There are a ton of benefits to 2021’s best diet: The Mediterranean diet. Not only has it been scientifically proven to help several health ailments, but a new study from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has found that men with prostate cancer who eat a stricter Mediterranean diet may see a lower risk of progression.
The study was conducted on 410 men with prostate cancer who were assigned a high, medium, or low Mediterranean diet score based on a food frequency questionnaire and nine energy-adjusted food groups. The researchers found that male participants who ate more fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, olive oil, nuts, legumes, beans, and seeds (staples of the Mediterranean diet) saw a lower risk of their cancer advancing. (For more foods you should be eating to stay healthy in 2021, make sure to check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.)
Another important finding is that, of the 8.1% of men in the study who self-identified as Black, those who followed a high Mediterranean diet grade saw the largest decrease in their prostate cancer progression risk. The authors of the study say this is significant because Black men have a 50% higher chance of being diagnosed with this type of cancer.
“Men with prostate cancer are motivated to find a way to impact the advancement of their disease and improve their quality of life,” says Justin Gregg, M.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of urology at the University of Texas. “A Mediterranean diet is non-invasive, good for overall health and, as shown by this study, has the potential to effect the progression of their cancer.”
Want to start eating a more Mediterranean and plant-based diet, but don’t know where to start? Here are the 9 Things to Know Before Starting the Mediterranean Diet. And check out our Plant-Based Diet Guide: Explore the Benefits, Nutrition, and Food List You Need to Know.
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