Almost 43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year, according to statistics from Bowel Cancer UK. As a result, it is the fourth most common type of cancer diagnosed across the country. However, according to an expert, increasing your consumption of certain “colorful” foods could help lower your personal risk.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) stated in 2018 that red meat consumption is “likely a cause of colon cancer.”
Ms Martin pointed out that among the lifestyle factors that can increase the risk of colon cancer, “a poor diet” is the main factor alongside alcohol consumption, smoking and a “sedentary lifestyle”.
According to Ms Martin, most people in the UK “are not achieving the recommended intake of 30 grams” of fiber per day, putting them at “an increased risk of disease”.
She added: “Some factors, like your age or family history, you can’t control, but some of them you can.
“It pays to be mindful of the ones you can change, as more than half of all colorectal cancers are preventable through the lifestyle choices we make.”
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“The pigments that provide these different colors, for example lycopene in tomatoes, anthocyanins in blueberries, and sulforaphanes in dark leafy greens, have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, including colon cancer.”
A diet high in plant-based, whole foods is also high in fiber, another hugely beneficial factor for a healthy gut.
Ms Martin said: “Fiber increases stool volume and allows for faster elimination of waste.
“This dilutes pollutants and shortens their contact time with the intestinal mucosa.
“In addition, fiber feeds the good bacteria that live in our gut and helps produce substances called short-chain fatty acids like butyrate. “Butyrate has been found to reduce inflammation, suppress tumor growth and help the cells in our gut stay healthy.”