Vegetables, fruits help prevent colon cancer

| March 10, 2011 | 0 Comments
Shari Lopatin
TriWest Healthcare Alliance


PHOENIX — March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

The American Cancer Society lists colon cancer as the third most common cancer in American men and women.

However, instead of providing the same boring facts about colon cancer awareness, here are the top five foods that help prevent this disease.

1) Dairy products such as yogurt or milk. According to ACS, several studies have shown that foods high in calcium may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Dairy products are some of the best sources of calcium.

2) Broccoli and cauliflower. These vegetables belong to a food group called cruciferous vegetables, which are part of the cabbage family. ACS says these foods contain certain compounds that may reduce the risk of cancer in general, including colon.

3) Spinach or asparagus. The American Dietetic Association says that spinach and asparagus contain high amounts of folate. Too little folate may increase the risk of colon cancer, according to the ACS.

4) Whole-grain breads and pasta. Whole-grain foods are high in fiber, which helps food move faster though the digestive track, the ADA says. High-fiber foods also have many antioxidants, which help protect against several cancers, including colon.

5) Strawberries. Strawberries are packed with fiber, vitamin C and folate — all nutrients that both the ADA and ACS say help reduce the risk of colon cancer. They all make a great breakfast or snack fruit, too.

Finally, the ACS reminds men and women to not forget to get screened. Experts agree that one of the best ways to survive colon cancer is to find it early through screening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a screening test, or colonoscopy, once every 10 years, after age 50.

Tricare covers one colonoscopy every 10 years for beneficiaries ages 50 and older.

To learn more about colon cancer, visit


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Category: Community, Health

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