1. Eat Less Red Meat. Studies show that eating red meat “frequently” increases the incidence of colon cancer. Eating red meat daily, and especially more than one serving per day, increases risk.
Plant based diets show the lowest risk (1). Increased risk is associated with increased inflammation associated with chemicals released by digestion of red meat. These chemicals increase damage to and inhibit the repair of DNA (genetic material) in the cells lining your intestines. (2) Damage to DNA is a primary cause of all cancers.
2. Eat More Garlic. According to the National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet on Garlic and Cancer Prevention:Other food plants in this family with similar properties include onions, leeks, scallions, and chives.
3. Eat A Rainbow of Plant Antioxidants. The deep, bright colors of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices contribute a wide variety of antioxidants to the diet.
Examples of antioxidant rich, deeply pigmented foods are blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, carrots, apricots, canteloupe, kale, broccoli, spinach, avocado, tomato, apples, red cabbage, red and purple grapes, pink grapefruit, tumeric, saffron, oregano, sage, and rosemary.
Color signals the presence of antioxidant plant chemicals that turn on cancer suppressor genes and turn off cancer promoter genes.
Studies show increased levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in the colon with diets lacking plant antioxidants. Increased inflammation and low antioxidant levels is an environment that promotes colon cancer (6) (7). Eat 6-10 servings daily.
4. Use Olive Oil. Olive oil contains plant chemicals that have anti-cancer properties. Olive oil reduces bile acid and increases enzymes that regulate cell turn over in the lining of the intestines promoting healthy tissue. Antioxidant compounds (phenolics) present in olive oil also exert a cancer protective antioxidant effect (8).
5. Include Selenium Rich Foods. Studies show that selenium not only inhibits colon cancer but can also enhance or work with some cancer drugs. Selenium also inhibits growth and promotes death of colon cancer cells (9).Foods rich in selenium include garlic and onions, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, whole grains (brown rice, oats, wheat germ), brazil nuts, and fish (tuna, halibut, sardines, salmon.