is super-affordable and usually wild. Swap tuna for canned salmon, and mix in some tomato paste! I do this regularly and it’s delicious for breakfast or lunch. Salmon is rich with heart-healthy omega-3 fat, so I don’t even add mayo, saving some calories.

Think beyond salmon, all the way to sardines. Hear me out!! I like them packed in water and with no added salt, so they’re less oily and I can flavor them MY way (lots of herbs & seasonings!). I even got my colleague, registered dietitian Neva Cochran interested!

  “Fatty fish and tomato paste may not sound like the perfect pairing but it’s a delicious duo that can help cut prostate cancer risk and promote heart health. I’ve tried it layered on a bagel or an English muffin for a tasty breakfast.” – registered dietitian Neva Cochran


         Image by Total Shape from Pixabay

Avocado toast? Spread tomato paste on toast, then sliced avocado — and add some protein here! If not salmon or sardines, go for a sliced hard-cooked egg, feta cheese, even some Greek yogurt on top. With veggies, protein, and grains — a complete meal!  And finally…

AND MOVE. DAILY. Physical activity improves cardiovascular fitness and cuts your risk for many cancers, including prostate cancer. A 2022 systematic review found that regular physical activity was a “modifiable protective factor” of PC.

For 2 FREE cookbooks of great tomato recipes for mains, sides, salsas, and more, go to