By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancers. Making some simple dietary and lifestyle changes can cut your risk in half. Here’s how:
1. Eat more vegetables. We know we should eat more veggies. Research shows that eating more vegetables can cut a person’s risk of colon cancer in half. Eat a daily salad, a homemade vegetable soup, or add steamed or sauteed veggies to your main dish. Better yet, make vegetables the main course and meat the side dish.
2. Avoid foods high in saturated fats and nitrates. That includes processed luncheon meats, bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausage. The saturated fat is linked to inflammation while the nitrates they contain are known carcinogens.
3. Choose chicken (or turkey or Brazil nuts). According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, eating lean chicken several times a week decreases a person’s chances of developing precancerous polyps in the colon by 21 percent and the risk of malignant tumors by 39 percent. Researchers believe the mineral selenium may be to thank. Looking for vegetarian sources of selenium? Choose Brazil nuts, which are one of the best sources of this mineral. Brown rice and walnuts are also good sources.
March might be almost over, but it isn’t too late to note that it is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. More than 50,000 people – one every 9.3 minutes – die from colon cancer each year, despite the fact that it’s the most treatable cancer when detected early through proper screening. Olympus, the Colon Cancer Alliance and Colorectal Cancer Coalition, is encouraging all Americans to help beat colon cancer by learning more and committing to be screened for the disease.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 35 percent of cancer deaths may be linked to dietary factors. In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, check out some new colon cancer fighting food facts below and start to incorporate some of these healthy foods into your own diet.