Although there are no 100% preventative measures regarding any kind of cancer, there are, however, many foods that have shown a concrete ability to give you better overall protection. Therefore, they can substantially reduce your risk of developing it altogether. Additionally, if you combine a better diet with healthy and beneficial lifestyle changes, you will reduce your risk even more. Some of the things you need to change in your daily routine as quickly as possible include- Quit smoking, quit drinking alcohol, control the amount of sugars and carbs you consume daily, be more physically active, and don’t wait too long to visit the bathroom when you feel you need it.
Other factors can increase your risk of getting colon cancer as well, such as genetics, type 2 diabetes, calcium and/or B vitamin deficiency, long term usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and obesity.
Read on to find out which foods have been found to be best in reducing your risk of developing colon cancer.
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 oils and fatty acids, especially raw or fresh, and can help reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, a research team from Vanderbilt University found that women who eat at least three servings of fatty fish per week reduced their risk of developing colon polyps by around 33 percent.
So next time you’re at your favorite market, go ahead and grab some baked or smoked salmon, tuna and sardines. Plus, these fish are also rich in essential protein, vitamin D and calcium.
Adding at least two, one-ounce servings of nuts per week can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels low, which then reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and subsequently reduces your risk of developing colon cancer. Nuts are also packed with healthy fatty acids, fiber and flavonoids, which can also equally help decrease your chances of getting colon cancer. So, make sure you keep your table and kitchen stocked with tree nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts.
Fruits are generally rich in antioxidants, fiber and species-specific phytochemicals that can help protect you from digestive problems and the buildup of bad bacteria, which can lead to colon cancer if left untreated.
Apples, blackberries, bananas, blueberries, oranges, pear and raspberries are some of the best sources of fiber. Make sure you drink plenty of water with all that fiber though, as too much fiber in your intestines can backfire on you and cause constipation. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to fill two-thirds of your plate with plant-based food as often as possible, particularly raw veggies that are super rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
However, to lower your risk of having type 2 diabetes, which is a leading factor that can potentially lead to colon cancer, the American Diabetes Association suggests only eating non-starchy vegetables. Some examples of non- starchy veggies include- lettuce, kale, cucumbers, artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, okra and spinach.
If you don’t like or want all those vegetables and fish, no problem. Beans and legumes are great alternatives. Look for soybeans, lentils, peas, pinto beans, black beans and kidney beans, which are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin B and vitamin E.
Aside from the benefits and protection they provide to your colon, and how delicious they are, beans and legumes can also help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. So it’s definitely a win-win deal. The only drawback regarding beans and legumes – they can cause quite a bit of flatulence if you eat too much of it, so it’s best to keep it in moderation.
Eating too much beef and other red meats is well known to be one of the major contributors to the development of many illnesses and health conditions, including colon cancer. Instead, try eating more skinless chicken or turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan however, which can make you feel very fatigued, so it’s best to reserve it for dinnertime.
If you follow the vegetarian diet, eggs are a great option as well.
Before you make any dietary changes, check with your doctor first to make sure it’s ok for you. A fantastic and effective method is to make a food journal to keep track of which foods give you any negative or allergic symptoms, and which don’t.
Also, what makes colon cancer worrisome is that the symptoms don’t start appearing until the cancer is already in a more advanced stage. The more it progresses, the harder it is to treat and cure. This is why it’s crucial to get tested for it as soon as possible if you suspect you might have it.