Processed meat has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen and it has been proven to cause colorectal cancer according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The colorectal cancer affects the colon and the rectum and it is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. In 2016 colorectal cancer was diagnosed in more than 95,000 people.
The colon is responsible for forming, storing and eliminating waste but it is also the home of billions of bacteria which are essential for your health.
Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest type of cancer in the United States, and 5-10% of patients diagnosed with this type of cancer had genetic defects. 35% of the patients probably developed it because of their diet, 30% because of tobacco use, 20% because of infections and the rest due to environmental factors such as stress, pollution, radiation and activity levels.
This type of cancer can be prevented by following a healthy diet, exercising and maintaining healthy body weight. Following these methods increases your chances of avoiding this cancer by 50%. Here are a few more methods you should follow:
-Eat fresh fruits and vegetables as much as you can. Vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants and magnesium – disease fighting compounds that are not that easy to find. One study has shown that 100 mg increase of magnesium intake reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 12% and the risk of colorectal tumor by 13%.
-Magnesium is able to reduce insulin resistance which is probably why it can prevent and fight cancer. Phytochemicals eliminate the carcinogens and reduce inflammation as well as maintain the DNA.
-Another source of fiber are vegetables. Numerous studies have proven that people who consume more vegetables have lower cancer rates.
-Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphene which is a compound that inhibits the growth of colon cancer and colon tumors.
-Dietary fiber has the ability to lower the risk of colorectal cancer especially distal colon cancer and incident colorectal adenoma. You will decrease your risk of colorectal cancer by 10% for every 10 grams of fiber in your daily diet.
-One study from 2005 has shown that dried plums reduced the cancer risk factors in rats probably because they are rich in polyphenolics and dietary fiber.
-Great sources of fiber include: flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and psyllium seed husk.
-People who include more vitamin D in their diet have a reduced risk of colorectal tumors probably because this vitamin is very beneficial for the immunity. There is some evidence that show the ability of vitamin D to protect the colon from cancer. Vitamin D can be taken either through supplementation or by regular sun exposure.
-Avoid eating processed meats that undergo curing, salting, smoking processes or meats that are full of chemical preservatives such as hamburgers, ham, pastrami, bacon, salami, hot dogs etc. These meats contain nitrates which are converted into nitrosamines when consumed. These compounds can increase the risk of several types of cancer.
-If you eat red meat your risk of developing colorectal cancer increases by 24%. It is very important to know where your meat comes from as well as how it was prepared. Always try to find organically raised grass-fed meat and cook them lightly.
-You can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 40% with regular exercise. Exercising improves the circulation of immune cells in the blood and it also triggers apoptosis.
-Maintain healthy body weight. Many studies have linked obesity and higher risk of cancer. If you are even slightly overweight, you should lose weight particularly belly fat because it can increase the risk of colon cancer.
-Alcohol and cigarettes should be consumed completely, particularly smoking which does not have a safe amount. Alcohol, on the other hand can be consumed but not more than 5-ounce glass of wine, 1 ounce of hard liquor or 12-ounce beer daily.
-Many lab studies have proven the ability of garlic to kill cancer cells. The participants in the study have shown a 30% reduced risk of colon cancer because they consumed garlic. The patients who had inoperable forms of liver, pancreatic or colorectal cancer have shown improvement after taking garlic extract for 6 months.
-To get the most from garlic you should crush it before consuming it because this way allinase releases, an enzyme that speeds up the formation of allicin.
-Men and women over 50 should regularly get screening every five years or a colonoscopy every 10 years because they have a high risk of colorectal cancer. Detecting polyps in the early stages makes their removal easier.
These are 15 more tips that could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer:
- Avoid or eliminate sugary drinks and sugar from your diet.
- Walk more, about 10,000 steps a day.
- Drink green tea because it contains a cancer-fighting polyphenols.
- Consume steamed broccoli.
- Consume Brazil nuts because they are rich in selenium which reduces the risk of colorectal, prostate and lung cancer.
- Consume artichokes because they are rich in antioxidants which reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Increase your vitamin D levels by regularly exposing to sunlight.
- Marinating meat with beer, wine or spices reduces the formation of cancer-causing substances during cooking.
- Consume foods that contain resistant starches to reduce the risk of cancer because a high red meat consumption.
- Take high-quality krill oil and reduce consumption of corn, soy and canola oil.
- Sleep in complete darkness because light at night disrupts the production of melatonin which has anti-cancer properties.
- Onions contain quercetin which prevents the growth of breast, colon, ovarian, lung, endometrial and prostate cancer cells.
- Dry cleaning chemicals such as perchloroethylene have cancer-causing properties, so avoid them.
- Consume less potato chips and French fries because they contain acrylamide – a cancer-causing compound
- Consume fermented vegetables because they have isothiocyanates, indoles and sulforaphane – compounds that improve the health of the gut and also prevent cancer formation.