(NaturalNews) Colon cancer is one of the top killers in the modern world today. A 2010 study estimated that the five-year survival rate of colorectal (colon plus rectal) cancer sufferers in Europe was less than 60 percent, while about one-third of colon cancer sufferers in the developed world die from the disease. These statistics are highly unfortunate when we consider that colon cancer is actually one of the most preventable types of cancers. Here's what you can do every day to lower your risk.
Consume plenty of fiber. Fiber moves cancer-causing substances along in your colon more quickly, thus reducing their potential to cause harm. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are the best fiber sources.
If you are not having at least one significant bowel movement every day, you probably need to consume more fiber.
Drink plenty of water. Water is needed for many functions in the body, including flushing cancer-causing compounds away. Lack of water is a major cause of constipation as well.
If your urine is dark-colored or strong-smelling, or you are not urinating at least once every two-to-three hours, you probably need more water.
Natural whole foods
Consume more natural whole foods in place of processed foods that come in packages, boxes, bottles and cans. The former usually contain many health-boosting and body-nourishing nutrients in their natural, easily-assimilated state, while the latter usually come with dozens of chemical preservatives and food additives which harm your health, including elevating your cancer risk.
Eating organic produce would be an added bonus as you are increasing the amount of nutrients your body receives while at the same time cutting down on the doses of harmful chemical pesticides it is bombarded with.
Many colorful vegetables contain a wide array of phytonutrients and antioxidants which offer cancer-preventing and cancer-fighting properties. Include different colored vegetables in your diet, from the usual greens to purple vegetables to the red and orange ones like carrots and tomatoes. It's been said that a colorful diet is a health-promoting one.
Use herbal spices instead of artificial flavorings to flavor your food. Again, the former contain many cancer-fighting compounds, while the latter could actually be carcinogenic.
Cut out processed sugars. They inhibit your immune system and mess up your blood-sugar levels. This is important because immune suppression contributes to various types of cancer and even many other diseases.
Reduce red meat
Eat red meat in moderation, as it has been linked to increased colon cancer risk.
Studies have also linked alcohol consumption with colon cancer. It would thus be prudent to drink alcohol in moderation. Some experts advocate staying away altogether.
Many studies have shown that moderate exercise lowers cancer risk and even boosts the survival outcomes of cancer sufferers. On the flip side, being sedentary and seated for long hours every day raises your cancer risk.
Stress is a big factor in immune suppression and cancer development and proper stress management strategies are an integral part of any healthy lifestyle. Emotional stressors such as anger, jealousy, grief and unhappiness are also implicated and must be dealt with as well.
Being near greenery has a profound impact on our health, including lowering blood pressure and boosting immune function. So, get in touch with nature regularly.
Generally speaking, a strong immune system is better able to keep cancer at bay. At the same time, a clean colon is a healthy one, and a healthy colon does not easily succumb to colon cancer. Learn more about what to eat to keep your colon clean here.
Sources for this article include:
Duke, James A., PhD. The Green Pharmacy. New York, NY: Rodale, 1997. Print.
Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems. Rodale, 2000. Print.
Murray, Michael T., ND. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996. Print.
About the author: Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth.