No colon cancer prevention strategy is foolproof, but nutrition can be an essential factor in reducing your risk of colon cancer. One of the best ways to do this is by eating a healthy diet. In this blog post, we will discuss how colon cancer prevention can be achieved through proper nutrition. We will also provide some helpful guidelines on what foods you should eat and which ones to avoid to minimize your chances of developing colon cancer!
Eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains to prevent colon cancer
One of the ways you can protect your colon health is to eat a diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. This type of diet has been linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer.
Choosing colorful vegetables and fruits is a good guide to follow. Eat vegetables such as broccoli, salad greens, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes. Try fruits such as berries, apples, melons, oranges and bananas. Whole fruits provide the most benefits and limit fruit juices because they tend to have a lot of sugar.
Whole grains and beans are high in fiber. Fiber-rich foods have been linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer. Fiber is thought to add bulk to the digestive system, cutting the amount of time that waste travels through the colon and taking away potential carcinogens in the waste. Good sources of whole grains include oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, lentils, wild rice and brown rice.
What to eat less of to prevent colon cancer
There are also some foods you should avoid or eat less to decrease your risk for colon cancer.
A number of studies have linked red meats (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages and lunch meats to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Limiting these foods may help lower your risk.
Drinking alcohol has been linked with a higher risk of colon cancer as well as other cancers. If possible, avoid alcohol. If you do, the American Cancer Society recommends no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. A single drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one and a half ounces of 80-proof hard liquor.
Other Factors to Prevent Colon Cancer
While your diet and nutrition are very important in preventing your risk for colon cancer, it also contributes to a healthier weight. Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for colon cancer. Also, being more active and getting regular exercise decreases your risk, which also helps with controlling your weight.
Colon cancer screenings save lives
By the time colon cancer symptoms develop, the cancer has already advanced. This is why it is so important to get a colon screening. The American Cancer Society recommends getting screening by age 45 for those at average risk. If you have a history of colon cancer or have other health concerns, your physician may recommend getting one sooner. A colonoscopy is the gold standard of colon screenings. During the procedure, It can detect and remove polyps or pre-cancerous growths before they can possibly become cancer. The earlier colon cancer is found, the more options available for treatment and a cure. Colon cancer is preventable, treatable and curable.
Our board-certified physicians at Gastroenterology Associates of Tidewater have decades of experience in conducting colonoscopies. If you have concerns about your digestive health or have questions about getting a colonoscopy, contact us at (757) 547-0798 to make an appointment. To schedule a colonoscopy, visit our Open Access page here.