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Colorectal Cancer Health Center

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Eating to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

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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.


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.

Healthy Eating Guidelines for Cancer Prevention

You can learn to eat a healthy, cancer-fighting diet by following these guidelines from the American Cancer Society:

  • Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources.
  • Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources.
  • Be physically active; achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on July 27, 2014
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