Diet to Prevent Colon Cancer
Diet to Prevent Colon Cancer
One way to prevent colon cancer is to adopt a healthy diet. It should be noted that colon cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer in Indonesia, and about 8.5% of the total cancer deaths in the world are caused by colon cancer.
Colon cancer occurs when cells in the wall of the colon become malignant and grow uncontrollably, damaging surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
Patients with colon cancer at an early stage may not experience any symptoms. As colon cancer progresses to become more severe, sufferers may exhibit several symptoms, such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloody stools, frequent bloating, weight loss, and fatigue.
Overview of the Causes of Colon Cancer
The exact cause of this disease is not known. However, there are several factors that can increase a person's risk for colon cancer, namely:
- Have a parent or sibling who suffers from this disease.
- Over 50 years old.
- Having an unhealthy diet, for example, often eating foods that contain lots of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
- Suffering from certain diseases, such as colitis and diabetes.
- Being overweight and obese.
Prevent Colon Cancer with the Following Diet
Although some risk factors for colon cancer cannot be prevented, such as heredity and age, the chances of developing this disease can be reduced if you adopt a healthy diet. The trick is to:
Limit consumption of red meat and processed meat
Red meat and processed meat, especially those cooked at high temperatures (such as fried or grilled), can produce chemicals and free radicals that have the potential to cause cancer. Therefore, limit the consumption of red meat and processed meat to a maximum of 70 grams per day for adults.
Red meat includes beef, lamb, pork, and goat. While examples of processed meats are ham, sausage, bacon, corned beef, and canned meat.
To prevent iron deficiency due to limiting red meat consumption, you can eat chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, and beans.
Increase the intake of fiber and antioxidants
Fiber and antioxidants are found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, including whole grains.
Fiber plays an important role in smooth bowel movements (BAB) and stimulates bowel movements, thereby helping the smooth disposal of toxic substances that can increase the risk of colon cancer. While antioxidants can fight the effects of free radicals that can damage colon cells.
From several studies, it was found that people who follow a diet high in vegetables and fruits (vegetarians) have a lower risk of developing colon cancer than non-vegetarians.
Increase consumption of healthy fats, calcium, and vitamin D
Foods high in healthy fats, such as omega-3s, are thought to be good for preventing colon cancer. Intake of healthy fats can be obtained from marine fish and healthy oils.
In addition, calcium and vitamin D which are contained in many dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are also thought to be good for preventing colon cancer. However, you should choose milk and dairy products that are low in fat.
In addition to changing your diet, there are several steps you should also take to prevent colon cancer, namely:
- Maintain ideal body weight.
- Routine exercise for approximately 30 minutes every day.
- Avoid cigarette smoke.
- Limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages to no more than 30 ml per day.
- Routinely undergo colon cancer screening so that this disease can be detected early.
If your family has a history of colon cancer or you have a lifestyle that is at high risk of causing this disease, check with your doctor regularly. The earlier colon cancer is detected and treated, the greater the chance of a cure.