Multiple studies have found a diet rich in fiber can decrease your risk of colorectal cancer. In fact, for every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily may lower your risk. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, colon cancer prevention may be reduced by 10 percent.
Fiber Fights Cancer
Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. Dietary fiber contributes to colon health by helping to prevent constipation and reducing the risk of polyps. And what’s good for the colon is good for the rest of the body, too.
High-fiber diets may also help you control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and achieve a healthy weight. Follow the golden rule to add more fiber to your diet:
- Make half of your plate fiber-rich vegetables or fruits.
- Fill another one-fourth of your plate with whole grains, beans or nuts, which also contain fiber.
- The final quarter should be a source of protein.
The protein can be from an animal, such as fish, poultry or beef. Or you can go with a plant-based protein to up the fiber content even more. This is where it can get tricky, as eating too much red or processed meat can increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
If you need some incentive to modify your diet for colon cancer prevention, consider this: It’s estimated that approximately 45 percent of colorectal cancers in the U.S. may be prevented by following a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. To help reduce your colorectal cancer risk, add some of these foods to your plate.
Colon Cancer FAQs
Unsure when to schedule your screening for colon cancer? Learn more about colorectal cancer screenings.
Here are a few foods that should find a place on your plate:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, including breads, cereals, rice and pasta
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Nuts and seeds
Fiber works best when it absorbs water, so drink plenty of fluids. And if you haven’t been including much fiber in your diet up until now, add it in slowly so it doesn’t cause intestinal discomfort. Your body needs to adapt to increases in fiber gradually.
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