If you could reduce your risk of prostate cancer by adjusting your diet, would you do it? Some researchers believe that certain food choices might lower your chance of developing this form of cancer.

Isoflavones are compounds that are mainly found in soybeans. These compounds are phytoestrogens, which have an effect on the body that is similar to estrogen. Normally, men do not have a lot of estrogen, a female hormone, in their bodies. In order to grow, prostate cells depend on the male hormone testosterone. While much more research needs to be done, isoflavones may offer a protective benefit by increasing the estrogen-like activity in the body and lowering testosterone levels.

If you are interested in adding isoflavones to your diet, good sources include:

  • Tofu—available in most refrigerated produce or dairy sections of your local supermarket. You can make a healthy shake by blending together ½ cup of tofu with a banana, orange juice, and other fruit.
  • Tempeh (cake of fermented soybeans)—yields 60 mg
  • Soy flour—yields 44 mg
  • Flavored soymilk—yields about 20 mg per serving
  • Roasted soybeans—packs the highest amount of isoflavone per serving—about 167 mg for a 3.5 ounce serving (or 7 tablespoons); these are available at healthfood stores and also online.