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How to prevent bowel cancer with five very simple lifestyle changes

July 22,2018 05:21

Bowel cancer can strike even the most healthy but nearly half of cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes, according to doctors. Of the 42,000 people diagnosed each year, 95 per cent are over 50. Risk factors include being overweight, smoking ...


Bowel cancer can strike even the most healthy but nearly half of cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes, according to doctors.
Of the 42,000 people ­diagnosed each year, 95 per cent are over 50.
Risk factors include being overweight, smoking, drinking too much booze and having type2 diabetes.
Here are our top tips for ­helping you reduce the odds of getting the deadly disease.
Don't cut out carbs
Carbs might be a dirty word if you are trying to lose weight but experts reckon the fibre can help speed up how quickly food moves through your system.
It is best to stick to wholegrain varieties – brown bread, rice and pasta – or wholewheat couscous or quinoa.
These foods also have anti-inflamm­atory properties that ­further helps your gut and are a great source of vitamin E.

It's important to get your five a day, say doctors, to stay on top of your healthGet your five a day
Fruit and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, not least ­because they are another top source of fibre.
Studies have shown that a high intake of vitamin C can help reduce your risk of bowel cancer. So stock up on oranges and other citrus fruits, plus peppers, berries and kiwis.
Limit processed meat
The charity Beating Bowel Cancer says there is a strong link between the disease and a diet containing lots of red and ­processed meat. It recommends eating less than 500g of red meat a week.
Processed meats, such as ­bacon, ham and salami, put you at even greater risk.
The World Cancer Research Foundation says you should try swapping your beef mince for turkey or veggie Quorn ­alternatives and put chicken ­instead of ham in your sarnies.

Good news is that you carbs play an important part of the healthy diet needed to keep bowel cancer away (Image: Getty)Eat lots of fish
A great alternative to meat is fish, especially oily ­varieties such as salmon, mackerel, ­anchovies and sardines.
A 2016 study carried out at King’s College London showed that eating just a few mouthfuls of oily fish a day can significantly reduce bowel cancer risk.
It is thought to be because these types of fish are high in omega 3s and have lots of lovely anti-inflammatory properties.
Plus they contain a load of vitamin D, which also helps keep cancer in check.
Think about drink
Cutting down on alcohol is an obvious but simple way to help prevent bowel cancer.
Don’t panic – you don’t have to give up ­completely. Cancer Research UK advises drinking no more than 14 units a week, spread evenly over three days.
It suggests drinking spritzers or shandies to make drinks last longer and ­opting for drinks that are lower in alcohol.
For example, a small gin and tonic has just one unit of alcohol – but a large 250ml glass of wine has more than three.
And if you are drinking ­alcohol at home, rather than out in the pub, be careful not to pour ­yourself measures that are way too generous.

Cancer,Cancer Research UK,Bowel cancer,Alcohol,Vitamins,Sunday People

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