Nip it in the bud: Natural remedies that prevent colon cancer

The number of people diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S. is increasing, and more than 50,000 people die from it. It is also the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and the third most common cancer in men and women. Despite these alarming numbers, colon cancer can still be prevented by making healthy changes to your diet. Here are some tips you can follow to prevent colon cancer:

  • Consume more fiber and raw vegetables – Fiber-rich foods and raw vegetables can help get rid of toxins and unwanted substances from the colon. Some experts recommend eating as many as 10 servings of these foods every day to efficiently prevent the disease. Moreover, try to eat more root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, turnips, and yams. You can also other vegetables such as avocados and beans.
  • Eat fiber-rich foods at the right time – It is ideal to eat more fruits and vegetables rich in fiber between nine in the morning and noon. This is because the body is in its normal elimination period during these times. A high-fiber diet can greatly reduce the risk of constipation, which is a symptom of colon cancer. It can also help prevent the formation of colon polyps. Some fruits that are high in fiber include avocados, papaya, guava, cantaloupe, and kiwi. (Related: High colon cancer risk caused by Western junk food can be reversed with healthy, high-fiber diets, study proves.)
  • Detox – One of the ways to prevent the development of colon cancer is to cleanse your colon at least once a year. This can be done by undergoing liquid fast for three days. Within these three days, you can only drink fresh juices or other liquids to stimulate the decomposition of damaged tissues and deposits in the colon.
  • Research on other ways to cleanse the colon – In addition to liquid fast, there are other types of fasting and detox techniques, such as aloe vera juice fasts and cider fasts. The key is finding the technique that works best for you. However, before making any drastic changes to your diet like fasting, consult your healthcare provider first.

Eat these greens for colon cancer prevention

A study published in the journal Immunity proved that eating vegetables, especially green leafy ones like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, could help keep the gut healthy and prevent the development of colon cancer.

For the study, researchers used normal mice and mice that cannot produce or activate aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a protein that serves as an environmental sensor which sends signals to immune cells and epithelial cells in the gut lining. It protects against inflammatory responses to the trillions of bacteria that live in the gut.

The researchers fed the mice a standard diet; a diet rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C); or a purified control diet. Purified control diets are composed of the same mixtures of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fibers enriched with vitamins and minerals, but have fewer AhR-promoting chemicals; while I3C is a compound produced when these green leafy vegetables are digested.

Results of the study revealed that mice fed on a diet rich in I3C did not develop gut inflammation or colon cancer. This is because this type of diet activates the AhR protein. Moreover, mice whose cancer was already developing but consumed the I3C-enriched diet had significantly fewer tumors, which are also more benign. However, those mice who received a purified control diet developed tumors in the colon within 10 weeks.

“…a diet devoid of vegetable matter can lead to colon cancer,” wrote the researchers.

These findings indicate that the risk of developing colon cancer can be cut by following a healthy diet composed of plenty of vegetables.

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