Most people are aware that consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables helps improve health and fend off many chronic conditions, but a new study from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association provides details on how consumption of specific fruits and vegetables will lower the prevalence of many types of colon cancer; colon cancer being the third most common form of cancer. It turns out that foods such as apples, broccoli and cauliflower can each lower the risk of developing cancer in different parts of the colon while high sugar, and fiber-void fruit and vegetable juices actually increase risk of the illness (partially due to their high-fructose corn syrup content – read more here).
Head of the Epidemiology Group at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, professor Lin Fritschi, PhD, and her research team have provided significant evidence to confirm the importance of consuming a diet rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to lower colon cancer risk. They performed a study in which 918 participants with a confirmed colon cancer diagnosis and 1021 individuals with no history of the digestive disease completed extensive nutritional and demographic questionnaires. A comparison of the two group’s nutritional patterns revealed that specific fruit and vegetable families affect risk for colon cancer in different portions of the digestive tract. Specifically, eating brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts was linked to a reduced rate of cancer in the top portion of the colon (proximal colon). In addition, both total vegetable and fruit intake were linked to a lower risk of distal colon cancer (lower portion of colon). As well, they found that eating dark yellow vegetables and apples was also correlated with a significant reduction in distal colon cancer risk.
The health benefits of eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables goes far beyond protection against colon cancer. You should be consuming fruit and vegetables as a major portion of your diet whether you’re concerned about colon cancer or not. The more of these fruits and vegetables you can eat, the better, and eating them raw or minimally cooked will have an even greater effect, as this protects all of the active enzymes that aid your body’s various functions.