Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fight Colorectal Cancer with These Foods

An increased risk of colon cancer is posed for those who are older than 50, suffer from polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity or type 2 diabetes, or have a family history of colon or rectal cancer. Poor lifestyle choices, such as a diet high in red and processed meats, smoking, inactivity and heavy alcohol use have been linked to colon cancer. Incorporating these powerful foods into your diet will reduce your risk of developing this devastating disease.

Dark-coloured fruits and vegetables may help to protect against colon cancer, research has shown.

Scientists found that the chemicals that give foods such as grapes, radishes, purple carrots and bilberries their colour significantly slow the growth of colon cancer cells.

Evidence from experiments on rats and on human colon cancer cells suggests that anthocyanins, the compounds that colour most red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables, slow the growth of the cells by anything from 50 to 80 per cent.

The findings take scientists a step closer to figuring out what gives fruits and vegetables their cancer-fighting properties.

Broccoli and related foods like kale, cabbage and cauliflower contain indol-3-carbinol, which is protective against breast cancer by turning bad estrogen into healthy estrogen. A substance in these foods called sulforaphane acts as an antioxidant that can deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.

What is it about beans, rice, green veggies, and dried fruit that help with colon cancer prevention? In a word: fiber. And lots of it. Fiber is a known anti-carcinogen. But that's not all, folks. Scientists think there may be something else at play in these foods -- perhaps a perfect storm of various nutrients working together that helps prevent cancer. As if that weren't enough, a high-fiber foods also help steady your blood sugar, control your appetite, and lower your cholesterol.

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