Bring it to Barb

Barb Rocks

Dear Barb,
My husband has been reading up about prostate cancer. We disagree about how our eating and diet can impact cancer. I don’t need a negative diagnosis to up our game with our health. My husband loves ice cream and bacon and has a high stress job so I am worried. I eat healthy, but he doesn’t like vegetables much. Does it really matter if you eat vegetables every day? Does diet impact prostate cancer?

Caring Wife

Dear Caring Wife,
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, second-leading cause of male deaths in the U.S. However, it’s also the most preventable of cancers. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is about 98 percent, and rising for the past few years.

The key is to make our body inhospitable to mutating cells that could form cancer that ultimately threatens your life. The University of Texas Cancer Center in Houston believes the answer may lie in the human gut, which makes diet central to addressing prostate issues.

Something called “microbes” influence prostate inflammation and the development of prostate cancer. When your microbes are happy, your prostate will be happy! The microbes love, love, love a plant-centered diet with low-glycemic foods. It feeds your microbiome that thrive and are healthiest when fed healthy soluble fibers. Plant nutrients invigorate the prostate and counterbalance oxidative stress and damage. Also, a couple Brazil nuts per day give a healthy dose of selenium to decrease risk factors.

My book “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50” has a section using an acronym: GOMBS – Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Beans/Berries and Seeds. Consume every day!

Microbes’ favorite foods: 1. Oatmeal – known for being a slow-releasing food that does not have energy levels crashing. 2. Whole wheat tortillas – glycemic index at about 30, which is better than most any other carbohydrate sources out there. 3. Lentils – blend them in tasty spices and add them to fresh rice, with other proteins, or simply by themselves 4. Whole wheat and whole grain breads, 100 percent only, never white bread. 5. Tomato juice – chewing your fruits and vegetables is best, but a healthy option is tomato juice. 6. Couscous – this “carbohydrate” option is a good alternative to pasta, rice, and other staple carbohydrates. 7. Apples – no surprise, a substitution for French fries at some restaurants now. 8. Garbanzo beans and soy beans – loaded with ample fiber, no fat, and a healthy amount of protein. 9. Carrots – after work and before dinner or while making dinner (have them visibly obvious when you open the refrigerator!). 10. Broccoli/spinach – add to virtually any dish you love. 11. Onions – consider adding sautéed onions to as many meals as you can. 12. Romaine lettuce. 13. Cashews – loaded with healthy omega-3 fats similar to what almonds offer. 14. Peaches and oranges.

Here are the NO-NO foods to limit and help with prevention of any incidences of prostate cancer: Candy, fruit Juice, white bread, coca cola, instant oatmeal and puffed wheat cereal. You may not realize that raisins, fries, milk and bacon, pre-prepared yogurt with fruit, Ragu sauce, granola breakfast bars and dried fruit also rank high along with Ice cream, rice cakes, watermelon and baked russet potatoes.

So, you are correct about diet and the cancer link, but start now. The intensity you feel about your husband to help deter prostate cancer should be pursued at the grocery store and be reflected by what is put into your grocery cart. You choose what to bring into your home.

Barb Rock is a mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at

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