More people are becoming interested in the connection between the foods we eat and health. Studies are showing that certain foods can help us look and feel younger and can help prevent some diseases, including certain cancers. While more research needs to be performed on this important connection, there is evidence that points to some foods having an impact on a lower incidence of colon cancer.
Researchers are still studying the effects that antioxidants have on colon cancer. These substances help the body’s immune system fight against free radicals. The cells in our bodies use oxygen and free radicals are the by-products of that process. Just as oxidation makes oils like butter rancid or turns metal rusty, oxidation contributes to problems in our bodies.
Foods high in antioxidants may help fight against colon cancer. These include vegetables and fruits with high beta-carotene, carotene and lutein content. Think of your bright orange veggies like yams and squash.Cruciferous vegetables are also high in antioxidants.
In addition to being high in antioxidants this group of vegetables is also high in fiber and folate which is one of the B vitamins. Vegetables included in this category include kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower.
These vegetables have a variety of health benefits. Besides their vitamin content, they supply fiber which is used by the body to keep things moving smoothly through the GI tract. If you are watching your calories, these veggies are for you. They are very low in calories while being packed with nutrients for the body.
Cruciferous vegetables may help protect the colon with their antioxidant compounds, but they also have compounds which have been shown to ward off colon cancer. The cancer-fighting substances in cruciferous vegetables are called glucosinolates. These sulfur-containing compounds also help reduce inflammation.
Calcium and Vitamin D are found in milk, cheese and yogurt as well as other foods. Known for strengthening bones, these have also been studied for their effects in staving off colon cancer. While you can find both in dairy products, your body absorbs Vitamin D from sunshine as well.
Research has found a definite link between high red meat consumption and colon cancer. Processed meet also increases the risk. It has also shown that those who consume fish have a lower incidence of the cancer. Cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tilapia, sardines provide many health benefits, including Omega-3 fatty acids which also aid in protection against heart attack.
Eat Healthy to Prevent Colon Cancer
You don’t have to eat like a bunny to ward off colon cancer, but you do need to eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Lowering your intake of processed foods and red meat while upping fiber, cruciferous vegetables, fish and poultry will help keep your colon clear of cancer causing substances.
You can contact the Gastroenterology Diagnostic Center (GDC) for more information about colon health and questions you may have about gastrointestinal health. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by keeping your GI tract healthy. We can help with that.