A recent Harvard study finds that cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, may protect against bladder cancer. It's one of the most common cancers, and affects two to three times as many men as women. Scientists analyzed the diets of nearly 50,000 men and discovered that those who ate five servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies were half as likely to develop bladder cancer over a ten-year period as men who rarely ate them. And broccoli and cabbage were singled out as the most protective foods.
2. Tomato Sauce
Men who eat a lot of tomatoes, tomato sauce, or pizza smothered with the stuff may be giving themselves a hedge against prostate cancer. So say researchers at Harvard, who studied the eating habits of more than 47,000 male health professionals.
They found that men who ate tomato sauce two to four times per week had a 35 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than men who ate none. A carotenoid called lycopene, which tomatoes contain in abundance, appeared to be responsible. But scientists were puzzled: tomato juice didn't seem to have a protective effect.
Scientists report that sperm counts have declined over the last 50 years and that environmental factors are to blame. Getting adequate zinc is sometimes the answer. In one trial, 22 men with low testosterone levels and sperm counts were given zinc every day for 45 mg to 50 mg days. Testosterone levels and sperm counts rose.
Research suggests that foods rich in potassium can reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Watermelon, a rich source of this mineral, has more potassium--664 mg --in one large slice than the amount found in a banana or a cup of orange juice. So cut yourself another slice and enjoy the taste of summer.
5. Peanut Butter
If you want a healthy heart, spread your morning toast with peanut butter. Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women, but men fall victim at an earlier age. Researchers compared the cholesterol-lowering effect with a higher-fat diet based on peanuts. After 24 days both diets lowered "bad" LDL cholesterol. But the peanut plan also caused a drop in blood fats called triglycerides and did not decrease HDL, the "good" cholesterol.
Peanut butter is a little higher in fat, but it's the type that's good for you--monounsaturated fat.Just don't go nutty plastering on the tasty spread, since it is high in calories.