Colorectal cancer is said to be the third most common cancer type and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. It was found out that processed meat which is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen can be the cause of it.
The function of the colon or the large intestine is extremely important for the overall health. It assists the formation, storage, and elimination of waste. Moreover, it contains billions of bacteria, responsible for maintaining a healthy balance in the body.
According to a study, only 5-10% of cancer is caused by genetic defects while the rest are caused by lifestyle and environment factors. The experts claim that more than 35% of cancer-related deaths are due to unhealthy dietary habits, another 30% are due to tobacco while 20% are caused by environmental factors such as stress, low physical activity levels, environmental pollution, and exposure to radiation.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) claims that maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and regular exercising can prevent about one-third of the most common U.S. cancer cases.
By improving these lifestyle factors, you will manage to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 50%.
So, check out these 9 ways which will help you to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer:
Increase the intake of vegetables and fruits
Vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds, including magnesium. Every 100-miligram increase in magnesium intake can lower the risk of a colorectal tumor by 13% as well as the risk of colorectal cancer by 12%. It is believed that the anti-cancer properties of magnesium are because of its ability to reduce insulin resistance, which prevents the development of tumors.
Moreover, vegetables are packed with dietary fiber. Manu studies showed that people who consume vegetables regularly have lower cancer rates. In addition, plant chemicals called phytochemicals have the ability to reduce inflammation and remove carcinogens, while other can maintain DNA, eliminate old cells, and regulate the rate of production of cells. Cruciferous vegetables are packed with sulforaphane, a naturally occurring derivate of sulforaphane, which can suppress the growth of colon cancer-derived tumors.
Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
The deficiency of vitamin D is the major cause of colorectal cancer. It is scientifically shown that the risk of developing colorectal tumors is lower at individuals with higher blood levels of vitamin D. This vitamin has the ability to boost the immune system, which in turn prevents the growth of cancerous tumors. So, it is very important to optimize the levels of vitamin D. It should be in the range of 50-70ng/ml by regular sun exposure. However, make sure to use a high-quality tanning bed. You can also try supplementation with a vitamin D3 supplements.
Avoid Processed Meats
This means that you should avoid bacon, hamburgers, salami, hot dogs, ham, pastrami, sausages, pepperoni, and all those meats preserved by salting, curing, smoking, or the addition of chemical preservatives. The main problem is that they have been added nitrates such as coloring, flavoring, and a preservative.
According to a great number of studies, garlic has the ability to destroy cancer cells. It was found out that women who regularly consumed it, managed to lower their risk of colon cancer by 35%. In addition, people who regularly consume high amounts of garlic have a reduced risk of colorectal and stomach cancers. The intake of an extract of aged garlic for 6 months improved the immune function of people with forms of liver, pancreatic, or colorectal cancer. It is very important to crush and chop the raw garlic in order to stimulate the release of alliinase, an enzyme which catalyzes the formation of allicin, which quickly breaks in order to create various organosulfur compounds.
Boost the Fiber intake
Dietary fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, including incident colorectal adenoma and distal colon cancer. It is believed that every 10 grams of fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer by 10%. Vegetables are the best source of fiber. This means that your diet should include more chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and psyllium seed husk because they are great sources of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Red Meat Consumption
According to many studies, people who eat the most red meat have a 24% increased risk to develop colorectal cancer compared to people who eat the least. In fact, this meat is not the issue, but the way it is cooked. For instance, grass-fed beef contains cancer-fighting compounds. However, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide is carcinogenic and has a negative effect on healthy gut bacteria. Red meat cooked at high temperatures (like barbecued or fried) can contain carcinogenic byproducts like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). So, make sure to consume only organically raised grass-fed meats, and cook them lightly.
Limit the use of alcohol and tobacco
The excessive consumption of alcohol and cigarettes increases the risk of colorectal cancer. So, it is very important to limit their use, or if possible completely cut off these life-threatening habits.
Lose excess weight and Control Belly Fat
It is considered that obesity elevates the risk for various cancers, including colon cancer. A 2014 study showed that every 11-pound increase in body weight leads to an increased risk for 10 types of cancer. Excess belly fat is associated with a higher risk of colon cancer.
It is scientifically shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Physically active men and women have a 30-40% lower risk of developing colon cancer. In fact, exercise lower the cancer risk by reducing the insulin levels and controlling it. It boosts the circulation of immune cells in the blood, which in turn neutralizes pathogens in the body and destroys pre-cancerous cells. By having better circulation, you will have a stronger immune system. In this way, your body will be able to defend itself against various infections and diseases like cancer.
Advantages and disadvantages of the ways to diagnose colorectal cancer
If you follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly, you will have a reduced risk to develop colon cancer. Adults over the age of 50 are recommended to make screening tests by flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or by colonoscopy every 10 years. Colonoscopy is extremely effective for people who are at higher risk, since an early detection is extremely important and beneficial in the case of colon cancer.
Ultrasounds are very effective as well, but the complete, visual inspection is a more reliable method to check for colon cancer. Colonoscopy, in fact, represents a surgical intervention because the doctor can snip polyps immediately if you detect them on time. 1 in every 350 colonoscopies can cause severe damage while the death rate is one for every 1,000 procedures. In addition, 80% of endoscopes are cleaned using Cidex (glutaraldehyde), which can’t completely sterilize these tools, which in turn may lead to infection. So, to avoid the transfer of infectious material, make sure to the scope is sterilized with peracetic acid.
Source: Healthy Food House