Eating just 1/2 cup of either broccoli or cauliflower a week could reduce prostate cancer risk by nearly half, says a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Canadian researchers analyzed four years of dietary data for nearly 30,000 men, and found the strongest protective benefits from cauliflower (52% risk reduction) and broccoli (45% risk reduction), with a 40% risk reduction from consumption of cruciferous vegetables in general (e.g., cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli sprouts).

All of these foods contain compounds that might support several of the body’s systems, possibly continuing to protect your system for as many as 3 to 4 days.

Another possible prostate protector appears to be lycopene, found in foods such as tomatoes, guava, watermelon, pink grapefruit and red bell peppers. Keep in mind that while vegetable fiber may lower prostate cancer risk, animal products such as meat and dairy increase risk.

Published September 1, 2007