Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting the lives of many people worldwide. Every year, approximately 60,000 people in the United States die from colon cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer and around 40,000 or more new cases of rectal cancer would have been diagnosed by 2013.
One of the most common reasons of increasing risk for colon cancer is an unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. Paying attention to dietary measures can subsequently reduce the risk of the disease.
How Is It Caused?
People who have a family history of chronic ulcerative colitis, polyps in the large intestine, and colorectal cancer are more likely to get affected by it. Also, high fat diet is another reason why a person’s chances of developing colon cancer increase.
Those who live on a high fat diet are more prone to colon cancer. United States is one of the developed countries where people have high fat intake, leading to substantial increase in the colorectal cancer rates. But, how do you reduce the risks of developing colon cancer?
Colon cancer is caused due to toxins or chemical residue called carcinogens produced by the body from the breakdown of metabolic fat products. In order to prevent the production of carcinogens, it is important to keep your bowel movement smooth and active. Adding fresh vegetables, fruits and high fiber foods to your diet can help you prevent and reduce the risk of colon cancer. High fiber foods are considered to be natural types of laxatives that allow your bowels to flow more freely.
Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. It helps to prevent constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and other type of intestinal problems. As a result of years of research, it has been proved that fiber has the potential for reducing the risk of colon cancer. Here are some benefits of having a fiber rich diet:
— Increases peristalsis or the wave-like muscle contractions that move food through the intestines
— Regulates bowel movement and prevents constipation
— Flushes out toxins out of your colon
— Absorbs irritants and indigestible material from the digestive tract
— Helps you control your weight and reduces water retention
— Lowers glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood
On an average, the regular intake of dietary fiber varies on the basis of gender, age and activity level. Men 50 years and younger are recommended to eat 38 grams of fiber each day, while women should have at least 25 grams of fiber per day.