By: Alexandra Lanna and Isabella Lanna, Student Interns, Women & Infants’ Center for Women’s Gastrointestinal Health

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in both men and women. While the disease is treatable and beatable if caught early, it is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men and the third in women across the United States. While screening is the number one way to prevent or detect colon cancer, eating a healthy diet can help to reduce your risk. Here are the top four foods that may help fight colon cancer and some healthy recipes to go with them.

  1. Are you eating your vegetables? Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale release an antioxidant called sulforaphane when chewed may decrease the risk for prostate cancer, and potentially other cancers including colon cancer.
    Recipe: Garden Vegetable Soup
  1. Whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa can be a nice complement to any dish and can also help to reduce your risk of developing precancerous growths (polyps) in your colon. Why? Both are full of fiber, which can help to stop the growth of cancer cells.
    Recipe: Roasted Carrot, Chicken and Grape Quinoa Bowl
  1. Salmon, milk and cheese, just to name a few, are great sources of calcium and vitamin D, which have been known to help fight colon cancer.
    Recipe: Salmon Baked in Foil
  1. While you sometimes consider asking for no garlic when ordering dinner at your favorite restaurant, you might want to think twice. In a recent study, people who added garlic to their diet had a much lower risk of some cancers including colon cancer.
    Recipe: Chicken Spinach Soup with Pesto

Learn More

While maintaining a healthy diet can help lower your risk of colon cancer, the most important thing to do is have a screening colonoscopy. For individuals who are at normal risk, screening tests should begin at age 50. For more information please visit Gastroenterology Services at Care New England.