Bowel cancer... Those words tend to make most people cringe as it can be an awkward topic to discuss.
Bowel cancer is somewhat preventable. According to the American Cancer Society, almost 55% of bowel cancer cases may be attributed to modifiable risk factors. Modifiable risk factors are things that you can change (modify) such as your diet and lifestyle choices.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ....
According to Bowel Cancer Australia, you can reduce your risk of bowel cancer by taking some simple steps to improve your diet and lifestyle.
- Avoid processed meat and limit red meat.
- Eat plenty of fibre from whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruit.
- Be a healthy body weight.
- Regular physical activity can reduce colon (not rectal) cancer by 16%.
- Stop smoking and avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
Age, family history, hereditary conditions and personal health history can all influence your bowel cancer risk. These factors cannot be changed and are therefore referred to as 'non-modifiable'. For around 30% of all bowel cancer cases diagnosed there is a family history, hereditary contribution or a combination of both. Early detection and diagnosis are crucial.
Some signs and symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
- Unexplained anaemia causing tiredness/fatigue, weakness or weight loss
Consuming a balanced wholefood diet consisting of whole grains and food containing dietary fiber, may significantly reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer. Fiber has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases including colon cancer. Incorporating superfood powders into the diet may also help support healthy gut and bowel function.
Leafy greens, found in the Being Co. Nourish Blend, are high in vitamins C, K, B complex, folic acid, beta carotene, iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, sulphur and chlorophyll. They help to nourishes and heal the lining of the digestive tract, support healthy kidney and liver function, promote peristalsis in the gut and are powerful prebiotic. Chlorophyll, which gives green fruits and vegetables their colour, is anti-inflammatory, alkalising and cleansing, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body and prevent the growth of pathogens. Chlorophyll also acts as a natural deodoriser, alleviating common side effects of poor digestion such as halitosis (bad breath) and body odour.
Matcha - is high in B complex vitamins and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). It is rich in amino acids, calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese. Matcha is a potent antioxidant which, stimulates immune function, promotes healthy bowel function, boosts metabolism, is alkalising, anti-ageing, and supports the bodies natural detoxification systems.
Blue spirulina - May help to improve digestion and bowel health. As spirulina contains chlorophyll, this helps to regularise the digestive system and promote healthy bacteria in the gut.
Blue Butterfly Pea - Butterfly Pea is an antiemetic (anti-nausea), anti-dypsetic (anti-indigestion), mild-laxative and cholagogue (stimulates the flow of bile from the liver).
Pink Pitaya - Dragon fruit (pink pitaya) contains prebiotics, a specific type of fiber that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. In particular, dragon fruit mainly promotes the growth of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.
Acai - Acai berries contain plant pigments called anthocyanins which give certain fruits and vegetables their deep violet colour. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants. The polyphenols in acai berries may also act as a prebiotic in the colon, meaning they have the ability to feed the good gut bacteria, which improves overall digestive health.
Written by Emilee, Nutritionist (BHSc Nut Med)