What is Prostate Cancer?

Did you know that prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men in the UK?  This cancer develops slowly, sometimes over a number of years, so there may be no signs or symptoms initially.

What is the prostate?

If you’re a little unsure what this is, the prostate is a small gland in the pelvis.  This is only found in men and surrounds the urethra.

Common symptoms of prostate cancer

As we mentioned above, symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear in early stages.  Instead, signs and symptoms are only likely to appear after the prostate is large enough to impact the urethra.  When this happens, you are likely to notice a number of different symptoms including:

  •      An increased urge to urinate
  •      A feeling that you have been unable to fully empty your bladder
  •      A difficult to pass urine

None of the symptoms highlighted above should be ignored.  However, it’s important that we stress these symptoms do not always mean you have cancer.  It is far more likely that they are caused by something else.

Testing for prostate cancer

There is no singular test for prostate cancer.  All of the tests that are used to determine and help diagnose your condition each come with its own set of benefits and risks that should always be discussed with you.

The most common tests used to diagnose prostate cancer are:

  •      A series of blood tests
  •      A physical examination of your prostate
  •      A biopsy
  •      An MRI scan

How is prostate cancer treated?

Early-stage prostate cancer (stages I and II).  Early-stage prostate cancer typically grows very slowly and can take a number of years to cause any symptoms.  This is why active surveillance is often recommended. Radiation therapy or surgery may also be suggested.

What is radiation therapy?

If you’re unfamiliar with this form of treatment, radiation is a strategic use of photons which are used to kill cancer cells. This treatment works by damaging the genetic blueprint of the cancer cell.  This means that the targeted cancer cells die without replicating themselves. This form of treatment is highly effective at treating localised prostate cancer and offers the same cure rate as surgery options.   

EBRT or External Beam Radiation Therapy

This is the most common type of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer.  If your radiation oncologist opts to treat your cancer with EBRT, he will use MRIs and CT scans to help map the location of your tumour cells. X-rays are then used to help target these specific areas.  These ‘mapping’ scans can then be used to help create a personalised radiation plan.

Brachytherapy

This form of radiation therapy involves placing special radiation ‘seeds’ inside the prostate that will emit radiation from a close range.  One of the easiest ways to view this form of radiation therapy is internal therapy. Brachytherapy by itself only tends to be used for low-risk patients.  In most cases, it will be used in combination with some form of external beam radiation. You can find more information on radiotherapy options here.

 

Foods That Could Help to Lower Your Risk of Cancer

You’ll likely be unsurprised to hear this, but what you eat can have a drastic impact on many aspects of your health, including your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

In particular, recent studies have shown that diseases like cancer can be heavily influenced by the things you are eating.  Many foods also contain ingredients that can help decrease the growth of cancer. Here, we’re delving a little deeper into some of the most talked about foods that may lower your risk of cancer.

Broccoli is your super hero food!

Broccoli is known to contain high levels of sulforaphane, which is a plant compound found in all cruciferous vegetables.  Recent studies have indicated that this particular ingredient may have highly potent anticancer properties. So, including broccoli in your meal-prep plans for the week may come with cancer-fighting benefits.

Beans, beans, good for the heart…

Beans contain high levels of fibre, which some studies have found may help protect the human body against colorectal cancer.  Eating just a couple of servings of beans each week will help to increase your overall fibre intake and can help to lower the risk of you developing cancer long term.

Can carrots really help you to see in the dark?

Several studies have found that incorporating carrots into your diet has been linked to a decreased risk of a number of different types of cancer.  An easy way to incorporate carrots into your diet is through healthy snack options or delicious side dishes. Again, eating just a few portions of carrots a week can help to potentially reduce your risk of cancer.

Olive oil is key

As one of the staples of the classic Mediterranean diet, olive oil is loaded with health benefits.  With a number of studies indicating that a higher intake of olive oil can help to protect against cancer, it may be time to swap out other oils for your new olive oil best friend.

Should I be eating more cinnamon?

Cinnamon is already well-known for its numerous health benefits, including its ability to ease signs of inflammation and reduce levels of blood sugar.  On top of these health benefits, recent studies have found that cinnamon extract may be able to decrease the spread of cancer cells. Including a teaspoon of cinnamon in your daily diet may be beneficial if you’re looking to improve the levels of cancer preventative foods in your diet.

Best supplements for fat loss

Losing weight isn’t about how many calories you can burn during your workouts, well… It is but there is more to it than that. The human body isn’t design to get fat.

Here are my top supplements that aid my fat loss:

Protein Powder

There is a big misconception with women that protein will make us women build large muscular figures. That won’t happen, I promise. Protein is an absolute MUST for weight loss.

Your body metabolizes protein faster than carbs or fats. If your not active, carbs and fats will bre stored as excess in your body which will cause you to gain more weight.

IF you increase your protien you’ll gain more muscle mass and maintain lean muscle mass which will make it harder for your body to store the fat. Building muscle will prevent fat. BUT this doesn’t mean you’re going to have a bulky figure. Its really hard for women to get a bodybuilding / masculin sort of look.

Most of us won’t be getting our daily protein needs either so bulking up with extra protein does a number of beneficial things for us.

The reason protein powder is so popular is because it helps you reach your daily protein needs. A lot of us may not get the daily recommended amount of protein through our regular diet (about 56 grams). Protein powder gives us that extra little bit of protein we may need and possibly a little extra for those that are working out regularly.

there are a whole host of vegan protein powders out there so you can take your pick. Just make sure you do some research and try which is best for you.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-vegan-protein-powder

Fat Loss Pills

These are not for everyone, but they do help.

Most fat burner pills do pretty much the same thing, they increase or give your metabolism a little nudge in the right direction. For some this will be enough to lose a pound without working out or changing diet much. But if you are following a good meal plan and you are working out, these can really speed the process up.

These pills can be replicated, using natural ingredients. While this is more expensive and less convenient, it can be done. The following are proven to increase your metabolism.

Protein-Rich Foods

Protein rich foods force your body to use more energy to break them down and digest them.  this is known as the TEF, thermal effect of food. So fish and other lean sources of protein.

Iron, Zinc and Selenium-Rich Foods

All three of these help your body to function properly and help multiple parts of your body. One thing they do have in common is: they are required for the proper function of your thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism

Chili Peppers

Capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, may boost your metabolism by increasing the number of calories and fat you burn.

Coffee

Furthermore, caffeine may also help your body burn fat for energy and seems especially effective at boosting your workout performance.

For more go to https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/metabolism-boosting-foods/

How Diet Can Help Your Mental Health

Overall health, diet and mental health are all closely related. Your brain is a highly metabolic organ. It required fuel 24/7. This is much more than just, did you get enough protein and carbs or too much fat.

Let’s have a look at how your diet impacts mental health and how, once your in the bad mental health cycle it can really be difficult to get yourself out of it.

Most people that suffer from depression and other mental health illness’ find it difficult to get out of bed on a daily basis, let alone ensure you have the right macro/micro nutrient intake, workout plan and sleep schedule.

Now if you have an eating disorder, that cycle gets even worse. Eating or not eating the right foods can decrease your moods, make your mental health worse and in turn make it more difficult to eat right the following meal.

Making it very easy to find yourself in a downward spiral. But thankfully there are professionals there to help you get out of this cycle, newbridge health clinic which is an NHS partner, specialise in eating disorders like bulimia.

Here are some ways you can help improve your mental health through your diet.

There should be a shift in focus to micronutrient intake. B vitamins, Omega 3, iron and zinc are just some of the important micronutrients you should focus on.

B-Vitamins

B-Vitamins should be taken all together, they are a set of vitamins that work in sync with each other to boost your energy levels, your metabolism and increase neurotransmitter function. Helping stabilize mood swings.

They are found in leafy greens, meat skin, like chicken skin and fish. A super convenient method is taking a B vitamin supplement if you can’t get your diet quite right. Here’s an article about more foods rich in B-vitamins

OMEGA 3

Omega 3 are essential fatty acids which help prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.

These are found in food and can help prevent alzheimer’s. A study showed that you should be preparing by eating omega 3 at least 30 years before symptoms are likely to hit.

Not only will this be helping you, but this will provide peace of mind for the rest of the family.

IRON

Eating enough iron is really underappreciated. This is especially true for anyone who has low iron levels. These people can be unaffected by mental illness but have the symptoms.

A lack of iron is related to lethargy and feeling tired. So if you find you are struggling to get out of bed, feel tired throughout the day or want to have a better mood, try increasing your iron intake.

Iron is found in Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lentils.

Conclusion

You will notice that these vitamins are found in similar foods. Having a few portions of beans and lentils, spinach and other green veg and fish at least once a week can really make a difference waking up on Monday mornings.

Benefits of plant based diets

Plant based diets are very good for you. Adopting this lifestyle will help your waistline, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and make you a happier person.

Mental health

Seriously, Leafy Greens, Sweet Potato, Nuts, Seeds, Pineapples are just some of the foods that will improve your mental health and improve cognitive function. Junk food negatively affect your mood and mental health so steer clear party people.

Your brain and gut are linked.

Chia Seeds

Image result for Chia Seeds

 

Chia seeds, for example, are rich in omega-3 fatty acid which is linked to helping you enhance memory as well as offer protection against cognitive defects.

Goji Berries

Image result for goji berries

They look delicious right? 🤤🤤

Heres some more ideas:

  • Beans
  • Kidney
  • Split Peas
  • Red Lentils
  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal

Check out this site for more information: https://ordinaryvegan.net/vegangrocerylist/ it literally gives you everything you need to know for your next shopping trip!

Disease prevention

Heart Disease

There was a study with more than 200,000 people to see how a healthy plant based diet effected the heart. The findings were, those who followed a plant based diet had a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

Sugary Drinks, Fruit Juices and Refined grains were associated with a large increase of heart disease.

Cancer

There was a study that found plant based diets reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Cognitive Decline

Diseases like Alzheimer’s is reduced if you’ve got a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits. A lot of these veg / fruits have really healthy properties about them.

 

What is Veganism?

Veganism isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Veganism is the practice of staying away from animal products. So they’ll cut out animal based foods, they’ll cut out any product that hurts animals really…

Hey, do . you know, one vegan will save more than 100 animals a year? So if you’re an animal lover and want to help, transitioning into a vegan lifestyle is a big help.

I think one big thing that turns people off from the vegan lifestyle is the transition. It can be really hard but I’ve written a couple of articles on this site regarding it so check them out.

There a LOT of benefits to this sort of lifestyle too.

 

What do vegans eat?

They eat.. well.. they don’t eat meat lol. They avoid a LOT of foods because they don’t eat anything that hurts animals in one way or another.  They will get all of their nourishment from a varied diet that consists of nuts, fruits, vegetables, pulses and healthy fats.

 

Making the vegan transition easier

So you’ve decided that you’d like to become vegan but have no idea on where you even begin? Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle isn’t easy but don’t let that scare you.

I recommend you start off with one thing at a time. There is no point making a drastic lifestyle change because that sort of thing is EXTREMELY hard to commit to. The trick is small changes here and there. Honestly, that’s it. Start off by learning as much as you can, then gradually work a vegan diet into your life.

Go at a pace that is manageable and it’ll be a much more natural process.

First Step

The first step is educating yourself. Learn and familiarise yourself with the vegan lifestyle. This will really help you if you do the bulk of your learning now. Veganism is tough to begin with but start off by learning the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

Then move onto learning the production of animal products. Everyone has their own reason for being vegan. Some people just don’t like the texture of meat whereas others find the production of animal products disgusting.

Once you’ve got your reasoning, I would learn how you get all the nourishment you need from a plant-based diet.

Look into ingredients after this, put a bit of planning into your shopping trips.

 

Add more plant based foods to your diet

Unless meat products totally disgust you, I would start off by incorporating more whole grain items, beans, nuts, seeds and tofu into your diet as you can. You should learn how to store these foods and their benefits.

You could swap out milk for soy milk or almond milk.

 

Stay positive

Don’t dwell on the foods you’re missing out on. Think about all the new foods you get to enjoy. Think about the new dishes you wouldn’t of eaten if you hadn’t of made the transition.

I hope this helps!