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12 Common Foods That Help Prevent Colon Cancer Onset

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine. A malignant tumour, colon cancer or bowel cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in both men and women.

Colon cancer is usually reported in older adults, though it can happen at any age. It usually begins as small, noncancerous clumps of cells on the inside of the colon and over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancers [1]. Colon cancer is sometimes called colorectal cancer. Timely treatment can help in managing and preventing the elevation of cancer through surgery, radiation therapy and drug treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy [2].

Experts estimate that even moderate diet and lifestyle changes can prevent about 70 per cent of colon cancer cases. Making these foods a part of your everyday diet can actually protect you from this disease [3].

A lack of digestive regularity can leave us in pain, feeling bloated or even worse. Sometimes, chronic constipation can also increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. So you need to get things moving inside your body without adding supplements to your daily routine [4].

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The best way you can do this is by consuming foods that help in fighting against colon cancer. There are some foods that are rich in specific nutrients and these help fight against this disease. To make matters easy for you, we have listed some of the best foods to fight colon cancer. Continue reading to know how to fight colon cancer naturally.

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1. Black Cumin (Jeera)

Cumin seeds are used to garnish and add a unique taste to a number of Indian dishes. Also, cumin seeds are used in the preparation of many natural medicines, as it has the ability to treat and prevent a number of diseases. A compound known as cuminaldehyde, which is present in cumin, can prevent the growth and multiplication of cancerous cells in the intestines, to prevent colon cancer [5].


2. Guava Fruit And Leaves

Guavas are a popular, tasty fruit that many of us love to consume [6]. Guavas are rich in vitamin C, so they come with a number of health benefits, such as boosting your metabolic rate, improving your immunity, giving you healthy skin, etc.

Rich in phenols, flavonoids, and carotenoids, guava leaves are said to possess anti-angiogenic activity, and in turn, contain anticancer activity on colorectal cancer through their inhibition of angiogenesis (the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels) [7][8]. Also, vitamin C in guavas can assist the cells of the intestines to fight off cancerous cells, thus preventing colon cancer.


3. Leafy Greens

As kids, we were always told to finish the leafy greens on our plates, right? That is because, leafy greens such as spinach, mint leaves, kale, etc., are loaded with powerful nutrients like antioxidants, iron, minerals and vitamins [9]. The antioxidants present in leafy greens have the ability to prevent the abnormal multiplication of cancerous cells in the intestines, thus preventing colon cancer. Incorporate leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, methi etc. to your diet [10].


4. Bananas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits among people globally. Apart from being tasty, they are also extremely healthy! Bananas are rich in the potassium content, which can improve metabolic functions, energy, treat depression and have other such health benefits. Bananas contain pectin, which can reduce diarrhoea and has been shown to protect against colon cancer in test-tube studies [11]. Also, frequent banana consumption may be linked to a 72 per cent lower risk of colorectal cancer [12].


5. Lady’s Finger (Okra)

Especially in tropical countries like India, lady's finger is a very popular vegetable that is used to cook dishes and meals on a regular basis. Okra is one of the best vegetables for treating stomach-related problems like gastritis, acidity and constipation. So, even when it comes to colon cancer, the enzymes present in okra can help prevent colon cancer, as these enzymes strengthen the cells of your intestine, allowing them to fight cancerous agents [13].


6. Fish

Fish is an extremely healthy food that people must add to their regular diet, as they contain powerful nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which have benefits such as aiding weight loss, improving brain activity and metabolism, etc. The omega-3 fatty acid content in fish like salmon has the ability to prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the breast, colon and a few other parts of the body [14]. Several studies have pointed out that people who ate most fish at the start of the study were 12 per cent less likely to have been diagnosed with bowel cancer after an average 15 years, compared to those who ate little or no fish [15].


7. Dairy

Consuming a cup of yoghurt, or curd, on a daily basis can keep you healthy in many ways, as yoghurt has a number of health benefits. Yoghurt has the ability to increase the number of good bacteria in your intestines, which are very much essential to maintain the health of your colon [16]. Most studies agree that calcium-rich dairy products can make you less likely to have colon growths and colorectal cancer [17]. So, when your colon remains healthy, the risk of getting colon cancer can be lowered to a significant extent.


8. Whole Grains

Adding a sufficient amount of whole grains such as barley, brown rice, millet, oatmeal, etc., to your daily diet can also help improve the overall health of your colon, which in turn can help prevent colon cancer [18]. As whole grains are rich in fibre content, they can flush out the toxins from your intestines with ease, thus preventing the onset of colon cancer. Include foods such as whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal and brown rice to your diet [19].


9. Peanuts

Consuming peanuts or fat-free peanut butter on a regular basis is also known to prevent colon cancer to a great extent, according to research studies. Peanuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium content, both of which can prevent the growth and multiplication of cancerous cells in the intestines, thus reducing the risk of colon cancer [20]. One study pointed out that patients with stage 3 colon cancer showed that those who consumed two ounces or more of nuts per week had a 42 per cent lower chance of cancer recurrence and 57 per cent lower chance of death than those who did not eat nuts [21].

Some of the other foods that can help prevent the onset of colon cancer are as follows:

  • Beans and other legumes like soybeans, peas, and lentils as they have compounds called flavonoids, which can keep tumours from growing [22].
  • Colourful fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink water and stay hydrated.
  • Ginger supplements [23].

On A Final Note…

When we say "eat these foods to prevent colon cancer," it does not mean that eating the aforementioned foods can inadvertently prevent the growth of colon cancer cells. By incorporating these foods to your diet, you can reduce the risk of the cancer appearing, as these foods with its antioxidants and flavonoids work towards eliminating the cancer-causing cells in your body. That is, these foods work as a shield against the cancerous cells.