Eating to Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Other Vitamins and Minerals continued...
While there seems to be some potential benefit in consuming foods with folic acid as part of a regular healthy diet, studies do not show any anti-cancer benefit from taking folic acid supplements. In fact, some studies suggest that taking folic acid supplements may slightly increase the risk of cancer.
Calcium and Vitamin D. Recent studies have suggested that these two substances may not only strengthen bones, but may also fight off colon cancer. Good sources of calcium include: milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon, sardines, and dark-green leafy vegetables such as kale, mustard, and collard greens. Sources of vitamin D include salmon, sardines, fortified cow's milk, egg yolks, and chicken livers -- and don't forget the sun. Twenty minutes of sun before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. is an excellent source of vitamin D.
Fiber and Your Colon
Fiber is thought to be a powerful weapon against cancer. Though there is conflicting research as to whether or not fiber has protective effects against colorectal cancer, there is evidence that fiber intake improves overall health by moving wastes through the digestive tract faster. This may give potentially toxic wastes less time to come into contact with intestinal cells. It is also believed that some types of fiber help detoxify potential cancer-causing substances as well as prevent these substances from being absorbed by the cells of the intestines. Good sources of fiber include: whole-grain cereals and breads, prunes, berries, kidney beans and other legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and brown rice.
Although it’s best to get the fiber you need from food, fiber supplements offer another source. Examples include psyllium and methylcellulose. Anytime you increase your fiber intake, do it slowly to help prevent gas and cramping. It’s also important to drink enough liquids.
Recently discovered to be helpful in the fight against cancer, phytochemicals are non-nutrient substances such a flavonoids, phenols, and terpenes which are found in a variety of plant foods including tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries, peppers, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and soy beans.