Colon cancer is one of the most common cancer types in the world. Although not as deadly as others, it is still dangerous and should be caught as early as possible – in this cases, the survival rate goes up tremendously. According to latest research, this type of cancer can be prevented by avoiding some simple things we do every day. The unhealthy diet and lifestyle of today’s society is one of the main risk factors for colon cancer as are low vitamin D levels and consuming red meat and processed food.
Scientists have recently discovered that red meat is one of the main risk factors for the disease. The colon is an important elimination organ which needs to be kept healthy and clean in order for everything in the body to function properly. If affected by one or other factor, it will fail to eliminate toxins and may cause various ailments.
- Statistics say that 5-10% of colon cancer cases are the result of genetics, while 20% are caused by infections. 30% have been caused by smoking while 35% are caused by poor and unhealthy diet. The rest of the cases are attributed to our unhealthy lifestyle. Furthermore, there are some common things we all do that can raise the risk of colon cancer. Take a look at them:
1. Not enough fiber in your diet
Dietary fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, particularly incident colorectal adenoma and distal colon cancer.8 Further, for every 10 grams of fiber you add to your daily diet, your risk of colon cancer decreases by 10 percent.
A 2005 study similarly revealed that dried plums “favorably altered … colon cancer risk factors” in rats, possibly due to their high content of dietary fiber and polyphenolics.
Fortunately, if you follow the tip above and eat more vegetables, you’ll naturally be eating more fiber from the best possible source — vegetables. Psyllium seed husk, flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds also provide valuable sources of soluble and insoluble fiber.
2. You should consume more veggies and fruit
Veggies and fruits are rich in antioxidants that can fight cancer. They contain magnesium which can lower the risk of colorectal tumors by thirteen percent. Consume a lot of cruciferous veggies and dry plums and flaxseeds and take proper supplements.
3. You should consume food rich in vitamin D
Foods high in vitamin D or spending some time on the sun is great thing. You can also add vitamin D3 supplement in the diet.
4. Avoid Processed Meats
Processed meats are those preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or the addition of chemical preservatives.
This includes bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, some sausages, and hamburgers (if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives) and more. Particularly problematic are the nitrates that are added to these meats as a preservative, coloring and flavoring.
The nitrates found in processed meats are frequently converted into nitrosamines, which are clearly associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. AICR warns that “there is no safe threshold” for eating processed meats.
5. Eliminate red meat from your diet
Newest studies have shown that red meat can cause colon cancer. However, the issue isn’t the meat itself, but the way it’s made. Hence, red meat is often genetically modified and the cows from which it comes are not grass-fed, but fed with glyphosate that destroys the good bacteria in the gut and causes further complications.
6. Unhealthy weight
Unfit people are more prone to the risk of numerous serious diseases including colon cancer. According to experts, excess belly fat is highly dangerous and one of the reasons that lead towards colon cancer.
7. Physical inactivity
Colon cancer is quickly becoming a major health concern due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Physical inactivity keeps the blood flow steady which allows toxins and pathogens to accumulate in the tissues and cause major health problems.
8. Alcohol abuse
Both excessive alcohol intake and smoking are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. When it comes to alcohol, I generally define “moderate” alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day.
As you progress further in the nutrition plan, I do recommend eliminating all forms of alcohol.
9. Lack of garlic in your diet
Garlic is a very healthy veggie which possesses potent antibacterial characteristics which can lower the risk of cancer. Garlic is so potent that it will strengthen your immunity and help it fight off illnesses and infections easier.
Other tips for prevention of colon cancer
Eating a healthy diet and staying physically active is key if you want to steer clear from colon cancer. This is especially important for people over 50 who are more prone to the disease. If you think that you may be suffering from colon cancer, schedule a colonoscopy instead of blood tests which aren’t always reliable. Of course, not all of the symptoms of colon cancer can indicate the disease – some of them can be a sign of polyps and benign digestive diseases.