December is Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Education Month, highlighting a topic no onewants to consider–until they have to. We chose to address it because when it comes to cancer, knowledge is power and prevention is cure.
Colorectal cancer–which is cancer of the colon or rectum–is equally common in women and men. Over 141,200 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and an estimated 49,380 will die of the disease. In some cases, it can be prevented by removing polyps–small growths on the wall of the intestine–before they become cancerous. But if you want to maximize your prevention efforts, you would ideally:
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, at least five days a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Rather than rely on BMI alone, get your body fat tested.
- Limit alcohol to one drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men.
- Target a produce–rich diet bolstered by your daily multi–vitamin/mineral formula and a good combination antioxidant supplement. Antioxidants are cancer fighting allies!
- Minimize all fatty/processed meats. Instead emphasize your morning protein shake, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts/seeds.
- Stay consistent with 1–2 grams of fish oil daily, which has strong anti–inflammatory properties that help minimize cancer cell development.1
- Bump up your B’s. Studies show that B–complex vitamins–especially folic acid–can greatly aid your prevention efforts.2,3
- Increase dietary fiber by replacing refined/processed baked goods and snacks with whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, etc.
The good news is you don’t need a separate prevention plan for each potential health problem you might face. Amazingly, these smart tactics collectively help reduce your risk of nearly all forms of cancer as well as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s–and more. Let wellness prevail!
1 Proc Nutr Soc. 2011 May;70(2):194-204. Epub 2011 Mar 9
2 World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Feb 28;16(8):921-62
3 J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998 Jan 7;90(1):57-62