A good diet, key to colon cancer prevention

Did you know that including foods rich in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin D is a way to actively work in the prevention of colon cancer? Cancer is one of the diseases on which more information can be read in the media and the Internet, however, not all the information found is reliable and, therefore, it is important to know what data must be given credibility, since which not. One of the ideas that is contrasted is that there is a significant percentage of tumors that could be prevented by improving our life habits . That is, taking care of the diet, but also carrying a routine of moderate physical exercise daily. In this way, although there are issues such as genetics, which obviously impacts some tumors that do have a hereditary factor, on other occasions, cancer is related to issues such as diet itself.

The importance of a healthy diet

This should not be translated as there are “miracle” or “curative” foods, but the fact of having a healthy diet, as is the case of a Mediterranean diet , and staying at an adequate weight, is a way to prevent certain types of Cancer. In the specific case of colon cancer, it is known that foods that contain nutrients, such as vitamin C and vitamin D, influence the prevention of much of this type of tumor . However, a low consumption of non-starchy vegetables or fruits could increase the risk of developing colon cancer in the future. Sample of this evidence is the EPIC Study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition), which had the participation of ten European countries, including Spain, and which concluded that the consumption of fiber, fruits and vegetables is a positive factor in the colorectal cancer prevention . All this always taking into account that genetic and environmental factors also play an important role in the development of colorectal cancer.

Colon and digestive system cancer

In fact, since the consumption of foods rich in fiber was related as a positive factor in the prevention of colon cancer , it began to be understood that our microbiome, that is, the set of microorganisms (or microbiota) that is present in our body, and which is composed mainly of bacteria, viruses and fungi, has to do with the origin of this disease. Specifically, studies suggest that there are certain pro-inflammatory bacteria that could be related to this type of cancer. In this way, the explanation behind this relationship between colon cancer and diet has to do with the inflammatory potential that certain nutrients have in the digestive system. Some of these nutrients come from foods rich in saturated fatty acids.

Alcohol and tobacco

Likewise, there are studies that link alcohol consumption with the incidence of colon cancer , also in relation to its inflammatory potential. In this sense, the recommendation is to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages, or at least limit their consumption as much as possible. In this same line, would be the consumption of tobacco, which is related to various types of cancer. That is why, the first step to lead a healthy life is to avoid tobacco in all its forms .

Foods to consider

Given all this information, it could be said that in the prevention of colon cancer there are foods that we can take into account, both to increase or reduce its consumption, always within a balanced diet .

Add fruits and vegetables to your diet

Based on the fact that fiber is a favorable nutrient , it can be implemented in our diet through foods such as fruits and vegetables, preferably that do not contain starch. Some examples in this regard are carrots, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, squash, or artichokes. Fruits that are high in vitamin C are also interesting , such as oranges, kiwis or strawberries.

Avoid saturated fat and reduce the consumption of red meat

Another category of fiber-rich foods are legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, or nuts such as walnuts and pistachios. Likewise, another source of vegetable fiber is cereals, and it is advisable to opt for whole cereals such as buckwheat or oats, instead of opting for refined cereals such as wheat flour. As for vitamin D , it is found especially in foods such as blue fish , an example being sardines, swordfish or pomfret. On the other hand, there would be the list of foods that should be consumed more moderately. Along the same lines, foods high in saturated fat should be avoided, including processed meats (sausages …); in addition to not abusing the consumption of red meat .


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