Foods can prevent colon cancer

By Shari Lopatin: TriWest Healthcare Alliance

PHOENIX — March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. However, instead of providing the same boring facts about colon cancer awareness, below are the top five foods that help prevent this disease.

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

• Dairy products (such as yogurt or milk): According to the ACS, several studies have shown that foods high in calcium may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

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

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

• Whole-grain breads and pasta: Whole-grain foods are high in fiber, which helps food move faster though the digestive track, says the ADA.

• 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.